Senior year in high school is a daunting time – between visiting colleges, taking exams and writing essays, you’re also trying to keep up with your homework and extra curricular activities, not to mention wanting to spend every free moment with your friends before having to say an official goodbye in nine months. As you enter your senior year, it’s important to keep a few things in perspective. Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest scholarship administrator, shares the following tips:
Don’t slack off. You still have another year to get through before graduation, so keep on top of your homework and grades. Most colleges request an updated transcript after your first semester or after you graduate. Even if you’ve paid an enrollment deposit, colleges can still choose to take back your admission acceptance if your grades have slipped significantly.
Start the application process early. The sooner you finish those applications, the sooner you can get back to your regular routine. Most applications will require letters of recommendations. Give teachers at least a month to write the letter before applications are due. Don’t wait until the last minute to request your high school transcript either. It’s a busy time of year for counselors, so make sure you give them plenty of time to submit your transcripts so you don’t miss any deadlines.
Pay attention to the details. All college applications are different. Some have early-enrollment options; some require both SAT and ACT scores; and all will have different deadlines. It’s easy to miss something on an application, so have a parent or friend look over your applications before you submit them. Most importantly, fill out everything thoroughly, and don’t forget to include the fees.
Apply for as many scholarships as possible. Even if you aren’t at the top of your class, there are still scholarships out there for you. Zinch.com lets you create a profile and then matches you to scholarships that matter. Zinch also matches, dollar for dollar, every scholarship that you find, mark as applied, and win through Zinch.
Clean up your Facebook and MySpace pages. There’s a chance that a college admission person might come across you on a social networking site, or even seek your page out before accepting you to the college. Even if you think your Facebook or MySpace page is blocked to the outside world, if it’s on the Internet, ultimately someone can find it. Delete any incriminating photos or comments, and make sure your page represents you in a positive light.
Savor the moment. Carry a camera to snap photos of your final moments with friends – the last football game, the last homecoming dance, the last band concert. Buy a yearbook and have your friends sign it. Get involved in clubs or sports you haven’t tried yet. And most importantly, start to move on. The rest of your life is awaiting you.
This post has been written and published with permission of Scholarship America, a Zinch partner in bringing you the resources you need to succeed in finding and paying for the right college.