I am a Senior in High School, what should I be doing?
This time of year, it is pretty common that we get asked the questions: “what should I be doing my senior year” or from the parents, “what should my senior be doing?” The answer will depend on what your goals are, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll walk through some of the basics that every senior should do.
- MEET WITH YOUR COUNSELOR- While it is easy to look towards the horizon, it’s also important to remain grounded in what you need to do to complete high school. Your counselor will be a good place to start as they will tell you what classes you need for spring semester and remind you of anything specific relating to you graduating or qualifying for scholarships, like the Alaska Performance Scholarship. It would be smart to also run a GPA calculation to forecast what your GPA will look like after spring semester. This will be important for scholarships, again such as the Alaska Performance Scholarship. Can I say Alaska Performance Scholarship one more time? Just want to make sure everyone is aware of it and that you can use it for college or career training.
- REGISTER FOR THE ACT/SAT- These dates are already scheduled and will have a registration date the month before. Depending on the size of your community and schools, there may be many or few opportunities to take this. Often postsecondary schools use the test scores for the admission process as well as providing financial aid awards based on merit. But just in case you are a bit rusty, you can take free prep exams by visiting the Khan Academy or Exam Focus. There is usually have a fee associated with taking the actual test, so be sure to talk to your counselor to fill out a fee waiver form if needed.
- FILLING OUT THE FAFSA- You can start to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for next year as the application is already open. Here is a handy guide to help you. Filling out the FAFSA will help determine what types of funds you be able eligible for. These funds include federal funds, state funds, and funding the college may provide. It also may be a requirement for your school of choice, so it will be good to complete it regardless of the family’s income. For more information, I recommend checking out Where’s my Financial Aid? and 4 easy tips to getting your FSA ID without stress.
- APPLICATIONS- Many schools are accepting applications for early decision and early action students, but it should be on your radar to start applying to you top choice schools. One program that many institutions use is the Common App, where you can apply to several schools at once. But be sure to read your schools admissions website to see if the school will take it. If anything, creating an account on the Common App will let you store all of your information in one place, and you can transfer it over to another schools application packet.
These are just a few of the things that a senior should be doing this fall semester. There are plenty more checklists out there, but this will be a good starting point. If you do need any assistance, please come by the ACPE Success Center located at the Dimond Center Mall. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 1 (800) 441-2962, option #4.
About the Author