BROOKESMITH HIGH SCHOOL
ü Continue to work diligently on your grades and stay involved in extra curricular activities.
ü Talk to your counselor, teachers, and parents about your future plans and college options.
ü Narrow down your college choices to your top 3 and decide which colleges that you are going to apply to. Research college websites or catalogs. Make sure you apply to at least 1 college that you feel will definitely accept you.
ü Make a calendar showing college testing dates and fees; registration deadlines; college application deadlines; and financial aid applications and deadlines.
ü College testing: If you have not taken the SAT or ACT College entrance exams and are planning on attending a four-year university, take the exams as soon as possible. Do not put these tests off……many scholarship committees look at your SAT/ACT scores. If you have already taken the ACT or SAT and are not satisfied with your score, take them again. The higher the score on these tests, the more scholarships you are likely to receive.
ü Resume: Your resume should include your full name, date of birth, address, telephone, email, high school attended, rank in class, GPA, and employment. Please include your social security number since this is how colleges track you. Please list EVERY activity you have been involved in (no matter how big or small) while in high school. The resume should include both school and community activities. It would be helpful to list the activities by school year (freshman through senior year). You may also list these under headings such as leadership, extra-curricular, academic, etc. Your resume should also include any honors, awards, or leadership roles.
ü Begin writing the “Personal Statement” essay. The personal statement essay should be a typed paper that describes you, future goals, etc. In your paper, you should “sell” yourself. The personal statement paper should include items such as the following:
-personal goals…plans for your future
-describe yourself (what qualities do you have?)
-achievements and awards (personal and academic)
-leadership roles and how these roles will benefit you in the future
-setbacks or hardships (what you learned from these)
-rewarding experiences you have had and what you learned from those
-anything else you would like to include that would make you unique or
set you apart from others.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER:
ü Begin applying for scholarships. Start NOW! This will be a year-long process….the earlier you begin, the more money you are likely to receive. Many scholarships are available online. Begin researching online scholarships and applying for the scholarships that you qualify for. Local scholarships will be announced and posted. Include your parents or other relatives to help in searching for scholarships. Many of those are job, insurance company, sorority, or military experience related. Each university has its own scholarship application and deadlines. www.fastweb.com is a great website to start this process.
ü Begin applying to colleges. Every Texas public 4-year university uses the “Texas Common Application” for admission. Students may fill out one application, either on paper or electronically, and apply to as many universities as they wish. (A student will have to pay the application fee charged by each university) It is strongly encouraged that the application be filled out online so that changes can easily be made. The Texas Common Application can be found at: www.applytexas.org.
ü Letters of Recommendation. Most scholarships and colleges require you to send in letters of recommendation from people who know you well. Teachers will need at least two weeks to write a letter of recommendation for you. You will need to type a short letter requesting a letter of recommendation from the people who know you best. The short letter should include who you will be sending the letter to, the date you need the letter, and any other pertinent information.
ü Financial Aid may come in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, work-study programs, etc. We will be offering a financial aid workshop…be watching for that important date and encourage your parents to attend.
JANUARY – MAY:
ü Continue to apply for local, state, and national scholarships.
ü Take the ACT or SAT if you haven’t already done so………or continue taking the ACT/SAT to improve your score.
ü Continue narrowing down your choices of education after high school…..look into all options with 2 year colleges, 4 year colleges, private universities, trade or vocational schools. Begin the application process as soon as possible.
ü Complete and submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Access the FAFSA application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to keep a copy of your application.
ü Continue to send in scholarship applications…..look for local scholarship applications to become available.
ü About 4-6 weeks after you submit the FAFSA, you will receive the results in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR). Send the SAR to your chosen colleges.
ü Follow up and make sure that the colleges have received all application information, scholarship applications, and financial aid requirements.
ü Make your final choice by the first of May and notify all schools of your intent. Request that the high school send a final transcript to the college in June.
ü CONGRATULATIONS!! All of your hard work is finally paying off. Relax and enjoy this time of your life.