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College Prep Plan for Seniors

"We all need some sort of education after high school to ensure employability at a livable wage. The following statistics show annual median incomes for education levels for 1999 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Highest Education Completed

Annual Median Income

< High School

$14,349.00

High School

$23,233.00

2-yr. College

$31,684.00

Bachelor's

$45,648.00

Master's

$56,958.00

Doctorate

$87,644.00

Professional

$99,207.00

Let's face it, money talks, and an education beyond high school is the greatest way to empower yourself and realize a bright future. That education may be some focused training certification, an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, or beyond.

Regardless of how far you continue your education beyond high school, now is the time to begin preparing for it.

FALL

1. Continue to study hard and earn good grades. It's not too late if your grades haven't been as high as they could be.

Colleges will look at upward trends in your grades as well as your cumulative grade point average.

2. Continue to record the extracurricular activities, including community service, that you do. Many colleges are looking for a well-rounded student for their campus.

3. Take or retake the SAT and/or the ACT as it is offered. Study guides for these exams are available in most

bookstores, Scholarship Central, the public library and on the Internet. You can retake these exams, as they are offered, to increase your scores if needed.

4. Begin completing college applications for admission and financial aid. Be sure to pay close attention to the admission and financial aid application deadlines! Make a calendar of all these dates so you don't miss a deadline - there are no second chances. Keep copies and records of all correspondence.

5. Make arrangements for college interviews. Interviews are sometimes required and usually highly recommended.

WINTER

1. Continue to complete and send college applications for admission and financial aid. Make sure first report card grades are included if possible. Make sure to include the appropriate fees and make copies of everything before sending. Keep records of all correspondence.

2. Make sure to visit those colleges to which you have been accepted, if you haven't already. Talk with current students and check retention rates for first year students.

3. Continue to apply for scholarships or any other forms of financial aid. Pay close attention to deadlines and include

these dates on the your calendar. Contact Scholarship Central for more information on local scholarships.

4. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to apply for a grant from the Federal Government and the State of Ohio. There is an annual FAFSA night at OUZ where professionals assist in every step of the FAFSA application. Contact OUZ, MATC, Muskingum College or Scholarship Central for the date of the annual FAFSA night.

5. Check with each college to see which financial aid forms are necessary and ask about deadlines. Make appointments to meet with financial aid advisors if possible. If you can't meet face to face, establish a direct contact at the financial aid offices. Use this contact to periodically check on the status of your financial aid applications.

SPRING

1. Send second report period grades to colleges if this hasn't already been done through your guidance counselor.

2. Keep track of acceptances, denials and financial aid award letters.

3. After receiving your acceptance letters, make your final decision on a college!

4. Reply promptly to colleges that offer admission. Reply dates are usually up to May 1st.

5. After applying for federal grants you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). You will have to check these forms for corrections and follow all other instructions. If all information is correct, send or take the SAR to the financial aid officer of the college you will attend. If corrections are needed, return the SAR to the agency that processed it.

6. Promptly submit deposits required for admission and housing to the college you will attend. Pay attention to these deadlines and add them to your calendar.

7. If you meet the requirements, take the Advanced Placement or CLEP exams.

SUMMER

1. GRADUATION - Congratulations!

2. Don't miss your college's orientation and registration days!

3. Best of Luck! Continuing your education is a decision you won't regret!

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