College Planning - 12th Grade Planning
The fall of your senior year is the time to finalize your college list and prepare your applications. This is the time to work closely with your college counselor on making your application list appropriate for you and your goals. The more information you share with your counselor, the more help your counselor can give you in this process.
The following is a college admissions calendar for the senior year. Read it carefully so that you are informed about what to do and what is available to you as you go through the application process.
• Schedule a meeting with your college counselor. Your parents are welcomed and encouraged to attend this meeting. Come prepared with a list of colleges you have researched and are seriously considering for application. Your counselor will go over this list with you and possibly offer other suggestions. Come with any questions you may have about the admission process. scholarships or other matters that concern you.
• Pay close attention to the intercom announcements, postings on the bulletin boards outside of the Guidance Office, as well as information on the Briarcrest website under College Planning and in the "Recent Announcements" section. The Banner also has pertinent college details that may interest you, such as evening programs in the Memphis area, scholarship deadlines, helpful hints, and other important information.
• Completed applications should be submitted to colleges by the deadline dates. Briarcrest's college counselor recommends students meet a preferred deadline of November 1. The completed application and fee are sent directly to colleges by the student, while the high school transcript is sent to the college directly from the College Counseling Office. Students must complete a Transcipt Release Form in the Guidance office.
• Make arrangements to visit the colleges to which you have decided to apply by calling the college admission office. Arrange to meet with an admission counselor for more information about the college, and take a campus tour if possible. Check out the housing facilities, cafeteria/food courts, heath/exercise facilities, and walk through the academic buildings associated with your college major, academic interests.
• Register (or register) to take the SAT I or ACT at www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. You may take these tests more than once. Multiple tests scores could be adventageous for an ACT "super score." You do not have to take both of these college entrance tests, but some students score better on one test than the other. All college and universities accept either test, but some of the more selective colleges may prefer or require the SAT. Also, the SAT Subject Test are required by some very selective schools.
• Write your college admissions essay(s). Your Briarcrest senior English teachers will offer essay guidelines and suggestions through class assignments in August or early September. Your college counselor will also be glad to help you with ideas.
• Consider attending the Memphis Area College Night at the Agricenter, scheduled in later September or early October. Admission and parking are free, and sophomores, juniors and seniors, along with parents are encouraged to attend.
• Concentrate on doing well in your classes. First semester senior year grades are important to colleges, and many require the 7th semester grades to be sent to them.
• Continue to complete applications for colleges on your list. Consult the application deadline dates to determine when your transcripts, test scores, counselor recommendations forms, teacher letters of recommendation are due to the colleges. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for all of these things to be processed, so that they can be mailed on time and meet the college deadlines.
• Many scholarship deadlines are in November and December. Check the Scholarship link on the college websites for deadlines and application information. See your counselor if you have scholarship questions that have not been addressed or answered.
• Continue to talk with college admission representatives visiting Briarcrest during activity periods. These reps are often the ones that will be reading your college applications, essays and helping you gain scholarships.
• Many colleges and universities have Early Actiion deadlines during November. Be sure applications are submitted ontime and work with the guidance office to have any transcripts or recommendation letters sent.
•If you are admitted to a college under the Early Decision program, you must withdraw all your other applications by writing to the colleges. You are honor bound to do this. Your college could rescind its offer of admission if you do not withdraw your applications to other schools.
• Keep your grades up! Don’t let senioritis take over! If you have been admitted to a college by this time, remember that your admission is conditional on your first and second semester senior grades being at or above the level at which they stood when you were admitted.
• Enjoy having a break from school!
- Complete the FAFSA to be considered for need based financial aid and to receive the HOPE scholarship. It is recommend that you complete the financial aid forms, even if you think you will not qualify for financial aid. (Some scholarships and grants are a part of financial aid, as well as student loans and work study programs.) The FAFSA form is required by most colleges and universities as a financial need assessment. However, some of the more selective colleges also require the CSS Profile form. You could miss out on financial aid money if you do not apply. Check the college websites financial aid link for more information.
- Continue to focus on your grades this semester. Your college acceptances are conditional upon your successful completion of your senior year. All college require your final transcript to be sent to the college where you are matriculating.
- Some colleges will require a Mid-Year grade report be sent to their admission office. Be sure and stop by the Guidance Office to request that transcript to be sent.
- Notify the Guidance Office of any college acceptances. Also let the Guidance Office know if a college requests any additional information in order to make a decision
- February 15 is the typical "priority" deadline for the FAFSA to be submitted
March - May
- Begin to carefully choose your college based on all the information you gathered through the search and application process. Discuss your choices with your family and determine what will be best for you. The college counselor is here to help and advise you.
- Submit Housing applications and deposits for the school where you are planning to attend.
- May 1 is the Candidate Response date. By this date you must have informed all schools that admitted you of your intentions.
- In late May, the Guidance office will send your final transcript to the college you will attend.
- AP Exams will be administered during May.