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Senior Year Planning Process

August/September

  • You may register for the fall SAT I/II and ACT testing dates at any time prior to the deadlines. Registering online is quick and efficient.
  • Attend your scheduled appointment with your college counselor to refine your college list.
  • Research and READ applications and financial aid forms from colleges; understand what you will be asked to supply on these applications. Investigate your college choices on the Internet. Most schools recommend applying online, but you may download applications from their websites.
  • Have a serious conversation with your parents about your plans for the fall of 2014. Include a discussion about how you and your family will finance your college education.
  • If money is a concern, begin searching for ways to finance your college experience.
  • Meet with college representatives as they visit Christian Heritage School to answer your final questions. Check the visit schedule daily to see what colleges have been added; we are getting lots of calls.
  • Use your time wisely to visit a college or university that interests you.
  • Be sure to give your teachers at least 2 weeks notice for their recommendation letters.
  • If you have not already done so, contact the teachers that know you well to ask for letters of recommendation. Have a conversation with them about your interests and about the schools you are choosing. Some schools do not require recommendations,: some require one, some require two. Read your applications carefully – some colleges will require teacher recommendations from specific disciplines. You may be able to use the same teachers for all your recommendations.

Attend the college counseling meetings or programs this month:

  • PROBE College fair and talk with college reps at schools of interest. ( date TBA)
  • Senior College Night (date TBA) to learn about the application process.

October

  •  Take the SAT or ACT this month.
  • If possible, visit college campuses – Fall Break is a great time for visits.
  • Work on your applications. Remember, getting them done early relieves you, your parents, and your counselors. Last minute efforts look like last minute efforts.
  • If you are applying under an early decision or early action option, deadlines might be this month (for example, October 15 for UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, UGA, USC). As a reminder, you must submit transcript requests at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.
  • Set up an organizational system to keep your application information and documents in on or two easily accessible places. A flash drive for electronic documents and a three-ring binder or folder for hard copy documents (i.e. test scores, school transcript, etc…) allows you to have everything you need at your fingertips when completing applications online. Make sure that you know all deadlines, requirements, and details that relate to each college that is on your list.
  • Meet with Mrs. Poag as needed. Communication is the key to making this process run smoothly for everyone.
  • Continue working on applications, essays and finalizing details with Mrs. Poag during Senior Advisory Period

November

  • Most schools with early decision or early action options have deadlines this month. Make sure you have requested all necessary recommendations and documents at least two weeks in advance of the deadline.
  • People who applied early (as in October) to colleges with rolling admission plans may get answers to their applications.
  • Continue to be nice to your parents. Even though they may not show it, they are thinking about what life will be like when you are in college.
  • Ask your college counselor and your English teacher to read your application essays and give you feedback on the tone and mechanics of your writing.
  • Finalize your applications. Keep a copy of each application you submit either electronically or in hard copy.
  • Keep in touch with your college counselor. He or she will sleep better at night if they know that your plans are “on target” and realistic.
  • Continue working on applications, essays and finalizing details with Mrs. Poag during Senior Advisory Period

December

  •  Attend the Financial Aid Night presented by our GaCollege411 area rep. Parents – should attend and encourage their senior to come hear about paying for college, borrowing for college, FAFSA, etc.! It will be very eye-opening for them!
  • All requests to your college counselor for transcripts needed for early January deadlines must be made by Friday, December 14.
  • Finish your semester as you entered it – enthusiastically and conscientiously.
  • Have a restful, joyous holiday season. You and your family will be able to relax if you have completed all your college applications. Working well ahead of stated deadlines will help to create a more successful senior year.

January

  • You are now a second semester senior!
  • Keep your work at a good level. All college acceptances are “contingent upon successful completion of your secondary school work.”
  •  Attend our “FAFSA Night” – presented by a Financial Aid counselor at Dalton State.
  • Finalize your financial aid applications and forms. The FAFSA should be submitted as close to January 31 as possible. Check individual colleges for their final financial aid deadline. Go online to www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Enjoy your family and friends. Your applications are in the hands of caring people at the colleges you selected. Your first semester grades will automatically be mailed to all colleges on your list by the middle of January.
  • Make copies of your acceptance letters and scholarship awards and bring them to your college counselor. Keep Mrs. Poag in the loop about the responses you are getting from colleges.

 Attend the college counseling meetings or programs this month:

  • Christian Heritage Alumni return to talk with students – Date TBA

February/March

  • Although college news will begin to trickle in, this can be a difficult and anxious time. While several students will have been accepted in the past few months, most are still in limbo about where they are going. Hang in there. You are not alone.
  • Remember that “contingency” mentioned above in bullet two in January and keep your work at a solid level.
  • This can be a good time to visit college campuses if you are still trying to decide among the top choices of colleges that have accepted you. Some colleges will have special “decision days” for seniors. Check the college websites.
  • Talk to Mrs. Poag about your choices and decisions. She can be a sounding board for you as you consider your options.

Remind your parents to attend the College Counseling Program this month:

  •  March 6: Transitioning Your Child to College (parents only)

 April

  • All colleges and universities strive to mail or post decision letters by April 15. Bring copies of letters received from colleges and scholarship organizations to Mrs. Poag.
  • Now that you have heard from all of your colleges, if you are having a difficult time making a final decision, make plans to visit your top two choices. Ask the admission office to arrange an overnight for you with a student. If it would be helpful to speak to students, a professor, an academic advisor, or a coach, ask the admission office for help in arranging appointments with the people who can help you make a decision.
  • Take care of yourself, your friends, and your parents. Separation anxiety can hit big time around now.

May

  • May 1 is the National Decision Day. If you have not already done so today, you confirm where you will be in the fall of 2014. Congratulations!
  • Let your college counselor know about your final college choice. Share with them all the college and scholarship decisions you received. Colleges and scholarship agencies do not communicate their decisions to your counselors.
  • Stay focused. Exams are right around the corner. End your high school career on a high note.

Important dates this month:

  •  May 6-15: AP Exams; Senior Exams for Non-AP Courses (Date/Time TBA)
  • May 16: Yearbook distribution
  • May 23: Senior cap and gown pictures; Senior Lunch; Graduation rehearsal
  • May 23: Senior Night (a grand celebration just for the Class of 2013 and their families and guests)(6:30 p.m.)
  •  May 24, 2013: Happy Graduation! (Christian Heritage Lawn, 9:00 a.m.)(Rain location: Boswell Gym)