It's time to begin planning and exploring options for senior year and beyond. Use the following steps to make the coming months productive and the college application process manageable.
A final list may be narrowed in the fall, but for now, have some fun exploring colleges that might be the best fit using the College Board Big Future tool. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/
REQUEST LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
A letter of recommendation is a very important piece of the college application. Many colleges and scholarships require a letter from a teacher and a counselor, so let's start there. If you use the Common Application, your counselor will need to complete a recommendation. Be sure to give them 10 school days to complete it. There is a document, the Student Data Form, assigned in the senior Google classroom you'll need to complete to assist them. *Check with specific colleges for the required number of teacher recommendations.
Senior counselors are here for you!
SENIOR COUNSELORS: Contact your counselor, find resources and more on the Counselors' Corner https://sites.google.com/jefferson.kyschools.us/athertoncounselorscorner/home.
The application for admission to the college/university of your choice may be found on a college website. Many schools also use online platforms including The Common Application, a tool that allows students to apply to multiple colleges using one application format. The 2021 Common Application https://www.commonapp.org/ opened on August 1st. If your selected college is a member of the Common Application, you will need to complete an essay using one of the 2021 prompts. The 2021 essay prompts may be found here: https://appsupport.commonapp.org/applicantsupport/s/article/What-are-the-2020-2021-Common-Application-essay-prompts
If you're interested in applying to Historically Black Colleges and Universities be sure to visit the Common Black College Application https://commonblackcollegeapp.com/ One $20 application fee allows an application to be submitted to all 56 member institutions. https://commonblackcollegeapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/poster_flyer2.jpg
If a specific college/university is not listed on the Common Application or CBCA, visit that school's admissions web page to see if an essay is required. If you plan to apply for a university honors program and/or institutional scholarships, check for essay requirements related to those, as well.
Senior Seminar is the annual event where detailed steps in the college application process are discussed. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the original in-person senior seminar sessions have been cancelled. Instead, Class of 2021 seniors and parents will receive a senior seminar video. The video will be sent to all senior households virtually.
LEARN HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
In order to apply for financial aid, a family must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The window to apply opens on October 1st. To help families prepare, a virtual FAFSA workshop will be held in the coming weeks. More info will be sent soon. In the meantime, families may estimate aid prior to October 1 at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/estimate. Families are also strongly encouraged to visit the KHEAA.com website. https://www.kheaa.com/website/kheaa/home
Visit the senior Google classroom to find multiple scholarship search engines and to review scholarship opportunities as they are announced.
REVIEW ADDITIONAL COLLEGE APPLICATION RESOURCES
The following resources contain excellent, detailed information about the various steps in the application process.
UTILIZE A COLLEGE ADMISSIONS GUIDE
Fair Opportunity Project is an online comprehensive college admissions guide. It's completely FREE and is available in multiple languages. It's also shareable. https://www.fairopportunityproject.org/
USE FINANCIAL CALCULATORS
The Net Price Calculator is a tool that students may use to estimate the cost of attendance at any college/university. The NPC tool and other college cost calculators may be found here: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/tools-calculators#.
CHECK ADVANCED PLACEMENT CREDIT
Did you take AP exams? As you narrow your college list, be sure to cross reference the college's AP credit policy with the general education requirements for the schools where you want to apply. Find college AP policies here: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies. Find general education requirements by visiting each individual college/university website and typing "general education requirements" in the search tool.
Do you love data? Do you want to dig deeper into admission and numbers? If so, these links are for you: www.college-kickstart.com * www.collegedata.com * www.collegeraptor.com * https://nced.ed.gov/ipeds/
LIVE FOR TODAY...PLAN FOR TOMORROW
Class of 2021, your counselors are so incredibly excited to work with you during senior year! We are here to help and no question is too big or small. See you soon!