Rising High School Seniors, This is For You

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First things first: you're about to be a senior! You've made it so far & now you have just one more year in high school, just one more year before you set out on a completely new path in life. Senior year can easily be your most fun year of high school yet, but it's also the only time left between you & college. So then, make the most of it & do everything you need to be prepared for an awesome college experience! To help you do just that, here is a list of pointers to guide you in the right direction:

Make College Visits!!!
The importance of college visits cannot possibly be overstated; if you haven't yet gotten around to visiting the campuses of the colleges you're interested in attending, make that happen pronto. Take a weekend, take some friends & take a road trip! Look up when Preview Days are to get an exciting college visit experience, or schedule a private campus tour to get to know the place from a student's or admission counselor's perspective. If you don't have time to visit all of the colleges that you like, jot down a list of your top three or four & make a good effort to see those particular campuses. During your senior year as you start to form an idea of where you want to spend your next four years, oftentimes a college visit to a beautiful campus can help you make that choice. 

Visit Your Guidance Counselor 
As important as it is to make college visits, it can be just as helpful to make a trip down the hall to the guidance counselor's office too. When you get back to school in the fall, take that visit to your high school counselor. Senior year is a blast, but it can also be incredibly busy, so be sure to stay ahead of the game. Since your guidance counselor is there to help you, don't hesitate to take advantage of that. Ask all your questions, get some answers, & know that you're doing your best in preparing yourself for senior year & beyond.

Take the Tests: ACT & SAT
You may have already taken the ACT or the SAT, but your senior year is the time to make it really matter. If possible, try to take both tests since oftentimes you may find yourself favoring one over the other. Take them in the fall & then don't be shy about taking them again in the spring. You could always raise your score & possibly get more scholarship money from the college of your choice. If you're not quite pleased with your performance on the ACT or SAT, consider studying specifically for them, taking a test preparation class or even being tutored for the test. There are many resources out there for you that are sure to be incredibly helpful. 

Financial Matters
One of the most important ways to begin planning for college is to think about how you're going to pay for it. First, be sure to talk with your parents so that y'all are all on the same page. Then talk to your admissions counselor about the institutional scholarships for which you are eligible. Find out if there is any special process for applying for those university scholarships such as an essay or speech competition. There are also scholarships you can get from outside sources, so you can search for ones that fit you. Lastly, you can also discuss the option of student loans with your parents as a way of funding your degree. Money can be a heavy subject in a conversation, but know that at Mississippi College your admissions counselor is happy to walk with you & your family through making wise financial decisions.

What About a Major?
This last little guideline for all you almost-seniors out there is simple: just be thinking about what you'd like to major in. Don't be intimated to think broadly at this point because, I promise, you have tons of time still to figure it out. With all that time, you may as well keep your options open while you research the programs of different colleges. If you have an interest in medicine, you don't have to know whether you want to be a doctor, nurse, or physical therapist. Check out the science departments of the universities in which you are interested. Think about the reputation of the program you are considering & examine the jobs that their graduates are getting. Also don't forget to look at whether or not graduate school would be required after obtaining your bachelor's degree.

There you have it. These tips are sure to help you prepare yourself for college in the easiest & best way possible. On that note, I wish you the absolute most incredible senior year & good luck in your college search!

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