Road Map for September: Seniors

Welcome to your senior year! I’m so excited for you as you get ready for all the fun this year holds for you. Of course, there’s plenty of work to do first. In addition to your classes, college applications and essays, there are two other priorities I want to highlight, one for students and one for parents.

First on the list is securing letters of recommendation. If it’s been a while since you talked to your teachers or counselor about these, follow up to make sure they have what they need from you. If you haven’t made arrangements yet for the letters you need, get in touch now with the teachers you plan to ask. You want to make sure they have enough lead time before any of your deadlines. I recommend lining up two teacher letters in addition to your counselor recommendation. This is almost always enough, although many colleges allow letters from additional teachers or from other recommenders like a mentor, employer, coach or other adult who knows you well, or even a peer.

For parents, financial aid forms (the FAFSA and CSS Profile) will be available starting October 1 and it’s a good idea to get your ducks in a row now. The student and parent will each need an FSA ID, which takes a few days to process before you can actually use it to log into the FAFSA portal. You’ll also want to gather tax documents (the taxes you filed in 2022 for tax year 2021) as well as bank statements and other documentation of income and assets.  This is also a good time to confirm what each college requires. Generally all schools will want the FAFSA if you’re applying for need-based aid, and some colleges require the CSS Profile as well, since it provides additional detail. Also remember that each college has its own deadlines for financial aid forms, and some have earlier application deadlines for students who want to be considered for merit scholarships.

It’s an exciting time and I’m currently working with students on applications, essays and college lists. For one-on-one support on these or other topics, I hope you’ll get in touch.