If your child is a senior in high school, spring semester is the final stretch until they head off to college in the Fall. Hopefully, by now, your student has already completed their SAT or ACT exams, applied to their schools of choice, and for financial aid or scholarships. If not, there may still be time, but you’ll have to act fast. This is why having a plan for senior year is key. If your child can start looking at schools and considering options in their junior year, they’ll be ahead of the game.

Don’t Miss Those Deadlines

Most schools have application deadlines in December, so as we approach the end of the year, be sure your student has received their letters of recommendation and sent in all their applications on time. (See our Deadline Cheat Sheet.) Students can begin applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October, so if your student hasn’t applied for that yet, that should go on their to-do list. Spring semester may also be their last chance to apply for scholarships.

Make Sure Everything is on Track

Have your student check with their academic advisor to be sure that everything is on track for graduation – this could be their last chance to make up for any missing credits or fix any errors.

Plan and Save

Even if your student is getting financial aid or a scholarship, school can be costly – with expenses for books, tuition, housing, entertainment, transportation etc. Be sure you and your child are saving up whatever you can to make the transition as painless as possible. Help your student put a budget together so they plan for success.

Make a Fresh Start

Encourage your student to let go of the stress and frustrations of last semester and re-dedicate themselves to this one. Help them to stay motivated, avoid the dreaded “senioritis” and remember that everything counts until the very last day of high school. This is not the time to slack off.

Take some time at the end of the year to review where you stand and put a plan and schedule in place to ensure that your child’s college dreams become a reality.

This post is the sixth in a series, entitled: Parents’ Guide to Graduation and Beyond. We’ve designed this blog series to help parents navigate the challenges their children will face as they pursue educational and training opportunities beyond high school and enter the workforce. Please check back here for additional installments.

The Compass Rose Foundation’s mission is to govern, manage, and oversee educational institutions while developing partnerships in the workplace and community that foster innovative educational programs and employment opportunities. For more information, visit our website or contact us.