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2014-2015 Senior Guide Book

505 East Sanderfer Road ♦ Athens, AL 35611 ♦ Phone: 256-233-6463 ♦ Fax: 256-233-6667

Vince Green, Director ♦ Velvet Black, Counselor


Senior Year College Planning Calendar

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.  This year is filled with admission applications, scholarship essays, financial aid information, and the need to meet deadlines.  Throughout your senior year, continue to build your resume by achieving academic success, as well as participating in extra curricular activities.  Colleges are very interested in well-rounded students.

The college preparation that takes place during your senior year is filled with a lot of details and paperwork.  It is very important that you involve your parents with this process.  It is also very important that you pay attention to deadlines and do not miss them.


  • Review your career plans and decide which type of postsecondary school is best for you:  technical school, junior college, 4-yr college or university.
  • List your top college choices. Choose at least three colleges to apply for with one being a sure thing.
  • Request admissions information and school catalogs.
  • Go on college visits
  • Obtain registration materials and test dates for the ACT and/or SAT.
  • Compare costs of each school that interests you.
  • Visit web sites for information about career, college, and financial aid.
  • Prepare your resume.


  • Mark your calendar with registration, admissions and financial aid deadlines and fees.
  • Determine if the schools that interest you have online admission applications.  If not, request them by mail now.
  • Meet with school representatives who visit your high school.
  • Look at virtual tours of college campuses online.
  • Attend College/Career Days.
  • If you haven't already taken the ACT and/or SAT, register for the test. Last ACT Test considered for December 1 deadlines is the October test.
  • Attend college planning and/or financial aid information nights and college fairs.
  • Ask employers, teachers, and guidance counselors for letters of recommendation to accompany your admissions and/or scholarship applications.


  • Take the ACT and/or SAT.
  • Work on your admission/scholarship essays.
  • Attend any college planning and/or financial aid info nights.
  • Visit your top school choices.  If possible, make appointments with faculty, staff and students.
  • Complete applications for every scholarship for which you may be eligible.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to develop a college admission and financial aid application plan.
  • Make a folder for each of your college choices.
  • Contact the schools' financial aid offices to determine if they require any special forms.
  • Finalize portfolios, audition tapes, writing samples, or other evidence of talent if required for admission.


  • Complete admissions applications by their deadlines.
  • Continue to attend college planning and/or financial aid info nights.
  • If necessary, register to retake the ACT and/or SAT.
  • Request financial aid forms and applications.  Double check the deadlines for submission.
  • Follow up to ensure your employers, teachers and counselors send letters of recommendation.


  • Sign up for a PIN, to complete your FAFSA online.  (Also let your parents know that they will need a PIN.)
  • Finalize admission applications.
  • Urge your parents to file their taxes as soon as possible after January 1.  This will ease the financial aid process.
  • Research and apply for other financial aid, including grants and scholarships.
  • Watch for early admissions notices.


  • As soon as possible after January 1 and when tax forms are complete (they don't have to be filed until April 15; you can use estimates), complete your FAFSA online (or go to to download a PDF version of the FAFSA).  Keep copies of all documents, including your PIN, in a file.
  • Check high school web sites and bulletin boards for scholarships you may be eligible to apply for.
  • February 1 or March 1 is scholarship deadline at most junior colleges.  Check deadlines for schools you are interested in.


  • Be mindful of deadlines.  Always submit information on time.
  • Watch for the e-mail notice indicating your Student Aid Report (SAR) is ready.
  • Review your SAR for errors and make any corrections as indicated.


  • Check with the financial aid offices to ensure your paperwork is complete.  Submit tax forms if they request them.
  • Narrow your school choices and make campus visits.
  • Be on the lookout for acceptance letter


  • Compare financial aid award letters.
  • Make your final school decision and mail deposits, as required, and return financial aid award letters.
  • Notify the schools you have chosen NOT to attend.
  • Plan for registration, orientation and housing and mark your calendar for important dates.


  • Be aware of any summer orientation sessions that you must attend at the school in which you will enroll and make plans accordingly
  • Follow up with your high school to ensure the counselor forwards your final school transcripts to the college
  • Send "thank you notes" to everyone who helped you plan and prepare for college
  • Notify colleges of acceptance or decline of scholarships. 
  • Send deposits
  • If you are attending a junior college in the state of Alabama, it is your responsibility to ask for articulated credit if you are eligible.  Make sure you have a copy of your instructor's recommendation form to take with you when you register.

Advice for Parents

Yes, there are things you can do to help your senior prepare for continuing their education after high school.

  • It is important to attend financial aid presentations and career day functions WITH your student.  Many of these events will be held in the evenings and on weekends.  If you don't know when they're scheduled, contact your son or daughter's high school counselor. 
  • Ask them monthly, "Have you been searching websites?  What are you working on and what scholarships have you applied for?"
  • Sit down with your student and prepare a list of what he/she is looking for in a college and help them sort through the information they receive from the different institutions to decide which ones offer what's on the list.
  • Complete applications with the student.
  • In November, register for a PIN so you can assist your student with financial aid forms.
  • In January or February, you will need to help your student complete the FAFSA.  Your PIN will help speed up the process.
  • In March, the award notices will start coming in.  Look at the financing carefully and contact the schools with any questions.  Make comparisons.
  • Go on trips with your student to as many of his or her top school choices as possible.  A visit to the campus is invaluable to making a decision.
  • Hug them, send them on their way, BUT don't change the locks - they'll be back!

Reprinted from



  • (Students will have to remember login and password )

Web Sites for Financial Aid and Scholarship Information

Web Sites for Job Search

Web Sites for College Entrance Exams

Scholarships and Programs

Seniors:  Please remember when submitting college applications this fall to complete any additional scholarship applications that may be required.   Almost every college or university has scholarship opportunities based on GPA, ACT score, academics, or leadership.  Please make sure that you complete a scholarship application if you are eligible for any of these. 

Some scholarships that are currently available are listed below.    Please check with the counselor's office during the school year for others.

NCAA Scholarships:  All rising seniors interested in registering for athletic scholarships must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at the following address:  The NCAA guide for college bound student athletes is available, including coursework, GPA, and ACT score requirements.  All college bound athletes need to review this information each year of high school to ensure compliance and eligibility.

Berea College: Berea College offers 100 percent tuition aid to admitted students demonstrating financial need. Scholarship Offers: Search is free, meet the scholarship deadlines.  See for more information.

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation:  The JFK Library Foundation invites U.S. high school students to write an original essay on the political courage of a U.S. elected official.  For contest information, registration, and to submit your essay online, visit the Profile in Courage Award Program at  The first place winner receives $5000, second place receives $1000, and up to five finalists receive $500 each in scholarship money.  The winner will also receive an expense-paid trip to Boston.

The United Negro College Fund:  Many scholarship opportunities are available for students here.  Please visit to apply online.

Better Business Bureau of North Alabama 2009 Torch Awards Scholarship: $1000 scholarships will be awarded to junior or seniors. The criteria for the award includes: Leadership 20%, Community Service 20%, Academic 10%, Essay 50%.

Oh, The Places You'll Go Scholarship: Recognizes a high school senior who understands and values the limitless possibilities that education can offer with a first place $5,000 scholarship.  Visit to print out an application.

Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation: Awarding scholarships to motivated, dedicated, involved high school seniors. For additional information go to Deadline: October 31.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards: Applications must be completed by November 2, 2010. For more information  go to


Juniors and Seniors need to visit the colleges they are thinking of attending
to see if the college is a good fit!

Contact the college to schedule a tour.  Tours are usually given M-F and sometimes a Saturday tour can be arranged. 

Several colleges and universities will have preview days.  Check the college web site frequently for dates of these.

Preview Days

Calhoun Community College

  • Campus tours Monday-Friday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Call 306-2870

Wallace State Community College

  • Campus tours Tuesdays 9:00 - 1:00 - Fridays 9:00 a.m.
  • Space is limited to 10 per group. Call 256-352-8031 to make an appointment.  Campus visits will meet in the James C. Bailey Center.

University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa University Days

Auburn University

  • Go to to schedule a tour Monday - Friday
    9:00 a.m, 11:00 a.m.  1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday tours are also available in the fall
  • War Eagle Days are by invitation only