Senior Year Prep and Planning
Early in the senior year of high school, students become anxious when they hear their peers mention that they’ve been accepted to a particular college or university. Those who have not considered or given much thought to education after high school begin to wonder if they will or won’t go to college, and where they will go if they do.
Hopefully, the majority of students have already thought about this prior to their senior year of high school and their parents have played a role in the decision making process. Time easily slips away, however, and graduation day will arrive very quickly.
Planning Tips for College Bound Seniors
1) It is advised to start taking the SAT and/or ACT early in the high school years in order to pin down the best score. If your child is a college bound senior and has not taken either of these college entrance tests, schedule them ASAP. Allow sufficient time to obtain study materials so your child can properly prepare for the exams.
Colleges are not going to accept a student until all admissions requirements are met. This means if your senior does not have an acceptable SAT/ACT score on file at the school, he/she cannot be admitted. Keep in mind that even after a testing date, scores can take weeks or more to be processed and released to the designated schools.
2) Narrow down college choices to three or four. Inquire regarding admissions requirements, including SAT/ACT score minimums and GPA requirements. Most colleges and universities offer this information online for your convenience.
3) Schedule campus visits to the schools you and your senior are most seriously considering. It is essential that both parents and students are happy with the campus. A student forced to attend a school he/she doesn’t like creates animosity and possibly even ends in the student dropping out.
4) On each campus visit, check out the dining options, dormitory living areas, and anything else the administration offers on a tour. Allow time also to explore the surrounding community if the school is in a city different from your hometown.
5) It is important to know what a student is seeking or expecting of a university. Remember that while parental guidance and input is important, you as parents are not the ones attending. Some students are interested in Greek life; others may want to attend a private small campus rather than a large university. Another consideration is finding a college that offers a degree in the desired course of study.
6) An application fee is most always charged by each college applied to, so make choices wisely regarding which schools you are seriously considering.
7) Most college bound seniors begin the application process early in their senior year. Many colleges consider the spring of the senior year a “cut-off” for isolating a school.