- Select your path (College, Vocational, Military) – The final part of your junior year, you should have been brainstorming in regard to your plans after high school. Do you plan to attend a two or four year college? Will you transition right into vocational training? Or is entering the military more your speed? If you haven’t given serious thought to those three questions, now is the time to do so.
- Questions to ask– Is college for you? Have you been working and would like to remain on the path toward a particular vocation? Would you prefer the military for the opportunity to serve your country?
Narrow Your Choices
From the time you were in middle school or before, you’ve made a several choices regarding college. I’m going to college. I’m not going to college. I’m going to Michigan, Michigan State, Howard, Spelman, Morehouse, etc. While it’s always good to have options, at some point you must narrow your choices. Here are a few ways to make that selection easier.
Bring It All To The Table -Now is the time to sit down and make some serious decisions. Discuss possible college options as well as financial means and restrictions. Narrow your choices. While there is no exact number, it’s good to have at least three to five. If the plan is to attend college out of state, still apply to a local college. A back up plan is always wise. Sit down and have a pow wow-This is something in which both students and parents should be involved. Pick a day, preferably Saturday morning when everyone is available. Put it all out on the table.Grab every college brochure, application, financial aid and scholarship information.
- Select top five schools. Your list may begin with five, but it’s okay. After further research and discussion, that list may decrease or may remain the same.
- Refer to your College Comparison Worksheet. This is a tool in your selection process to compare things that are most important. It’s broken down in eight stages (Admissions requirements, location/size, academics, expenses, Financial Aid, housing, environment, & activities)
- Make your final selections. Many students voice the desire to attend college out of state and for many, this is a reality. However, always cover yourself. Students who choose to apply for out of state colleges should also apply to in state college(s) as well.
- Apply Early-Do Not Procrastinate!
- Students may apply beginning August 1st.
- Apply for early action/decision-Applying by October 31st. November 1st is the early action deadline for most colleges. Student who apply before the November 1st deadline will receive a decision prior to Christmas break.
- Complete application(s) in its entirety
- Common Application website
- https://www.connecttocollege.net/application.asp (HBCU Common App)
Attend College Fairs-College fairs are an added bonus. There can be between 40-50 colleges. This is a great opportunity to establish a relationship with admission representatives. Those relationships can also lead to additional scholarship opportunities.
Maintain Academics– Academic improvement and maintenance is vital. Colleges can and will rescind acceptance if there is a significant slip in grades . Senioritis is real. Don’t be a victim. Stay the course!
Re-Take the ACT/SAT- Colleges will take the highest score. The national average is 21 (ACT) and 1500(SAT). Higher composite scores could result in scholarships at some schools beginning at a 21.
Take advantage of ACT/SAT prep courses provided by your school and local organizations. Students who receive free or reduced lunch are eligible for two ACT waivers.
Apply for Scholarships Research and apply for as many scholarships for which you qualify. Those small one and two hundred dollar scholarships, yes apply for those as well. Every dollar counts. Parents should inquire at their places of business. A number of companies offer scholarships for children of their employees. Register at http://www.fastweb.com and http://www.zinch.com, which provides free scholarship services and frequent newsletters. Students who qualify as nominees for the Gates Millennium Scholarship
Get a Job-It’s self explanatory. However, from homecoming, senior dues, pictures, prom, etc., senior year can be very costly.
*Refer to the Financial Aid/Scholarship Page for further assistance.