There are some very important things that you can do during your senior year to prepare for your future. Follow these steps to lead to success:
- Schedule AP Exams if applicable. Contact local schools to find a place to test come May.
- Take or retake any standardized tests. Most students don't get the score they want the first time. Plan on taking it once more before applying.
- Continue to visit colleges and narrow down your list of potential colleges. Most counselors recommend that students select four colleges to apply to. If you select a school for which you don't meet their requirements, make sure to have a "fallback" school in case you aren't accepted.
- Create an Application Calendar. The only way to ensure you don't miss a deadline is to mark it on a calendar that you check frequently.
- Remain involved in extracurricular activities. Colleges, trade schools, and employers are looking for well-rounded students who exhibit leadership abilities. Extracurricular activities can provide both.
- Collect letters of recommendation from several sources. Collect the remaining recommendations based on the specific requests from each application. Make sure to provide ample time for your recommender to write a decent recommendation. In other words, DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!
- Provide your advisor/counselor with a list of the items required to complete your applications. You will not only need recommendation letters, but also transcripts, GPA, and school profile reports. Make sure to provide ample time for your advisor to complete the forms.
- Complete your applications with plenty of time to review them for accuracy. Once you've submitted your information, check with your advisor to make sure all the school information has been submitted. Confirm with the school that they have all the information needed to make their decision.
- Apply for scholarships! College or technical school is expensive but if you are willing to do the work, there are plenty of scholarships available to help pay down your costs. Apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of receiving funding.
- Submit financial aid forms. Know your state and school financial aid deadlines and submit the forms before the deadline. This increases your chances of receiving grants and loans.
- Request that mid-year grade reports be submitted on your behalf. It is your responsibility to request that your counselor submit the mid-year report to the colleges you applied to. Colleges will often make their final decision after receiving your mid-year marks so remember to keep up the hard work.
- Watch your email/mail for your acceptance letters. Most decisions are made by March or April.
- Make your final decision as to which school you will attend. Schedule a last-minute campus visit if you are still undecided.
- Take AP exams. Exams are administered during the first two weeks in May.
- Follow up on financial aid information. Make sure that your FAFSA application has been submitted on time and that the college you are attending has all the information they require. Apply for loans to cover any additional costs.
- Finalize enrollment paperwork. Schools will need to know your plans for housing, course scheduling, and other necessary information. Make sure to submit them by the appropriate deadlines.