10 things high school seniors should be doing now

In a recent article that appeared in CBS moneywatch, there are some things that our rising seniors in High School should start doing soon.

graduate

1/ Start writing your college essay

Nothing psychs out teens like the prospects of writing a 500-word college essay. You’ll discover lots of tips about writing a great college essay by visiting EssayHell.com, which is packed with tips from Janine Robinson, a professional writer.  For parents that have rising High Schoolers I personally recommend starting to collect all of the ideas and inspirations that will need to go into the essay.  Create a folder (Red) entitled Inspiration for Essay.

2/ Keep track of due dates

There isn’t a lot of flexibility on College deadlines.  Setup a calendar dedicated to these deadlines.  A paper calendar is easy enough to setup and place somewhere that you will see it everyday.  You can also use Google Calendars as well.  It is easy to create the calendar and will show on your master calendar color coded which is one of my favorites.

3/ Check college prices

College sticker prices are meaningless for two-thirds of college students because they receive grants and scholarships. To obtain a personalized price for what a school will cost your family, use each school’s net price calculator, which is located on each institution’s website.  Start now to have discussions on financial ability for in state vs. out of state tuition.  Discuss the importance of which school and the impact that the degree will have on their occupation.

4/ Have a money talk

Now is the time after figuring out costs to have the discussion as a family to see how much will be contributed by the parents and how much will have to come from Grants, Scholarships and yes Student Loans.

5/ Share the love

If a college relies on holistic admission reviews, you’ll want the school to know how much you love it. An excellent way to do this is to contact a school’s admission representative for your region by email and let him or her know of your interest in the institution.  This communication has to come from the Student and not the Parents.  Schools get concerned if the correspondence comes from Mom and Dad over concern of “helicopter parents”.

6/ Practice for the ACT or SAT

This will be the last chance to boost your standardized test scores. The remaining dates for the SAT this year are Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and Dec. 7. The final 2013 dates for the ACT are Sept. 8, Oct. 27 and Dec. 8.

7/ Visit colleges

It’s better to visit colleges before applying because it will save you the trouble of turning in an application if a school is a turnoff. If you can’t visit, look for a virtual tour on a school’s website and have the college arrange for you to talk to current students. Also spend time researching on a school’s website.

8/ Get started on your application

The Common Application for the  admission season, which many selective, private colleges and universities use, will be available beginning Aug. 1. You’ll feel relieved if you can finish the application before your senior year starts.  It will allow you time to close any gaps in data and information as well instead of trying to get information at the last minute.

9/ If you are a recruited athlete…

If you hope to compete in NCAA Division I or Division II athletics, you must complete the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse form. Athletes will also have to submit their transcripts and test scores to the NCAA.  You can visit the NCSA website to gain a checklist of all things that need to be done.

10/ Narrow your college list

This is the perfect time to continue researching schools. Spend time on a school’s academic and admission office Web pages. Try to whittle your potential schools down to a dozen or so.

I hope you find these points to be of help as you move forward.   Please follow us on iteam212.wordpress.com for upcoming videos and podcasts for High Schoolers on issues similar to this.

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