College Bound » Preparing for your Senior year and for College

Preparing for your Senior year and for College

The 9th-12th grades can be exciting and also a little stressful as students and parents begin to think about college. Here are some pointers about what students need to do in order to make the transition from high school to college much easier.
While in high school, choose the most demanding curriculum that is reasonable for the individual student. Foreign language classes, higher level math and science courses, and appropriate electives are important for admission to certain colleges and universities. The selection of high school classes that demonstrate academic ability can also prove to be beneficial in the search for scholarships. Scholarship committees are always looking for ways to differentiate among candidates. Generally, there can only be a limited number of scholarships awarded. Remember, when it comes to college, it is better for students to have followed a challenging curriculum rather than to have taken the easiest or most convenient classes.
As sophomores and juniors, the focus needs to be GRADES, GRADES, GRADES!
Students need to live up to their potential in the classroom, as well as with extracurricular activities. If an individual has not already done so, now is the time to become involved with clubs, church, sports, community, and volunteer organizations. These are all character building activities that will enrich the lives of students and certainly be noticed by admission and scholarship committees. Now is the time to start keeping a log or journal of these activities, as well as, all high school awards and honors. Do not wait until the senior year to try and build on a student resume. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students who have demonstrated leadership skills and extracurricular involvement throughout high school. Students may even want to enroll in summer college programs or early admission college classes.
ACT preparation can not be stressed enough! Students in the 10th grade should take the ACT at least once in Dec., April, or June, and pay the additional fee to receive a copy of the test with the student’s specific answers. MHS teachers can use this as a learning baseline to help the student. Most students need to take the ACT twice in the 11th grade and multiple times in the 12th grade. Remember, the higher the scores, the better the student looks in comparison to other entering college freshmen!
Parents are encouraged to go online with their child and begin reviewing college websites. Students need to narrow the list of possibilities by the senior year. Typically, three to five institutions are a good starting point for the senior year. Look at all links that help explain the college or university, e.g., prospective students, parents, admissions, FAQ’s, scholarships, important dates, profile of a typical student, contact information, etc. Most colleges provide enough information through the websites for students and parents to make preliminary decisions about attending that particular college or university.

Helpful information can be found at the following:    MTAG (a Mississippi scholarship) requires 15 ACT & 2.5 GPA
Eminent Scholar (the top Mississippi scholarship) 29ACT & 3.5 GPA
 Also, scholarships for potential nurses, teachers, psychologist, and speech pathologists are explained.  Additionally, this site compares Mississippi colleges and universities….costs, enrollment, faculty/student ratios and other helpful data.  The official website of ACT offers registration, study guides, sample questions, and helpful information for students preparing for the ACT.  This site does an excellent job of explaining the differences of Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Admission.  Only certain colleges utilize this type of an admissions program and their homepages promote it under the admissions section.  Students can create an account with this free, reputable source and receive information about scholarships, internships, and other financial data.  There is a tremendous amount of additional information to be found by exploring the Magnolia Heights School homepage.  Click on Academics and then College Bound and select from topics related to career choices, questions for selecting a college, additional scholarship sources, and basic college information.