- Check End of Course and TSI requirements. (TSI given daily at Hill College for a charge of $39.00)
- Register for SAT I and ACT if necessary.
- Complete senior resume.
- Narrow your college choices and download applications for admission, housing, scholarships and financial aid.
- Attend Financial Aid Night.
- Make a list of pros and cons of colleges you are considering.
- Athletes should register with NCAA Clearinghouse.
- Complete college application essays and keep a copy.
- Finish making college visits.
- Give recommendation forms to those writing recommendations for you (include resume-give those writing your recommendations at least 2 weeks advance notice)
- Decide on Early Decision or Early Action.
- Complete and send college applications and fees.
- Continue working on scholarships.
- November 1 – Deadline for most early decision applicants.
- Send additional ACT/SAT score reports for colleges if needed.
- Begin gathering family income information for tax preparation and completion of financial aid forms.
- Be sure you have compiled all family financial information for completion of FAFSA. FAFSA worksheets are available from the counseling office.
- Give those writing your recommendations at least 2 weeks advance notice.
- File FAFSA forms as quickly as possible.
- Register for any testing which has not been completed (TSI, ACT, SAT I, ).
- Continue checking the counseling website and in the counseling office for available scholarships.
- Register for any testing which has not been completed (TSI, ACT, SAT I, SAT II).
- Contnue filling out scholarship forms.
- Keep Grades Up!
- Return FAFSA Student Aid Reports or corrected information as soon as possible.
- Contact the Financial Aid Office of the college you plan to attend.
- April 15 – Notices of acceptance or rejection from colleges usually arrive by April 15.
- Respond promptly – in writing – for action on admissions, scholarship and financial aid applications.
- Check the College/Scholarship information on the counseling website and in the counseling office.
- May 1 – Inform colleges (in writing) whether you will or will not attend.
- Apply for current scholarships.
- Fill out a final transcript request for one to be sent to the college/university you will attend.
Tips for Applications
- Admission requirements are becoming more and more competitive. Very often meeting “minimum” college requirements is not enough.
- Do not abbreviate on applications unless you are sure that a stranger can understand them.
- Check for on-line applications. Neater and easier.
- Neatness counts – type or print in black ink.
- Make all deadlines – even if you qualify for automatic admission, you must jump through all the hoops!
Letters of Recommendations
- If a college does not request a recommendation letter they do not want a letter.
- Give teachers/counselor/principal at least 2 weeks advance notice if you will be asking them to write a recommendation.
- Give them a copy of your resume when you ask for a letter of recommendation so they may be more specific. Forms are available from the counseling office.
- Take the PSAT in October.
- Attend Financial Aid Night.
- Review PSAT results.
- Work to imporve your GPA.
- Prepare for the SAT/ACT.
- Continue extra curricular involvement.
- Register for the ACT and or SAT I for the Spring Administration.
- Investigate several colleges and universities.
- Research career choices.
- Research post secondary education choices.
- Stay involved in extracurricular activities.
- Consider whom you will ask to write your recommendation letters.
- Keep grades up!
- Visit colleges/universities over spring break.
- Start researching scholarships.
Summer Before Your Senior Year
- Athletes interested in playing Division 1 or 2 sports – register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
- Visit campuses of your top choices.
- Talk to people you know who attend these colleges.
- Volunteer in your community.
- Continue to research scholarship opportunities.
Awards and/or Scholarships
AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Amount: 6 – $500 scholarships available
Deadline: see details at above web address
Return to: see details at website
Eligibility: Current high school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students who understand the importance of emergency preparedness, you may qualify for this scholarship.
Scholarships for students not scouted by schools that want to try out.
Deadline: see details at website
Eligibility: any high school student
Scholarships listed by type of Major or General Subject
The CKSF awards scholarships to students through internet-based quiz competions. There is no essay writing or long applications to complete. Students receive scholarship awards based on common knowledge and basic education curricula. Open to every high school student in the United States, this is a monthly online quiz tournament.
Amount: See website.
Deadline: See website
Return to: apply online
Eligibility: high school student 9 – 12.
Amount: see website
Deadline: see website
Whether you’re interested in Business, Nursing, Art, Engineering, Criminal Justice, Technology or another field, we can help you experience the benefits of an education!
EECU will award six $5,000 scholarships to students pursuing a four-year degree in higher education. The scholarship applicant, parent or their legal guardian must be an EECU member.
The Texas Farm Bureau scholarships are only for students who are, or whose parents are, Farm Bureau members.
Scholarships offered by the US Military Branches while serving your country.
Requirements — see website.
Deadline: October through February each year
Return to: see website for details
Eligibility: high school seniors who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and initiative (started own business, or participates in organization such as DECA, FBLA, Junior Achievement, etc).
Amount: 1- $500.00 award
Deadline. July 31 of each year
Eligibility: OP Loftbed is giving back to the college community by offering a scholarship to US citizens. Essay topics vary from year to year.
Scholarships offered by many of the organized religious institutions.
For details see website
Eligibility: graduating high school students.
Amount: $10,000 scholarship
Deadline: see website
Eligibility: focused on harworking moms who want to complete their education, but don’t have the time, money or the support to meet their goal.
Deadling: see website
Return to: see website
Eligibility: high school seniors throughout Texas who exhibit leadership and good citizenship in academic, athletic and co-curricular activities, and who do so while demonstrating diversity by their extracurricular involvement and commitment.
For those who live in Texas, these scholarships are for you.
Various scholarships are available: see website for details
Tuition Funding Sources provides students with access to the world’s largest scholarship database along with college and career information Go to Tuition Funding Sources click on Login and register. Select state where you live and school that you attend. Enter you email address and create password.
Eligibility: Active commitment to volunteerism
Experience in local or student government.
Volunteer leadership achievements
Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs.
Advocating in Zonta International’s mission of advanceing the status of women worldwide.
Application on website.
College Admission Testing Program
COLLEGE ADMISSION TESTING PROGRAMS
Most colleges require that a specific test or tests be taken as a part of the admission process and requirement. Required scores are usually set in conjunction with class ranking. Admission tests commonly required and available at local testing sites are the following:
- SAT Reasoning Test – The SAT Reasoning Test is a 3 hour and 50 minute test, primarily multiple-choice, that measures verbal and mathematical reasoning ability. The test is made of eight types of questions in three sections: Critical Reading, Writing, and Math. The writing test includes a 50 minute essay to assess a student’s ability to develop and express ideas effectively. Also included in the test is a 25 minute section of experimental questions. SAT Reasoning scores range from 200 – 800 on each section, with a total maximum score of 2400. Students are encouraged to take a Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test called the PSAT/NMSQT. This test is available to freshmen, sophomores and juniors in October of each year. The results of the junior year PSAT automatically enter students in the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying competition. SAT information is available at College Board.
- SAT Subject Tests – The SAT Subject Tests are available in a number of subject areas. Each Subject Test is one hour in length. Up to three Subject Tests may be taken on a single test date. Since only a few colleges require or recommend Subject Tests, it is very important to check college catalogs for specific requirements.
- ACT Test – The ACT consists of test in four areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. A writing test is available as an optional component to the four subject area tests. Students are recommended to take the writing component as most colleges will require it. PLAN (a Pre-ACT) is available to interested sophomores during the spring of each year. ACT information is available at ACT Website.
As part of the TSI (Texas Success Initiative), all students are required to take an approved college placement test unless exempt by the criteria listed below. Students should check with the college/university to which they are applying to find out approved Placement Tests. Examples are THEA (Texas Higher education Assessment) and TSI.
Criteria for exemption from TSI: For students in class of 2015 and after.
Criteria for exemption from TSI: For students in class of 2015 and after.
1) Students with ACT composite score of 23 or higher, with individual Math and/or English scores of no less than 19. Scores are valid for five years after testing.
2) Students with SAT composite score of 1070 or higher, with a minimum score of 500 on Math and Reading. (Writing is not being considered at this point in time) Scores are valid for five years after testing.
3) Student must have graduated under the Recommended or Distinguished High School program and must meet Level III: Advanced Academic Performance on the STAAR Algebra I and English II assessments.
SAT Section by Section
Reading 65 minutes 52 questions
W&L 35 minutes 44 questions
Math (No calculator) 25 minutes 20 questions
Math (Calculator) 55 minutes 38 questions
Essay (optional) 50 minutes 1 essay
TOTAL with Essay 3:50 154 questions
ACT Section by Section
English 45 minutes 75 questions
Math 60 minutes 60 questions
Reading 35 minutes 40 questions
Science 35 minutes 40 questions
Writing 40 minutes 1 essay
Total with Writing 3:35 215 questions
FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA)
To complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) go to FAFSA website.
If you apply using FAFSA, you get online instructions for each question, and you can chat live online with a customer service representative. Another source of free help is our online guide, Completing the FAFSA. Keene HS will offer, in partnership with Hill College, a FAFSA workshop in November during the evening hours.
Whether you apply online or use the paper FAFSA, you can get free help by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at the telephone number listed below or by contacting the financial aid administrator at your college.
Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC)
Various websites do offer help filing the FAFSA for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with, or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. We urge you not to pay these sites for assistance that we provide for free.
When it comes to the matter of how to finance an education, the questions and answers are limitless. The best source of information; however, is a college financial aid officer, but scholarship files are maintained in the counseling office and Wanda R. Smith High School also sponsors a Financial Aid/Scholarship information session usually sometime in November each year.
Types of Financial Aid
Financial Aid is awarded from four primary sources: The Federal Government, the state government, the college or university itself, and private agencies. If you do qualify for financial aid, you will receive what is called a financial aid “package” from the college or university that has accepted you. It may contain a combination of:
- Grants or scholarships: These awards do not have to be repaid.
- Loans: These awards do have to be repaid, but usually not until you have graduated or left college. Some loans accrue interest while you are in college.
- Work study: This award involves earning money through a job, usually arranged for you by the college.
Applying for Aid
To get you started on the application process, there are two important financial aid forms available. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used for ALL colleges and universities, including junior colleges. The College Scholarship Service (CSS) is used for private colleges and universities. Almost every student wishing to apply for financial aid, whether in the form of scholarship, loan, or grant must fill out the FAFSA. This form can not be filled out before January 1 of the student’s senior year because it is based on the previous year tax information. Students planning to attend private school may need to fill out the CSS in addition to the FAFSA. There may be additional forms your college may want you to fill out. Check with the Financial Aid Office of your college or university for this information. Both the FAFSA an CSS Profile are available online. On these applications there is a question about the four didgit code of your chosen college(s). You can look these codes up at College Board.
High School Resume
IMPORTANCE OF A HIGH SCHOOL RESUME
Most high school students think a resume is not needed until one graduates from college and is in the process of finding employment. This is far from the truth! Because admission to college is so highly selective today due to the marked increase of students applying for the limited open slots, it is imperative that you find a way to stand apart from all of the other applicants. A high school resume can help do that for you! It is one of the most important marketing tools that you can use in selling yourself. Essentially your resume provides a snapshot picture of the “REAL” you: your interests, passions, achievements, and contributions BOTH in and out of the classroom.
Although the resume includes the same information that a college application asks for, it has several distinct advantages:
- Your resume will highlight your most significant achievements and experiences during your high school career and in doing so it may help you develop a thematic approach to your application. By reading through your resume, you may gain insight into what makes you so special and unique from other students. You can then work this theme of what makes you “you” throughout your application.
- The college application allows only limited space to relate your academic and extracurricular achievements. Your resume will give you the opportunity to elaborate on ALL of your significant involvement and achievements in activities both in the classroom and in the community and, most importantly, you will be able to describe the specific contributions you made in each endeavor.
- After you develop your resume, it is a “done” document so it will be easy for you to simply transfer this information to your college application without making an error or omitting any significant experiences or honors achieved.
- You can use your resume to help those who write your recommendations for you because it will remind them in specific detail your interests and the many accomplishments you have achieved during high school. It will also demonstrate to them your seriousness of purpose in the college application process and your good organizational skills.
- A well-done resume will enhance your application by providing a professional and organized appearance to your application package.
Your resume serves many purposes, but its main goal is to help you gain a competitive edge in the college application pool. Don’t be afraid to market yourself. Use your resume to shine!
Example of Resume
Jane A. Doe
222 Round About Circle
Keene, Texas 76059
Objectives: To obtain admission at (name of school) during the fall of 2019.
Education: Wanda R. Smith High School, Keene, Texas August 2005 to Present
JC Penney, Burleson, Tx.
Sales clerk in women’s wear.
Sales clerk in men’s wear.
Responsible for operating cash register.
Handled the end of day closing.
Organized outdoor events for children’s summer camp.
Worked in school concession during school events.
Volunteer in reading program for elementary students.
Worked as office assistant at Wanda R. Smith High School.
Student manager of basketball team.
Honors & Awards:
Math Award, 2008.
Beta Club, 2006 – 2008.
Outstanding Athlete, 2008.
Representative to Cleburne’s Youth in Government Day.
Journalism staff member.
Participated in UIL Creative Writing.
Member of Wanda R. Smith High School Choir.
Sing in church choir.
Proficient in (example-Microsoft Publisher, Power Point, etc).
Excellent writing skills (winner of ___essay contest).
Good communication skills – on UIL Debate Team.
Mechanical skills _____.
Carpentry skills _____.
References by request.
Information by College Basics
JUNIOR and SENIOR athletes interested in playing Division 1 or 2 sports need to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at Eligibility Center. Students should send their test scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center by entering the code “9999” as one of their free test-score recipients in the box provided when registering for the SAT or ACT. If you forget to use the “9999” code, you will need to contact the SAT or ACT directly to have the scores sent officially by the testing agency. The eligibility Center must receive official scores directly from the testing agency in order to certify your initial eligibility. All test scores are required to be sent.
BEWARE OF SCHOLARSHIP FRAUD
During the senior year, many “transitioning rituals” occur. Students have taken the SAT and ACT exams, they have applied for financial aid, and they have applied to colleges. By participating in many of these activities, students’ names are placed in legitimate databases used to assist them in obtaining information from post-high school institutions, scholarship organizations and other sources of financial aid. There have been great concerns over the increasing developments of commercial scholarship search groups. These groups, many times, require that parents and students pay for services that could have been obtained free of charge from high school counselors and post-high school financial aid administrators.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a watchdog group, lists claims that should raise red flags to parents and students:
- “The grant or scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.” No one can guarantee grants or scholarships without vital information on the student.
- “You can’t get this information anywhere else.” Scholarship search companies simply access databases that students can obtain on their own.
- “The scholarship will cost some money.” Experts warn that if you have to pay money to get money, it is probably a scam.
- “May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?” Never give out your credit card or bank account number.
- “We’ll do all the work.” Students must apply for legitimate scholarships or grants themselves.
- “You’ve been selected by a certain foundation to receive a scholarsip or grant,” or “You’re a finalist” in a scholarship contest you never entered. According to the FTC, a number of bogus search companies falsely claim they are foundations or nonprofit organizations to make their offer look legitimate. If you receive claims in the mail or by phone, investigate thoroughly before accepting.
Selective Service Registration
SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION
Upon turning 18, virtually all men must register with Selective Service. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s the law.
Those who fail to register can be denied many important opportunities like student loans, government jobs, citizenship for immigrants, and a driver’s license in most states.
There are 5 questions or requests for information needed to complete registration. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
You will need to provide the following:
Register with Selective Service.
Free ACT/SAT online tests to help prepare you for your testing day along with various tips and suggestions
Free test prep for the ACT or SAT
Free online SAT prep program
Free site designed to help students prepare for state assessment, college entrance, and to improve their math and English skills.