• Senior Year Planning

    As a senior you must decide what to do after high school.  College, technical school, military and joining the work force are all possibilities.  Please make it a priority to ask questions, visit post-secondary schools, look at career options and see your guidance counselor about your options.  You will be less stressed if you are prepared for your future, and it will also make your senior year more enjoyable. Hard work and good decisions lead to a more productive life now and in the future.


    A month-by-month planner to follow:




    Continue taking rigorous college prep classes. Stay active and involved: join clubs, run for office, participate in school activities.  Contribute to your community through volunteer work.  Many scholarships require students to have participated in community service.    


    Prepare a list of schools that interest you.  Schedule campus visits if you have not done so over the summer.


    Pick up a copy of your transcript from the guidance office for future use.


    Set up a notebook for scholarships and college applications.  Keep copies of all applications and essays for future reference.  Many essay papers can be recycled with minor changes for future use.   


    Contact colleges for applications by e-mail, web site, phone or postcards.

    Prepare a resume including activities, honors, awards, community service and work experience.


    Sign up to take the SAT or ACT.


    Visit with your counselor for any additional college information you might need.




    Attend college night at the high school on October 17, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.    


    Attend college representative visits at your high school.  A calendar of scheduled visits will be posted on the guidance office door and announced in the bulletin.


    Retake the ACT if necessary.


    Begin filling out college applications, be sure to stop by the guidance office to request an official transcript be sent to colleges to which you are applying.




    Monitor your college application process and deadlines pertaining to admission and scholarships.  Be aware of housing application deadlines.


    Watch for scholarships in the senior newsletter.  This is available online at www.camdentonschools.org and is mailed monthly to all seniors.  Students and parents should read the newsletter for important senior information, dates meeting etc…


    Go to www.pin.ed.gov and apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN.  Your PIN can be used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your federal student aid records online.  Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, so you should never give your PIN to anyone.




    Attend financial aid workshop at the high school in January at the high school auditorium.


    Complete and submit the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) as soon as possible after January 1.  Access the FAFSA application on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Applications are not accepted before January 1.


    Young men who are 18 years or older must be registered with the Selective Service to be eligible to receive federal financial aid.  If you are a male and have not yet registered, complete the check-off box on your FAFSA or register at the U. S. post office.




    Begin working on resume and personal essay for the local scholarship program.


    Narrow down choices from the colleges that have accepted you for admission.




    Apply for local scholarships through the Guidance Office.


    Review financial aid award letters from the colleges and decide which college to attend.  The letters describe the amount of assistance you will receive.


    Be aware of deadlines for accepting or declining college offers.  Inform the college of your choice that you accept its offer.  Notify a college if you decline their offer.


    If you are denied admission, most schools allow you to appeal the decision.  See your guidance counselor for procedures on how to file an appeal or call the office of admissions for that particular school.




    Sign up for Project Graduation.


    Maintain good attendance and finish the year strong.


    Fill out request form for final transcript at Commencement Practice.


    Financing Your Education

    The primary responsibility for paying a student’s educational expenses belongs to the family.  However, the choice of an education should not be determined by family finances alone.  A student and family should choose a college based not only on finances, but also on the student’s desire and ability to attend that college.  If the proper procedures are followed a financial aid partnership of parents, student, government and university can become a reality.



    Basically there are two types of financial aid: merit based and need based.

    Merit based awards are typically given by a private institution, your college, or the government.  These awards recognize a special talent: academic, athletic, musical, vocal or other types of talent.


    Need based is awarded according to your ability to pay for college.  Colleges calculate your need using this formula:

           Cost of Attendance

           -Your EFC (Estimated Financial Contribution on FAFSA-see below)

           -Outside aid (scholarships)

           =Demonstrated financial need


    FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

    This is the first step in applying for most financial assistance.

    You should fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of your graduation year.  Complete your income tax returns before filling out the FAFSA.  For questions on this form contact the guidance office or the financial aid office at the institution that you plan to attend.


    Missouri provides a variety of financial assistance opportunities (in addition to federal assistance) that are available thru the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The deadline for Missouri programs is April 1.  For a list of grant programs visit MDHE website at www.dhe.mo.gov.



    Financing Methods

    Financial aid usually comes in a package.  You can accept all or part of what is offered.  For example you may be offered loans in excess of what you need.  Since loans must be paid back you may want to decline a portion of that amount.  Below is a list of terms that may appear on a financial aid award letter:


    1.    Scholarship - this is money you do not pay back

    2.    Grants - this is money you do not pay back

    3.    Loan – this is money you must pay back

    4.    Work Study – this is generally campus arranged employment where a student earns money towards tuition



    Keep copies of everything.

    Open and read all mail regarding financial assistance.

    Apply for every scholarship, even if you don’t think you will receive it.

    NEVER pay an individual or organization to help you find scholarships.  Any scholarship that is available can be found through the scholarship search websites listed below.



    Helpful Websites

    These are websites to help with financial aid, scholarship searches and other college planning


    ACT www.act.org Information about the ACT test, preparing for college, and choosing a career


    The College Board www.collegeboard.org College planning and the SAT test information


    College is Possible www.collegeispossible.org Preparing for college, choosing the right college, and paying for college


    College-Bound Student Athlete Guide www.ncaa.org/cbsa NCAA guide for college bound-student athletes


    FAFSA on the web www.fafsa.ed.gov Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid


    Federal Student Financial Assistance www.studentaid.ed.gov Federal student assistance information


    Getting Ready for College Early www.ed.gov/pubs/GettingReadyCollegeEarly/ College preparation for middle school students.


    Gradschools.com www.gradschools.com Graduate school and fellowship information


    HEATH Resource Center www.finaid.org/otheraid/heath.phtml Information about higher education for students with disabilities


    Jump$tart Coalition www.jumpstart.org Money management tips for students


    Mapping your future www.mappingyourfuture.org College, career, and financial aid information


    Missouri Saving for Tuition (MO$T) Program www.missourimost.org Missouri’s 529 college savings plan


    Sallie Mae www.salliemae.com Paying for college and student loans