Senior year can pop up quicker than you think, and with that comes the stress of what comes next. Whether students are looking to attend college/university, career tech, military, study abroad, or enter into the work force, preparation is the key to success! There are a few steps to help students to prepare and to make sure they make the right personal decisions.
Naviance is a very helpful tool for students, if they know how to use it. The first step is to complete the tasks we have assigned for them.
Freshmen will complete the Career Interest Profiler on the first day of school to help students find possible career paths.Sophomores will complete the Career Cluster Finder in Naviance. Sophomores take the PSAT in April.
Juniors will complete "Do What You Are," which is a version of the Myers Briggs Personality Types Test. This test allows juniors to take an in-depth look at their personality and the types of careers/majors that would match their personality type. All juniors need to complete a credit check with their counselor to make sure they are on track to graduate. Juniors take the SAT in April.
Seniors need to have at least two credit checks with their counselor (one in the fall and one in the spring) to ensure graduation credits and credits for college entrance (4 years of math and 2 years of a consecutive language).
All students create a resume (to keep track of important achievements), and create a post-secondary goal (to track completion of goals and how/if they change each year).
Use the Naviance tool "SuperMatch college search" under the colleges tab. This tool allows students to search for specific interests and narrow down their college options. Students can then make a list of their appropriate choices.
Schedule a visit/tour, or attend a college fair. Some schools visit Castle View and students can sign up in Naviance to attend. If students click on the colleges tab and enter colleges in as "colleges I'm thinking about," they receive an email when that college sets up a visit. After the list is narrowed further, tour the campus. Students should bring a copy of their resume in case they have the opportunity to talk to a professor, coach or rep. During college tours, students should be prepared with a few questions (click here or here for some helpful ideas). Attend a few college fairs that include workshops (click here or here for some helpful ideas).
Create a college calendar full of deadlines, scheduled events, and test dates. Deadlines should include colleges and scholarships. Give yourself one to two weeks before the real deadline to ensure that you can get the information in on time!
Test Prep! ACTs and SATs are not only important factors for college entrance, but also for automatic scholarships. Many colleges have automatic scholarships based on a set GPA and test score. Start your prep early! Don't know which test to take? Each test is a little different. All juniors in CO are now required to take the SAT. Check out the requirements for each school to decide if you are required to take the SAT, or the writing section for the ACT. If not, check out the requirements for each test to see which one may be a better fit for you. APPLY!!! If you have a dream school, but are afraid you don't measure up, go for it! If you find a scholarship, but you don't feel it fits completely, go for it! You can start looking for scholarships now in Naviance by clicking on the colleges tab and searching through scholarships at the bottom of the page. You don't think you need to apply for community college until after high school? The earlier you apply, the better chances you have for scholarships and class choices.
Discuss financial aid! Parents should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible in October of their students' senior year. Please review the changes to FAFSA for 2017-18. Students can also look into the COF or the WUE funds.
Use your summers!! Spend the summer working on college information. Ask teachers to write you a letter of recommendation. Enroll in an enrichment program through a college/university. You can search enrichment programs through Naviance under the colleges tab, or you can search based on a specific college through their website.
Complete community service hours! It means one less thing to worry about in your senior year, and several scholarships are based on community service alone! Check out the Post Grad website for helpful articles about everything from paying for college, writing an essay, information for athletes, test prep, and much more!