Dear Seniors,

    Welcome to your SENIOR YEAR! Can you believe it?! But whether you believe it or not, here we are, which means it's time to start taking the next steps towards your plans after high school!
    In order to help you with this process, counselors visited all senior English classes on Wednesday Sept. 19th  and Thursday September 20th. We reviewed the college admissions process, scholarships, applying for Financial Aid (FAFSA), and provided other helpful resources. We also invited each senior to sign up for a individual conference with their counselor to talk about their plans, ask questions, and get additional guidance with the process. And as always, students and/or parents can contact their counselor at any time to answer questions along the way!!
    Here are some answers to common questions here. Feel free to visit with additional questions, or bring them with for when we discuss this further in classes. 
    Applying to College: 
    • Apply - Visit the College/University/Tech School website and locate their electronic application and complete. Most colleges require an application fee which must be paid in order to submit your application. Be sure to check their deadlines and can all materials in on time. 
    • To order Transcripts - This can all be done through your CareerCruising account! From a school computer, you can log in to your Google account, and once you open CareerCruising, you will already be logged in. From home, go to the main high school webpage, and scroll down half way, and click the link for CareerCruising. Again, simply use your Google log in information. It's quick, easy, and FREE! Here is the link: CareerCruising
    • ACT scores - if you are applying to a 4-year college, they will require your ACT scores. When you took the ACT, you had the option of selecting a few colleges to send your scores directly to. If you are applying to one of those institutions, you do NOT need to send your scores again, as they already have them. However, if you did not send to them, you will need to do so now. If the college requests a COPY of your scores, then this is already included on your NRHS transcript. However if they request an OFFICIAL COPY, you must request them through ACT.org. 
    • Letters of Recommendation - most colleges/universities do not require letters of recommendation, however students may send them if they feel it could help with admission. In addition, you may need them for some scholarships. To request a letter of recommendation from your teacher, counselor, or another staff member, you can complete a Letter of Recommendation Request Form (copies can be found in the back of the career center, and I have also attached it here). Give this request to the teacher/staff member you are requesting a letter from, but make sure to provide at least 2 weeks for them to complete your letter. (note: if you wish to have these sent with your transcript, you can provide them to Mrs. Brock in the attendance office prior to sending your transcripts, and she can upload them and send them as one electronic document!)
    • We have a NRHS scholarship program in which we coordinate and post over 130 scholarships each year! This too is all through CareerCruising. Reminder to all students that you already have a username and password for careercruising, and can access the local scholarships by logging in, clicking the "financial aid" tab, and then "local scholarships". Students can review, save, and track their scholarships through their online portfolio!! The year has just started, so there are no scholarship added quite yet, but they will start rolling in! We recommend students check it every week or two so they don't miss any opportunities. 
    • We also encourage students to check with school(s) they will be applying to, as they usually offer scholarships specific to their school.
    Financial Aid:
    • Students planning on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), can begin to do so at any point. However, colleges/universities will not review and process your financial aid application until you have been accepted at their university. So although you can start at any time, there is no penalty for focusing first on applying to school, and then starting on your FAFSA application shortly thereafter. 
    • To apply for the FAFSA, you must first request a FSA ID through the FAFSA website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
    • Then you can begin your application at https://fafsa.ed.gov/
    Again -- we will be discussing all of these steps in more depth next week, but hopefully this will provide you some helpful tips to start! Always remember that your counselors are here to help you through this process, so feel free to visit us with your questions!