College Moves to Make When Prepping for Senior Year of High School
So, we have written our previous three articles covering Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years of high school and we’ve covered the essentials of how to prepare for college in the most efficient manner. Now it is time for Senior Year. Frankly, we aren’t always proud of what we tell our customers to do but we do have their best interests in mind (remember Sophomore year when we have you start gaming high school teachers and classes?). This article has another gem of advice – senior year doesn’t matter.
Right now, high school counselors are probably picking up their monitors and tossing them out the window in a fit of rage over a company coming out and saying this, but it’s true.
Senior year doesn’t matter. Why?
Your GPA is set, your body of work is pretty much done; this year is all about appearances and not falling off the train ride. Yes, colleges eventually get your first and second semester grades. Yes, there have been reports of acceptance being yanked for a sharp drop in grades but, like I said earlier, it’s about not falling off. If you go from A’s to F’s – you fell off. If you go from A’s to B’s – you’re fine. The reality is that it only matters when you are on the cusp and you are wait-listed. Frankly, your chances of getting in that situation is more dependent on what others do (students who were accepted and choose to attend elsewhere or not) than on anything you do.
So what do you do during your senior year?
If you are on the cusp for a particular university, it certainly isn’t going to hurt your chances to be able to write on your application that you are adding rigor to your senior classes. Outside of keeping your grades even-keeled, you should really focus on narrowing down your college list and beginning the application process. Some students may not have taken the SAT/ACT by now and are still preparing. That’s OK, it can still be done.
Where we really think you should spend some time is in figuring out your college major. The data is just horrendous and, when you look at our home page, it can scare the pants off you. At the end of the day, getting a degree AT THE RIGHT PRICE is all that matters. Knowing how to do this makes all the difference in the world of a kid coming home and sleeping on your couch after they graduate college or being a tax-paying and contributing member of the working world. So, for the first time, a student needs to spend quality time actually understanding what each degree is, does, makes and whether it is suitable for their personality. It is a tough task but there’s an entire site dedicated to this saga that you should definitely have your student read.
Finally, you’re going to have to fill out the FAFSA. While it’s gotten a little easier to complete over the years, it’s still the government and they’ve managed to find other ways to make it difficult. Our program goes over each line item explaining exactly what is being asked and how to fill out the most important questions properly to maximize your return. Some schools also require the CSS, which honestly makes more sense for a variety of reasons. We can certainly help you there too in our ASK EDU program, which as of writing this, comes with your purchase.
Getting back to not falling off the train, the spring semester is a time to follow up on your applications. They should be rolling in and may require some additional paperwork to be completed. Here’s what is going to happen:
- Follow up with student aid forms
- Compare the financial aid packages
- Take any final AP tests for college credit (big money saver)
- Complete enrollment paperwork
Ultimately, this year is all about execution. This has been the mantra throughout this entire article and we mean it. Hopefully, now you have some insight into the process as well as answers to some of the many questions that parents and high school students have throughout their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. Per usual, if you have additional questions – check out our program – it’ll be the best money you have ever spent.