It is no secret that Senior year can become extremely stressful the closer it gets to the end of the first semester. The year becomes more realistic as you go through your ‘lasts’ – last first day of high school, last class breakfast, last homecoming and the list goes on. But on top of going through these bittersweet moments, you have the biggest decision of your life to make – the decision that will last a lifetime. Whether you apply to college, go straight into the workforce or enlist in the military, your Senior year will change your life forever.

A few tips when applying to college can be found below:

The first step when applying to college is finding where you would want to spend the next 4 years of your life at. Before you actually apply to college, research what colleges have your intended major (it is okay if you are undecided), what college best fits your price range and a college that is your, ‘home away from home.’ The easiest way to figure out where you best fit is taking a visit to the colleges you are interested in. In order to schedule a visit, you have to go to the selected college’s website and find the webpage where you can schedule your visit. Once the visit is scheduled, take your laptop down to the guidance office and show Mrs. Helkey the date of the visit. She will direct you from there and you will be all set to go on your visit.

After you have found the potential college(s), your next step is to apply. Go back to the college’s website and find the page where you can apply as an incoming Fall 2019 Freshman. A lot of colleges go through the Common App, so be sure to set up your account through the website – it can save you a lot of time if you are applying to multiple colleges. After finishing the application process, login to Naviance on your school laptop (located on the desktop) and request your transcript to be sent to the designated college. If you have trouble finding this icon or logging in, head down to your guidance counselor and they will be happy to assist you. An additional item that you will have to send to the college is your SAT or ACT score – this can be done through collegeboard.org. If you haven’t taken the SAT/ACT, make sure to get signed up for it as soon as possible because most colleges require one of these tests.

Many colleges require fees when applying, which can add up. Before applying for a college with a large fee, make sure it is where you could potentially see yourself going. Do not apply if you do not see yourself going to this school – in the end you will save a lot of money this way. If you are unable to pay the fee due to financial reasons, the colleges requiring fees will have the option for a fee waiver. Make sure you try to apply for these as the expenses of just applying to college add up!

An additional thing that seniors are encouraged to do is apply for scholarships, through the school and the college you are planning to attend. Most colleges do not open up scholarship applications until you are enrolled, so make sure you think about your decision before enrolling to ensure that you will be content going to that specific college. The college of your choice will have a specific webpage with scholarship information and all of the requirements that you must meet. In addition, guidance counselors send a list of scholarships out on Canvas that seniors are eligible to apply for, along with links to each application. The process should not take you too long, and if you spend an hour on a $1,000 scholarship, you just got payed $1,000 to work for 1 hour!

Lastly, students should be sure to fill out their FAFSA forms. This process will not take extremely long, and you will definitely need assistance from a parent/guardian. More information on how to apply for FAFSA and what it is can be discovered September 27th, 2018 in the auditorium at 5:30 pm.

College and scholarships are scary and stressful, but in the end all of the late nights and never-ending applications will be worth it. Always remember that you are not required to go to college – if it is not for you, then find something that you are passionate about and run with it.

Scholarships through the school can be found in your Canvas messages – Mrs. Mineart updates the list and sends a new one out every month!