How to Be Prepared for College Your Senior Year
By: Shelby Schultz

What you Need:

-An ACT PREP guide
-Application forms for the colleges of your choice (may be online)
-FAFSA application
-patients is necessary to survive the college application process
-a planner, to organize yourself and keep up with due dates
-computer (for online applications)
-pen/pencil (for hardcopy applications and essays)
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Senior year is a very important time of a young adult’s life. It is where they make serious decisions on their career path and choice of college. This should also be a time for fun and friends. The combination of these two things makes senior year a little stressful.

Step 1- During your junior year, it would be really helpful to start thinking about where you would like to go to college. Some people choose to stay close to home while others choose to go further away. Also during your junior year, you may want to begin thinking about what kind of career you will want to go into.

Step 2- I recommend that you take the ACT it least once before your senior year, this will make your last year of high school a lot easier. It will also give you plenty of time to retake the ACT, if you need to.

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Step 3- Your next step would be to start visiting the colleges that you have in mind. Most people begin doing this in the fall of their senior year. When you prepare for a college visit, you want to make sure you have some questions ready to ask the tour guide at the college. Also, it may be helpful to meet with the director of the department that may coincide with your career path.
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Step 4- The next thing that you should do is start narrowing down the colleges of your choice. It may be helpful to weigh the pros and cons of each college. Then, start filling out the applications for those colleges. Applications take a long time, so it is smarter to start filling these out early. Most applications have a priority deadline before near December.
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Step 5- Most high schools award scholarships to the graduates. Some of the scholarships start showing up before December. It is a good idea to start checking for the latest scholarships that are out, because they all have due dates. January is usually the month when the most scholarships are out. To do so, you must go to the counselor's center and pick up the applications you choose to fill out.

Step 6- One of the final steps to prepare yourself for college is to fill out the FAFSA. It helps students receive financial aid. FAFSA applications are due March 1. At the same time that you are filling out the FAFSA, you will begin getting your acceptance or rejection letters from the colleges you applied to.
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Step 7- Choose the college that you are going to attend, but be sure to put a tremendous amount of thought into the college you choose. Transferring colleges can be very expensive.

Step 8- Once you have chosen the college that you will attend, enjoy the rest of your senior year. Have fun, and spend plenty of time with your friends. The year will fly by!

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