Seniors…What’s Next

I walked into the staff lounge this morning and found a gorgeous cake dedicated to our school colors and the Class of 2016. It was a sweet (pun intended) reminder that we are almost to graduation. It is hard to believe how quickly it all goes and as my seniors start gearing up for what’s next to come it is important that they feel confident in their next step. Here are a few tidbits for whatever situation seniors are diving into next.


What should I be doing now? Take a look at what applies to you…

  • Students attending a four-year university: Please make sure you log on to your school’s website, or check your email and check for any of the following; housing sign-ups, accepting financial aid award packages, look for any last minute scholarship opportunities, check for any loose ends or missing documents, look at orientation dates and see if you can sign up. If you are accepting a loan from the Federal government, it is mandated that you go through an online loan counseling session. This will explain the ramifications of taking out a loan, the interest, pay back and timeline. Make sure you understand the amount of money you are borrowing. Remember, you do not have to take the full amount they offer you. If you plan on working over the summer or throughout the school year you can put funds towards tuition while you are in college and keep loan borrowing down. Talk to a financial aid advisor and understand what you are borrowing.
  • Students attending a two-year university: Community college applications typically consist of the following; Submitting your application online (found directly on the colleges’ website), completing an online orientation, taking a math or English assessment (check for any exemptions from an AP or SAT/ACT score), meet with a counselor or advisor and prepare to enroll in classes. The early you submit your application and complete the orientation/assessment the better. Please remember to try and meet with a counselor on campus and get assistance with picking your classes. The pathway to transfer can be clearly mapped, whether you know you are going to a Cal State or UC school or a private institution, you can find guides in the Transfer Office on your campus or online that map out what courses you should take to be on track in completing your lower division undergraduate units to transfer. Check if there are any special programs that can get your priority registration or more access to a career counselor or an academic advisor. For example, Santa Monica College offers a First Year Experience program open to all incoming Freshman. The program assists with the transition to college and students participating meet with a counselor each semester and a career counselor as well as getting a guaranteed Math and English class their first year (huge for setting you up to transfer successfully!) Community Colleges have wonderful resources, you just have to tap into them, take advantage!
  • Students taking a gap year: Whatever your plans are, make sure you obtain guidance and get some outside feedback. Are you joining a service program? How much does it cost, how will you pay the expenses and how can you maximize your time? Are you working? If you are working, are there any mentors you can job shadow to have a better experience? Create goals for yourself. The more specific the goals you make the better. For example (1. I plan to work during July and August at the local grocery store and save {X} amount of dollars. 2. I plan to join a service program and travel to {X} country to teach English to children. I will apply for the program in June and begin saving. 3. After my service program I am looking to job shadow someone in a field I am interested in, etc.) Each student will be different, but the priorities are the same; Ask for guidance from an expert, make specific goals and timelines and figure out your expenses. Tap into resources and have a plan.
  • Students enrolling in a technical school (For example; cosmetology school, culinary, mechanic, healthcare etc.): If you are already enrolled or know where you want to study, continue to stay in communication with your school of choice. Check your email often and stay on top of due dates for tuition fees, enrolling in coursework, etc. If you have not found a school, check with your counselor or speak with an expert in the field you are interested in. What qualifications are needed? What accreditation should the school have? If you are attending a school that is too far to commute from home, make sure you have a game plan as to where you will be living. Call the school and ask for suggestions on housing that may be cheaper for students or to get in touch with other students looking for roommates. Set goals for yourself. How long is the program? How can you maximize your time in the program? For example, does the school offer internships, job shadowing and mentors? If so, take advantage. Is there a state or license test at the end of the program? Know the timeline of when the test needs to be completed and get to know resources that are offered at your school to help with testing and job placement. Find and know the career center at your campus.

This is an exciting time in your life! Probably one of the few times where it will change this drastically. Know your resources, ask for help, take advantage of the opportunities offered in front of you and, oh yes, enjoy!


Ms. Rowley


Our Senior Grad Cake…didn’t last too long without getting cut into!

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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