Planning for College

  • Want a quick overview of various colleges in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Nebraska & Illinois?? Click here 

  •  

  • Senior Year Calendar/Checklist

    September/ October:

    ____ Request college information from selected schools by visiting their website

    ____ Sign up for remind in order to stay up to date on important senior events (college recruiter visits, scholarship deadlines, college/career events). See Remind instruction sheet.

    ____ Continue school, community and volunteer activities

    ____ Investigate scholarship opportunities –check Counseling Center website (Scholarship Tab), college websites, employers, and community organizations

    ____ Type an activity list (see example in this book) and update throughout the school year

    ____ Pay your $2 transcript fee and turn in your transcript release form to Mrs. Chambers.

    ____ Register to take ACT www.actstudent.org or SAT www.collegeboard.com. Deadline for the October 28th  test is September 22nd. Most seniors should take this test! 

    ____ Attend the Financial Aid/Scholarship Night at SHS (September 20)

    ____ Attend the College Fair at MWSU

    ____ Complete admission applications for selective colleges

    ____ Meet with College Recruiters when they are at SHS during lunchroom visits.

    ____ Arrange college campus visits. Look at the district calendar PD Days and arrange your visits then!

    ____ Add to your resume by volunteering around the community

    ____ Request letters of recommendations-Get at least 3(Give the person at least 2 weeks notice)

    ____ Athletes register for the NCAA – www.eligibilitycenter.org  

    ____ Apply for financial aid www.fafsa.ed.gov (Opens October 1)

    ____ Apply for admissions to the colleges of your choice – Nov. 1 & Dec. 1 are deadlines for many colleges. Check your college’s website for specific deadline. Make sure when you apply online that you do not use your Savannah school district email as you will no longer have access to this after graduation.

     

    November/ December:

    ____ Meet with your counselor to discuss any questions about your post-secondary options

    ____ Continue applying to colleges. Remember you should always have a Plan A, Plan B, and a Plan C. It is best to apply and have options available later on. Remember you do not have to decide right now where you are going.

    ____ Complete scholarship applications– check for updates on the Counseling Center’s Scholarship site

    ____ Register to take the December 9th ACT (deadline is: November 3rd)

    ____ Continue scheduling campus visits. 

    ____ Meet with College Recruiters when they are at SHS during lunchroom visits.

    ____ Check your email as this is how colleges communicate about various deadlines.

     

    January/ February:

    ____ Complete scholarship applications (Note: MANY local and college scholarships are due in February/March)

    ____ Register to take ACT or SAT. ACT test date is February 10th is January 12th.  

    ____ Meet with College Recruiters when they are at SHS during lunchroom visit.

    ­­­____ Check your email. 

     

    March/ April/ May:

    ____ Complete scholarship applications (Note:  MANY local and college scholarships are due in March/April)

    ____ Take a follow up visit to the colleges that you are interested in to help make your final decision. Spring Break and PD days would be great times to visit.

    ____ Fill out the distinguished honors application. Applications will be available in March. You must turn in an application to receive the honor.

    ____ Fill out the Scholarship Report on the counseling center website. It will be made available at the beginning of April. You must fill this out as part of your senior exit.

    ____ Register to take ACT or SAT. ACT test is April 14th is March 9th.

    ­­­____ Check your email as this is how colleges communicate about important info like your financial aid package.

    _____ Review and return financial aid award letter to school of choice. You will probably find this info on your college online account. You will want to accept all grants and scholarship given to you because these are all free money. Talk to your parent and the financial aid office about loans that you are awarded. Remember loans have to be paid back so only take what you need.

    ____ Secure housing arrangements for next fall. Be sure to check out the rooms that are freshman interest groups. This allows you to be paired with students who have a similar major as you “study groups”.

    ____ Notify colleges to which you have been admitted, but decided not to attend

    ____ Double check that you have everything turned into Mrs. Ross for A+. This needs to be done before May 1st.

    ____ Students receiving local scholarships or A+ will receive an invitation for Honor’s Night on May 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

    ____ Complete summer orientation registration at your selected school

    ____ Turn in your Post-Graduate Sheet to Cindy Chambers to Mrs. Chambers. You will receive this a couple weeks before school is out. This is how you request final transcripts from the Counseling Center.

      

    June:

    ____ Follow up with your college financial aid office to ensure they have all paperwork and forms needed.

    ____ Attend summer orientation.

    ____ Send thank you notes to all who wrote letters of rec, helped you with college applications, or organizations

    who gave you a scholarship.

    ____ Make sure all of the scholarships that you have received have the correct college listed for you.

    ____ Make a list of all of your scholarships that are renewable and put the renewal dates in your calendar for next year. Some scholarship organization do not contact you to renew it and it is up to you to remember to submit the necessary documentation in order to renew. Some even require you to fill out another application to renew it. Keep in contact with the organization.

    ____ At the end of June (early July), forward your AP scores or college transcripts (for dual credit courses) to your institution. Contact College for AP scores, and Missouri Western for dual credit courses. This information is NOT included on your high school transcript. You have to contact these places to make the requests.

    ____ Get a list of recommended items to pack for your residence hall so you are ready for “Move-In Day” (TV, towels, computer, laundry soap, quarters, sheets, blankets, and more).

     

     

  • How To Apply to College

  • 1)Fill out the application online. Most colleges have a place to apply on their homepage.

  • 2) Send your transcript to the college. Requests should be made through Mrs. Chambers in the Counseling Center. You must have an inclusive transcript release form turned in as well as paid the $2 fee.

  • 3) Send your ACT scores to the college. Some colleges will take your scores off your transcript; however, there are some (MIZZOU) who require that you send scores directly from ACT. Contact your college admissions office to check.

  • 4) Turn in all other necessary documentation (essays, activities list, recommendation letters, secondary school report, etc.)

  • What Are Colleges Looking For

  • -A rigorous course schedule.  While high school grades and ACT/SAT scores are important, a college also wants to see that you have selected challenging courses that will help you grow academically.  Don’t take courses that will simply boost your G.P.A. – challenge yourself.

  • Recommended High School Curriculum for College

  • English……………… 4 Units

  • Mathematics………...4 Units

  • Science…………….....4 Units

  • Social Studies………..3 Units

  • Many colleges also require additional courses in:

  • -Foreign Language

  • -Fine Arts & Performing Arts

  • -Accelerated, AP, Dual Credit

  • -Genuine interest in the school.  Make concrete connections between what you want out of your education and what that college or university has to offer.

  • -An interest in learning.  Put less emphasis on what you want to do when you graduate and more on what you would like to learn while you are a college student.

  • -Willingness to lead.  Colleges want students who will enhance their campus community in some special way.  Many times, your abilities are best reflected in carefully chosen extracurricular, community and volunteer activities.

  • -Use Common Application when appropriate.  The common application is used at over 500 colleges and universities.  It is only available online at www.commonapp.org. Once completed, applications can be sent to any participating school.  Be sure to follow up with other documents that the college you are applying to may require.

  •  

  • What is Early Decision/Early Action

  • These options allow students to submit their applications early to selective institutions, usually in November, and find out if they’ve been accepted in December.  Colleges’ policies vary, so read each school’s guidelines carefully.

  • Early Decision is a binding agreement stating that you will attend the college or university, which accepts you, provided that school offers a reasonable financial aid package.  If accepted, you must withdraw any admissions applications sent to other schools.

  • Early Action is not binding.  It allows you to apply early in the fall and receive a response by the middle of December.  Early action gives you the opportunity to compare admissions and financial aid offers without committing to one school.

  • *Early Decision/Early Action is most effective if you have a very strong interest in a school and you can compete academically with other Early Action applicants.

    • Selecting A College

    •  

    • September:

      • Find a school that is right for you.  College websites, campus visits, questionnaires and college fairs can be helpful. Missouri Western will host a college fair on Oct. 11. Use this checklist of where to go and what to ask on your campus visist!

      • Talk to your parents/guardian about college admission and cost.  Determine how much you can afford and if you meet college admission requirements.

      • Request letters of recommendation from teachers, community leaders, and employers (adults who know you well).  Provide them with all the necessary information (like an activities list) and materials well in advance.

      • Arrange college campus visits. Make sure you bring a letter from the college showing that you visited and give it to the attendance secretary. College visits are not excused; however, you will be allowed to make up your schoolwork.

    • October:

      • Get your applications in order by creating files for your target schools. Make a list of application requirements and deadlines.

      • Begin applying for financial aid. The FAFSA opens up October 1 and can be filled out using your 2015 tax information. fafsa.ed.gov

      • Start applying for scholarships.  Check the SHS Counseling Center website, private organizations and the Internet.

    • November:

      • If you’re applying through Early Action or Early Decision, get your application in this month.

      • Complete applications accurately and neatly. Online applications can be more efficient.

      • Know deadlines and prepare for application fees. Many colleges (like Mizzou) have a December 1 deadline.

    • December:

      • Continue working on those college applications! Many applications are due in December or early January.  Don’t procrastinate.

      • Transcripts will need to be sent once applications have been submitted. Transcripts can be requested through Cindy Chambers, Counseling Center registrar.

    • January:

      • Follow up on submitted applications; occasionally mistakes can be made.

      • Check on housing information.

    • March/April:

      • Check the mail for admissions letters and financial aid awards.

      • Compare your admissions offers and financial packages.

      • Time for a decision!  Many schools ask that you choose your school by May 1.

      • Many deadlines for local scholarships are due during these months.

    • May:

      • Don’t forget to notify schools if you have decided not to attend.

      • Double-check any final deadlines for housing, financial aid, summer registration programs, etc.

      • Have your final transcripts sent to the college of your choice.