Seniors gearing up for life after high school

By Jessica Buchanan, Editor-in-chief

Seniors have been meeting with their guidance counselors during October to receive their transcripts and discuss fulfillment of graduation requirements.

“([The counselors)] gave me reassurance that everything would work out and I was more clear on how to get transcripts and recommendations,” senior Jessica Romer said.

This session allowed Mia McFadden, the BRACE advisor,to show students how to be eligible for a Bright Futures scholarships, request teacher recommendation letters and transcripts and start filling out the FAFSA application.

According to a survey taken on Oct. 18, 96 percent of seniors have met with school counselors, teachers or administrators to discuss college.

McFadden said she is available to help seniors with “logging into the Common Application as well as the Coalition” and answering “questions like self-reporting over one school or another” as those are some of the main concerns.

It seems that these sessions may have gotten seniors to begin the college application process, because according to a survey taken on Oct. 18, 40 percent of seniors started applying to college last month, and 20 percent started applying last week.

“I didn’t even think about applying to college before [October],” senior Madison Van Dreason said. “I think I was planning to get used to my classes and get through the start of senior year and then it hit me that I needed to start applying.”

Seniors were reminded of their progress on graduation requirements, such as a 40-hour minimum service hour requirement, at the session.

According to McFadden, everyone is on track to graduate, but there are still some seniors with zero service hours.

The process of applying to college is long and some seniors have been proactive.

According to McFadden, seniors have been “outlining and reviewing the process of the test scores, ACT and SAT, and making sure that those schools meet the requirements of what they currently have and if not they are planning to retest and prepare for the upcoming exams.”

“Some students are really hands on and getting prepared,” McFadden said. “Senioritis starts to kick in mid-year.”

However, according to a survey taken on Oct. 18, 20 percent of seniors haven’t applied to any colleges yet.

Senior Kaelib Measil hasn’t applied to college yet since he plans to attend Broward College, but he is working diligently to research scholarships that correspond with his credentials and talking with McFadden to get “every scholarship possible” so that he can graduate in two years debt-free with an AA and transfer.

Deadlines are fast approaching. Many Florida universities have a Nov. 1 deadline, and out-of-state and Ivy-Leagues universities have Dec. 1 deadlines, according to McFadden, which makes school stressful.

“The most stressful part about the whole process is balancing all of the college application work with everyday school responsibilities,” Van Dreason said. “Classes still give a lot of work, and on top of that we have to worry about applications and test scores and scholarships.”

McFadden advises all current juniors to “continue to focus academically and take challenging courses and as many possible AP and dual-enrollment (classes) that you possibly can.”

Posted: Oct. 28

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