My Child’s a Senior; Now What?

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Like many senior parents, I am so proud of all of my children's hard work through high school. I also find myself sometimes overwhelmed with the senior year to do list and two eighteen year olds who have an ever worsening case of senioritis.

If you are a parent of a high school senior, and like myself find the to do list a little overwhelming or confusing, here is a good starting point:

SAT/ACT

If your senior has not taken the SAT/ACT already you can register at collegeboard.org for SAT test registration and www.act.org for ACT test registration. Many colleges use these test scores not only for admission consideration, but merit scholarship awards. If your child is a 21st Century Scholar or the testing fee is a burden for your family, contact your school counselor for fee waiver information.

FAFSA

If you haven't already, sit down with your student and file your FAFSA. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is always free at fafsa.ed.gov. The application opened October 1st. You don't need to wait on 2017 tax information, 2016 tax information should be used to complete this application. Those who don't feel like they qualify for federal student aid should still fill out the application because many colleges use the information for other sources of financial aid.

Go

If you have a college bound senior start visiting campuses where they would like to attend. If you have a student looking to attend a technical school locally, go check it out. Ask a lot of questions. I know there were some college campuses myself and my children were pleasantly surprised by when we visited and others that my children just didn't care for.

College Applications

Make sure your senior applies to a variety of colleges. Let's face it; they may not get into their first choice. College admissions has become so much more competitive than I remember. It's good to have more than one option.

Don't let the college application fee keep your senior for applying to a college they would like to attend. Call the admissions office to see if your family qualifies for fee waivers.

Consider Other Options

Let’s be honest; college isn't for everyone. If you have a senior who has decided college is not for them, begin to help them look at other options. Now is the time to help your senior explore local technical school, apprentice or military options.

 

So while you are navigating ordering cap and gowns, scheduling senior pictures, planning open house, suffering through senioritis, and helping your senior decide where they will land next, don't forget to enjoy your senior. In a few short months, life will be different for both you and them.

 

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Cheryl Kirk

Mrs. Kirk is a married mother of three children, 16-year-old twins and a 9 year-old son, who all currently attend private school on a voucher. She is a Gary, Indiana native but has lived in Indianapolis for many years. While trying to provide a quality education for her children she met many obstacles and became determined to access the best education for her children. Cheryl is a licensed practical nurse and has worked in home care, hospice, long-term care, and is currently the clinical director for an assisted living facility.