Seniors of 2018 !
Your final year of high school just began! You will all begin those final steps towards graduation!!! I look forward to working with you this year – and I want you all to know that I have the highest hopes for ALL of you!!!
My hope is that you will continue to focus some preparation time for that next big step in life – COLLEGE. There is no better time than now to begin your college search.
Depending on if you want to go out of state or stay in sunny Florida, here are just a few things you should look for in weeding out the number of choices available to you.
1. LOCATION: how about snow – big cities – rural farmland – beaches – mountains – staying close to home – getting as far away as possible – different people – different cultures – plenty of activities or plenty of study time – fading into the crowd or standing out with the few – close personal attention or being left to sink or swim. Each college or university has their own personality. By doing your own investigation, you may find out what college environment best suits YOU. YOUR own personal success is often determined by how comfortable and happy you are in your new environment.
2. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: know your deadline dates !!!!! know if either early action or early decision are offered – letters of recommendation and essays – know what their mid-range GPA and SAT/ACT scores are – determine if you match the qualifications a college is looking for and your chances of getting accepted!!
3. COSTS: get an idea of what tuition, room/board, books etc will cost you and your family. This is a great time to learn about financial aid and how it works —— most importantly, talk this over with your parents, know what they can afford then do some soul searching to determine what you will have to do to make up any shortages. Investigate what you may qualify for in financial aid. Check out what institutional aid is available – know what GPA and SAT/ACT scores are required to qualify for an institutional scholarship. All institutions are different and many offer great awards to worthy students. NOW is the time to do your research – if your SAT or GPA is a few points off the mark, NOW is the time to plan to take the first ACT offered in September, or the first SAT offered in October. – PLAN out your strategy prior to the date that your COLLEGE APPLICATION is due.
Remember this is so true: “YOU WILL END UP GOING TO THE COLLEGE THAT YOUR PARENTS CAN MOST AFFORD” Sadly this was so very true for 2017. Learn as much as you can about available scholarships that your college offers and read up on the financial aid process. THIS IS SO VERY IMPORTANT!!!
4. ACADEMICS: This should be simple – right!!!!! Always allow yourself some flexibility. Just know that most small or liberal arts colleges may offer a limited number of programs and majors. That’s fine if you are sure you know what you want to study. Not so good if you want to study Physical Therapy and they don’t offer it!!! Universities (universal) usually offer a wide variety of programs and majors. If you are like most college students, you may end up changing your major several times. Universities may offer the flexibility that a fickle mind needs.
5. VISITS: When you have developed a list of colleges, please plan a visit your colleges. Call ahead to arrange a tour. Pay attention to the atmosphere of the college as well as the students who attend there. Visit a class if possible; ask about institutional scholarships as well as financial aid. Most importantly, get a feel as to how you as a person will fit into the college culture and if it will meet your scholastic as well as career goals. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!! If visiting your college selections is too costly, please then consider applying to these colleges and then visit them in the spring. By that time you would have been accepted and in some cases you would have already received your financial and scholarship packages.
TESTING: By now, I hope that all of you have finished taking the SAT/ACT and have your score?!? If you need to test in September (ACT) or October (SAT) please check your registration dates. (See the attached testing schedule – print it and keep it!)