What High School Seniors Should Do Right Now

Elizabeth Hoyt

April 17, 2018

What High School Seniors Should Do Right Now
Relief is sweet and you likely want to look at your entire college admissions process as a distant memory. Not so fast!
Your senior year of high school is coming to an end and you may think you’re in the clear regarding the college admissions process. While it is mainly over, you’re not quite finished yet. There are still a few loose ends to tidy up and now is the time to do so. Here is your current “to do” list, starting this very moment: • End on a High Note
Relief is sweet and you likely want to look at your entire college admissions process as a distant memory. Not so fast! Technically, you’re not in the clear until you’re officially attending college, since admissions offers can be revoked for poor academics or a variety of other issues. Keep moving at the rate you always have been, studying and preparing for finals. Doing so will ensure that you’ll remain the same type of student as when you were applying for college.
Though many students believe that colleges only care about their first-semester grades, it’s not true. Colleges check your grades at the end of the year, too, to make sure that you’re still eligible for admission. Don’t forget that you’re not admitted yet – your admission is contingent on finishing high school with a similar transcript with which you applied earlier this year. • Make Up Your Mind
Making a decision that involves your future can be scary but, with research, you can be confident you’re making a great college decision. If you’re still unsure, try scheduling visits to colleges you’re considering. While you’re there, talk to students, take a campus tour and consider how your finances fit with each college’s tuition. After considering all of the criteria, your decision will likely become much easier. Generally, college decisions are made by May 1; however, some schools are still accepting applications or will admit students that have been wait-listed. • Politely Decline Other Colleges
If you’ve been admitted to several colleges, respond promptly. That way the colleges are able to better determine how many available spots they have within the incoming freshman class and, in turn, can give admissions offers to other students currently on the wait-list. • Respond Quickly to Wait-List Decisions When you start to hear from colleges that originally placed you on the wait-list, respond as promptly as possible with your decision. Remember, you’re not the only student that was wait-listed and, if you’re not planning on attending a particular college, it will free up space for another student. Keep in mind that these schools were going to admit you, so your response should be thankful and polite. • Notify Your High School Let your high school know, via your counselor, which college you’ve decided to attend. They will need to send your final transcript at the end of the semester. Also, be sure to thank your counselors, teachers, coaches and whomever else aided you in the admissions process with advice and/or letters of recommendation. Everyone likes to be appreciated, so pay back the favor by showing how much you valued their efforts. • Respond Promptly to All College Communications Once you’ve made your admissions decision and have chosen your college, they will likely begin to contact you with a lot of information. Don’t delay in reading and reviewing any materials or information they share – most of it is important and will impact you within your freshman year. Create a file to organize materials that your college sends so that you have it on hand should you need it this summer or when you move in the fall. • Pay It Forward It wasn't so long ago, you were beginning the college admissions process as a junior. Now that you’re an expert on the topic, share any helpful information or experiences with students starting the admissions process. If you had older students helping you, it’s a great way to pay it forward. If you didn’t, you probably would have liked some extra guidance. Plus, it’s just good karma. • Practice Good School Citizenship There are a lot of exciting events that take place senior year: moving up ceremonies, senior week, prom and graduation, to name a few. You’re still in high school until you’ve officially graduated so be sure to conduct yourself accordingly as a student to ensure that nothing interferes with your college admission. • Plan Your Summer Activities You have the whole summer to prepare for college, so use it! Start planning now so that, when summer rolls around, you’re ready. Keep your activity level up: intern, work, volunteer or travel. Think about getting a summer job to earn some extra money to use once you’re an oh-so-poor college student. It’s also always a good time to apply for scholarships or take summer courses to get ahead. • Enjoy the Moment Don’t forget to spend your time wisely and save some time to hang out with your high school friends before you all move to different colleges. It really will never be the same, so enjoy your time together while you’re able. While you’re not quite finished with high school, you can still be proud of the accomplishments you’ve achieved this year. It’s been quite a journey, so take some time to look back because you’ll be moving forward sooner than you think.

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