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Senior Students

In their senior year of high school, students are at the final stage of their college preparation journey, and the primary goal is to successfully navigate the college application process and make informed decisions about their future education.

Academically, seniors should continue to prioritize their coursework, ensuring they maintain a strong GPA. It's essential to stay focused and not let "senioritis" derail their academic performance.  They should also finalize standardized testing if they haven't already and submit their test scores to colleges as required.

The bulk of the work during the senior year centers around college applications. This includes refining their college list, ensuring they meet all application deadlines, and completing application essays and personal statements. Seniors should seek guidance from their school counselors or teachers when crafting their applications to make them as compelling as possible.

Financial planning becomes even more critical in the senior year. Students and their families should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the CSS Profile to determine their eligibility for financial aid. They should also explore scholarship opportunities and ensure they meet all scholarship application deadlines.

In addition to these practical steps, seniors should also consider the emotional and personal aspects of this transition. They may need to make tough decisions about which college to attend, considering factors like financial aid packages, location, and academic fit. It's a time for self-reflection and careful consideration of their long-term goals.

Finally, seniors should celebrate their accomplishments throughout high school with a focus on enjoying the last moments with their classmates and friends. Graduating from high school is a significant milestone, and it's important to savor the memories while looking forward to the exciting new chapter that awaits in college.

By the end of their senior year, students should have submitted their college applications, made decisions about where to attend college, and developed a plan for financing their education. With careful planning and diligence, they can embark on their college journey with confidence and excitement.

Applying to College 101

With so much information about applications and the steps you need to complete them, we decided to break it down into the basics.

 

Create a College List in Naviance Under "Colleges I am Applying to" 

  • Choose appropriate application platform:  Direct Application/ Common Application/ Coalition Application/ The Common Black College Application 

  • Check the due dates for each school

  • Decide how and when you will apply? The most common choices are Early Decision/Early Action, typically with a November 1 deadline, or Regular Decision typically with a January deadline

  • Select an option

If you are applying using the Common Application, follow these steps:

  • Create a Common App account

  • Using the college search tab, enter the college. Fill out all the information needed in the Common App

  • Waive your FERPA rights and then match your Common App account under Naviance

  • Write a 650-word personal statement. You may also need to write supplemental essays for individual colleges (check requirements for each Common App school)

  • Make sure you have asked teachers for a LOR, if needed

  • If applicable, order your standardized test scores to be sent to the colleges. You do not need to send AP scores

  • Order transcript/s via Google Doc

  • Send official transcripts from any other schools you have taken coursework

 

Check if you need a Letter of Recommendation? Most Common App schools require LOR

  • If a teacher LOR is needed, ask IN PERSON

  • Login to Naviance and navigate to the Letter of Recommendation section under the Colleges tab

  • Using the drop-down menu, select your teacher, then click the schools you would like a LOR sent. Click request

  • Complete a teacher brag sheet, if needed

  • Go to the CIRCLE ICON in the top right corner with your initials on it, then Surveys From Your School, then Counselor Brag Sheet- Student and complete it

  • Submit your Brag Sheet to your counselor through Naviance by September 1

  • Parents must also fill out the brag sheet by September 1 (found in the same location as the student brag sheet when logged in as a parent)

 

Fill out the FAFSA, which opens on December 1, 2023

Applying to College 101
Senior Students
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