Checklist for Seniors

  • Finalize the list of colleges to which you will apply. Limit your list to six colleges: two at which you're certain to be accepted, two at which you're likely to be accepted, and two "reaches" (dream schools; you never know about acceptance and financial aid until you apply).
  • Apply for admission at your favorite colleges as early as possible. Most colleges and universities have on-line applications available beginning in August. FACS guidance requires application to at least two colleges.
  • Complete college scholarship applications as soon as they are available; missing a deadline could cost you thousands of dollars.
  • Retake the ACT or SAT, as needed. Some schools accept a test score from a test taken as late as December of your senior year.
  • Ask a parent to complete the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) as soon as possible after January 1 of your senior year. The FAFSA is essential for receipt of the HOPE Scholarship in Tennessee.
  • Take full advantage of visits made to FACS by college representatives during homeroom and lunch periods. Make good connections with these representatives. In some cases, they will be your best advocates for acceptance and scholarship.
  • Call a meeting that includes every person who has a stake in your college decision (parents, grandparents where applicable, youth leaders or close family friends where applicable). Ask for their input and really listen.
  • Ask a counselor and/or teacher for recommendations. Choose a teacher who has had you in a core class, preferably a class in which you have been highly successful. You may use a teacher from an elective course, such as art or foreign language, if you are planning to major in a related field of study. Ask the person writing a recommendation to do so within three weeks.
  • Work on your college essays. Make the effort needed to revise your work, honing it to perfection. Essays are of inestimable value to admission and scholarship decision makers.
  • Apply for EVERY scholarship for which you believe you may qualify.  Lists of scholarships (and deadlines for application) are posted regularly on NetClassroom, in the hallways, and on the daily bulletin of student announcements. Do some of your own research here as well. For instance, your parents may work at companies that offer scholarships to the children of employees. If you have a job or work as a volunteer, your own employer or volunteer agency may offer scholarships. Exhaust every possibility.
  • Once you've chosen a college to which you have been accepted, enroll as soon as you can. Develop a financial plan with your parents so that everyone understands how tuition, books, fees, housing, and spending money will be arranged. Apply for housing, if needed. Find out what you will need in the way of transportation, computer equipment, room furnishings, etc.
  • Visit campus and develop a class schedule. If possible, walk through your schedule before the first day of class so you won't get lost on campus.
  • Get an email address of your own. You'll want to be able to email parents on your schedule (2 a.m.) and be available so they can email on their schedule (7 p.m.).
  • Convince your parents you need a credit card for emergencies only (make sure you've both clearly defined the term "emergency").
  • Read the book, "How to Stay Christian in College," by J. Budzisewski.
  • Join the Baptist Student Union, Reformed University Fellowship, CRU, or another Christian club on your campus as soon as possible. You'll get in on all the fun and may save yourself from some bad first attempts at establishing a suitable college social life.