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Class of 2018

Senior Timeline

August 01, 2017

Seniors: Here is a general timeline for those activities you should be doing throughout your final year in high school!  

 


PLANNING FOR COLLEGE DURING YOUR SENIOR YEAR:
 

August & September

  • Review your career plans and decide which college/university/career is the best for you. 
  • List your top college choices.
  • Request admissions information and school catalogs from the college admissions department.
  • Go on college visits.  See the school counselor for help in scheduling a visit.
  • Start brainstorming about ideas for your college essays.
  • Stay focused on maintaining or increasing your GPA.
  • Obtain registration materials and test dates for the ACT.
  • Compare costs of each school that interests you by contacting the colleges by phone, mail, or via their websites.
  • Visit Going2College for information about career, college, and financial aid resources in Missouri.
  • Mark your calendar with registration, admissions, and financial aid deadlines and fees.
  • Determine if the schools that interest you have online admission applications. If not, request them by mail now.
  • Create separate folders for each of the schools that interest you and keep the materials organized.
  • Begin writing drafts of your college essays.  (500-1000 words)
  • Start completing early admission college applications.
  • Meet with college representatives who visit GC high school.
  • Attend college planning and/or financial aid information nights and college fairs. 
    • College Fair:  September 26  @  Kirksville High School (Students will be taken by bus)
    • FAFSA Night at GC is November 2, 2017 @ 5:30pm
  • Ask employers, teachers, and guidance counselors for letters of recommendation to accompany your admissions applications.
  • Set up your FSA ID (and your parent will need one, too) and start gathering information so you can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1.

October

  • If you are retaking the ACT, try to get this done in the Fall.
  • Contact the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4FED-AID or 1-800-433-3243 for assistance completing the FAFSA and/or plan to attend FAFSA Night (free FAFSA advice) on November 2, 2017 @ 5:30 pm. 
  • Watch for the e-mail notice indicating your Student Aid Report (SAR) is ready.
  • Review your SAR for errors and make any corrections as indicated.
  • Visit your top school choices. If possible, make appointments with faculty, staff, and students. Seniors can miss 3 days of school to visit colleges of interest. See the school counselor for more information and in making appointments.
  • Contact the schools' financial aid offices to determine which forms they require. Some schools may require special forms.
  • Finalize portfolios, audition tapes, writing samples, or other evidence of talent if required for admission to the colleges you are interested in.

November 

  • Complete admissions applications by their deadlines.
  • If you have not already completed the FAFSA  plan on attending FAFSA Night!
    • FAFSA Night:   November 2, 2017 @ 5:30pm. 
    • If you plan on completing the FAFSA on this night you will need:
      • Tax returns for you and/or your parents. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool lets applicants ask the IRS to release tax information directly to the Department of Education (ED), which can help avoid the scramble to collect documents and cuts down on time spent manually entering the information.
      • FSA ID: The username and password needed to log in to and electronically sign the FAFSA. Make sure to keep this in a safe place, as you’ll need it every year you re-apply for financial aid.
      • Asset records for you and/or your parents. These include bank statements and investment records to show your current assets (or, if you’re still a dependent, your parents’ assets).
      • Social Security numbers (SSNs) for you and your parents, unless you are an independent student. 
      • Driver’s license or other eligible form of government ID
      • Federal school codes for the schools you will be applying to, available at fafsa.ed.gov.
  • If it has been a few weeks since you completed your FAFSA and you have not received your Student Aid Report (SAR), call 1-800-4-FED-AID. If you have received your SAR, review it for errors and make any corrections.
  • Request financial aid forms and applications. Double check the deadlines for submission  (every college sets their own deadlines. It is up to you to stay on top of college deadlines.
  • Complete applications for all scholarship you feel you are eligible.  
  • Follow up on letters of recommendation. (Make sure they have been or are sending them) Do not wait until you have to have a letter of rec. have these ready ahead of time.
  • Stay focused on maintaining and increasing your GPA.

December

  • Finalize admission applications.
  • Apply for other scholarships, grands or other financial aid resources.
  • Watch for early admissions notices.
  • Research deadlines at the college you plan to attend, such as for housing applications, school-specific financial aid applications and deadlines.
  • Develop a college application resume to highlight your activities, achievements, etc.
  • Organize scholarships, certificates, articles, etc. to illustrate your achievements and create a portfolio to display them.

January

  • It is now time to start looking for the LOCAL Scholarships!  Check in with the counselor as these start coming in daily and deadlines for these are close.
  • Do not let senioritis get a grip on you this semester, finish strong on your last semester of high school.  Colleges want to see you continuing to improves as this shows you are committed to learning beyond high school.  
  • This is the final month to make college visits!

February

  • Be mindful of deadlines. Always submit information on time.
  • Local Scholarships should start coming to the school counselor. Stay on top of these deadlines.  Local Scholarships are less competitive --- Apply for all you think you qualify for!
  • Rank your top school choices.

March  

  • Check with the financial aid offices to ensure your paperwork is complete. Submit tax forms if they request them.
  • Be on the lookout for acceptance letters.
  • Start looking for summer jobs.

April

  • Compare financial aid award letters.
  • Make your final school decision and mail deposits, as required.
  • Check with the school you've chosen about returning financial aid award letters.
  • Notify the schools you have chosen NOT to attend.
  • Plan for registration, orientation, and housing, and mark your calendar with important dates.
  • INFORM the school counselor what you have chosen!

May

  • Be aware of any summer orientation sessions that you must attend at the school in which you will enroll, and make plans accordingly.
  • Finalize your summer job plans, and make a plan for saving a portion of your summer earnings.
  • Follow up with your high school to ensure the counselor forwards your final school transcripts to the college.
  • Request college transcripts for any dual credit courses you took in high school, a copy for you and a copy for the college you plan to attend.
    • You must request dual credit transcripts to be sent from the college you attended for the dual credit course (NCMC,  TSU,  or  CMU).   The high school counselor cannot do this for you. 

 

Congratulations! You are ready to start college!!!

 

 

To apply to multiple colleges through ONE application, Visit The Common Application  Visit   http://www.commonapp.org/

 

There are many scholarships sponsored by companies, fraternal organizations, churches, and professional groups that may assist you in your education. Visit the scholarship link on the counselors tab. The local scholarships will be updated as they are receive. These are generally not sent out until February. 

Spend some time searching other potential funding options as well:

Sallie Mae: http://go.salliemae.com/scholarship/

College Scholarship Service: http://www.collegeboard.org

FastWeb: http://www.fastweb.com

FinAid: http://www.finaid.org

MO Dept. of Higher Education: http://www.dhe.mo.gov/

Nelnet Scholarship Search: http://www.neltnet.net/collegeplanning

Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis: http://www.sfstl.org

CampusRN Scholarship Fund: http://www.campusrn.com/

 

Other Helpful Sites to visit while making college choices:
www.MissouriConnections.com is a great website for college searching and information
http://collegesearch.mo.gov/ allows you to search for majors and corresponding colleges in Missouri
http://www.dhe.mo.gov/ Missouri Department of Higher Education - all things college!

 

 
 

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