Prep for Senior Year

Senior Checklist for a less stressful Senior year

If you come to your first day of Senior year with most of these

started (or even completed!) you will be way ahead of the game!

So plan a few “Senior Prep Groups” with buddies over the summer to work on these together, it will make it more fun!

  1. Create a new email account and share the user name/password with parents for colleges/scholarship/financial aid information. It helps keep your personal email from getting too cluttered….you will get a lot of emails Senior year. There is a lot to keep up with and it helps if parents and students are monitoring it so nothing important is missed. Make it professional and simple (IE: shawnte.bacher@…….).* this is not required but typically is helpful; use what you think works best for your family
  2. Keep Mrs. Bacher (counselor) and Mrs. Malone (college advisor) up-to-date on any email addresses changes throughout the year.   (bacher_s@hcde.org and malone_s@hcde.org).
  3. If you do not have a Naviance account, email Mrs. Malone your name and email addresses so she can create an account for you in August. For any student considering going to college, this is a requirement.
  4. Buy a binder for college, scholarship, FAFSA, etc. information. (You can Google information on the best way to organize it). You will get a LOT of paperwork and you will need a central place to keep it. (File folders work as well, again, whatever works for your family.)
  5. Have a list of 3 colleges chosen that you want to apply to when you return to school in August.
    • 1 should be “reach” school (you are not sure you could get in or be able to afford)       **We have at least 1 student each year need to use this back up school due to unforeseen circumstances.
    • 1 should be a backup/local school just in case something unplanned happens.
    • 1 should be a realistic choice
  6. Have a list of 3-5 scholarships chosen that you want to apply to when you return (have the date of the DEADLINE, make sure you meet all their criteria, and have the website link to their application page saved). When school starts in August, you will have a GREAT start on this very time consuming process.
  7. Go on tours between now and when school starts in August…save college tours during school for schools you had not considered or need to narrow down a little more. (Many of you have done at least 1….local schools count). (1- Go with other families, go during fall/ Christmas/spring breaks,  2- take a detour to a college when you are going out of town to see family/vacation/etc. or  3- go during the summer before Senior year)
  8. Create your volunteer log (where, when, approx. hours, contact phone # to verify or signatures): record any volunteer work during 9th-12th grades you did for other people. (Don’t include work for family, like “mowing Grandma’s yard…..you should do that anyway!)
  9. Create a resume’ (at least a rough draft)
  10. Write a rough draft/final draft of your personal essay (you can Google this topic for help…there are lots of helpful hints).
  11. Go to www.fafsa.gov and create a FSA ID (previously known as the FAFSA PIN #) to use later in the year.
    • “The FSA ID – a username and password – recently replaced the Federal Student Aid PI/FAFSA PIN.  Students must create a FSA ID prior to starting the FAFSA Jan. 1.  Parents must also create a FSA ID to electronically sign the student’s FAFSA.”     **ALL students need to do this who are applying to 2 and 4 year schools. 
  12. Parents: write a “brag letter” about your student to be be given to the people writing Letters of Recommendation. This can be an actual letter or a bullet listing along with examples/descriptive for the writer to add to the letter. (Use specific examples to paint a picture of you son/daughter. This goes a lot further than just using descriptive words. The admissions office staff read thousands of letters with descriptive words each fall.) Teachers/staff write MANY letters so you can help provide more personal information that most likely will be useful to the writer.
  13. Help for college & scholarship websites:
    • Collegeboard
    • www.cappex.com
    • Naviance
    • College for TN
    • www.zinch.com
    • www.scholarships.com
    • www.commonapp.org & click on “Application Resources”
    • http://www.knowhow2go.org/
    • www.fastweb.com
    • visit other high schools’ website to review their scholarship information
    • www.centerforcreativearts.net and click on “Resources” then “College Advisor” or “Useful Websites”
  14. Career search/information – spend a little time reviewing this website.
    • http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
    • This site is the Occupational Outlook Handbook (electronic version). It is a FABULOUS website for students. As students think about and try to determine what type of career they would like to go into over the next few years and what majors to declare. This site gives some very practical information about different career possibilities.
    • Students can search by clicking on a general career field of interest, find the likelihood of getting a job (the projected outlook of how many jobs will be available in the future) in that field, the different types of positions within that field, what level of education needed (high school diploma, master’s degree, etc.), the general starting salaries for each position in that field, the setting in which a person would work (office, outdoors, etc.) and the specific tasks they would be doing on a daily basis, and more.