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"How to Be a Senior"

There are so many exciting things that come with being a senior.  You have worked hard, and you have finally reached the culmination of your high school career. However, there are many responsiblities as well.  This list is intended to guide you- and your parents- through these uncharted waters.

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May (Jr. Year):

Attend Senior Portrait Meeting with Hobbs Studios 

June-July:

• Have senior portraits taken

• Anticipate upcoming costs 

• Perform community service to fulfill a minimum of the required 24 hours

• Visit colleges of interest 

August-September:

• Create a deadline calendar and a filing system to track your school work and college applications

• Deadline: August 15- Senior portraits submitted for inclusion in yearbook

• Register for the SAT or ACT (last chance!) 

• Review your unofficial transcript 

• Male students should register with Selective Service 

• Continue searching for scholarship information 

October:

• Deadline October 15: Submit all materials for your “Senior Spotlight” Board 

• Attend the Senior Trip Meeting- Date/Time to be announced 

• Attend a FAFSA workshop or review the process online 

• Attend college fairs and spend time on the websites of prospective colleges 

• Identify 4-5 target schools of interest and make plans to visit the campus 

• Complete applications and essays for the schools of interest 

• Request that official transcripts be sent to schools 

• Request letters of recommendation from teachers, administrators, work supervisors, or volunteer coordinators

• Continue to monitor and apply for scholarship opportunities

November:

• Deadline November 1: Early Decision applications 

• Deadline November 1: Senior Ad for Yearbook 

• Deadline: November 1- First installment of Senior Trip payment

• Attend the Balfour “Cap and Gown” meeting- Date/time to be announced.

• Review and begin preparing for Worldview Panel session 

December:

• Deadline: Three days prior to Christmas Break- Request official transcripts for January 1 deadline 

• Deadline: December 15- Second installment of Senior Trip payment

• Prepare to file the FAFSA 

• Continue application process and scholarship search

January:

• File FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov

• Class ranking available after completion of first semester grades.

• Update prospective colleges list with Student Services for midterm transcripts 

February:

• Deadline: February 15- Third/final installment of Senior Trip Payment

March:

• Deadline: March 15- Submit any additional photos for senior video to the Student Activities office.

• Update FAFSA information if necessary 

• Notify Student Services of college acceptances, scholarships or other awards

April:

• Compare various acceptance packages and award letters to make a final college decision

• Inform schools (in writing) that you are declining acceptance offers 

• Make appointment for college physical

• Be sure that you have reported all community service hours, SAT/ACT scores to Student Services

• Study for AP exams

• Prepare and sit for Worldview Panel interview 

May:

• Deadline: May 1- Notify your college of choice that you accept the admission 

• Take AP exams

• Attend the mandatory Graduation Meeting- Date/Time to be announced 

June and following:

• Begin planning your orientation and move in to your new school

Final transcripts sent to your destination college by Student Services 

• Complete college physical and have any required vaccinations completed

• Register on the GCA website as an alumnus 

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May (Jr. Year):

Attend Senior Portrait Meeting with Hobbs Studios

All seniors must be photographed by Hobbs Studio to be included in the senior section of the yearbook. There is a meeting in May (typically the second week) for all rising seniors and their parents to gain more information about Hobbs Studio and their portraits. Jeannie Hobbs often gives away free services or products at this meeting! Families have the option to purchase pictures from Hobbs or from another photographer; however, all seniors opting to purchase pictures elsewhere must still take one casual and one formal picture at Hobbs for the yearbook. Hobbs Studio offers a complimentary sitting fee for students in this category provided the deadline is met. The deadline for senior portraits to be taken for the yearbook typically falls around August  15.

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June-July:

• Have senior portraits taken

• Anticipate upcoming costs

Senior year tends to have additional costs that have not been encountered through high school. Senior portraits, the cost of cap, gown and other memorabilia, graduation announcements, senior trip, and college application fees are just a few of the extra costs that may arise. Anticipate this now so that there are no surprises over the next few months.

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• Perform community service to fulfill a minimum of the required 24 hours

• Visit colleges of interest

Helpful information on what to look for and what questions to ask can be found at www.collegeboard.com.

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August-September:

• Create a deadline calendar and a filing system to track your school work and college applications.

Meeting deadlines during the senior year of high school is imperative, both in your classes (you are a senior) and through the college application process. Failure to submit all the required portions of an application may preclude it from consideration at all.

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• Deadline: August 15- Senior portraits submitted for inclusion in yearbook

 

• Register for the SAT or ACT (last chance!)

If you have not taken the SAT or ACT, or if you want to take it again, this is the last opportunity prior to the routine submission of college applications. All candidates for graduation from GCA must have at least one complete set of scores on file in the Student Services office to be cleared for graduation.

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• Review your unofficial transcript

This document is provided by Student Services to all seniors early in the school year so that they might identify any missing information and notify the office of corrections that should be made.

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• Male students should register with Selective Service

If you are a male, age 18-25, you must register with the U.S. Selective Service. This requirement must be fulfilled before you are eligible for federal student aid for college. You can register online at www.sss.gov.

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• Continue searching for scholarship information

There are numerous resources for information about scholarship opportunities.

Be sure to investigate the college websites and school bulletin boards for opportunities.

Registering on a search engine such as www.fastweb.com or www.scholarships.com is a great way to initiate this process. However, you should be wary of any organization or person who wants you to pay for scholarship searches! All of the legitimate agencies and resources are free. For more information on scholarship scams, go to www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams. The Student Services Office will notify you of any scholarships for which you are a good fit as this information becomes available.

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October:

• Deadline October 15: Submit all materials for your “Senior Spotlight” Board

Each member of the senior class at Greenbrier Christian Academy is featured at some point through the school year in a special area designated for this purpose. Photographs and a brief biography are displayed. Be sure to submit the necessary materials so that you can have a turn to be honored in this manner.

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• Attend the Senior Trip Meeting- Date/Time to be announced

Information regarding the senior class trip, travel plans, costs, and payment expectations are shared at this very important meeting.

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• Attend a FAFSA workshop or review the process online

GCA offers a workshop on student financial aid each fall as the schedule permits. Be sure to check the school calendar for information. Other area institutions (schools, banks) may offer similar opportunities. Helpful information is available from the Student Services office.

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• Attend college fairs and spend time on the websites of prospective colleges

Look at the profiles of incoming freshman, minimum requirements, majors offered, application materials and deadlines, etc.

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• Identify 4-5 target schools of interest and make plans to visit the campus

Students who wish to miss school for the purpose of visiting college campuses may use preplanned absences to do so. Great information about how to visit colleges, who to see, and what questions to ask is available at www.collegeboard.com.

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• Complete applications and essays for the schools of interest

Use your updated educational resume from junior year and consider the practice essays that you have accumulated in your portfolio.

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• Request that official transcripts be sent to schools

Complete a transcript request form and submit it to the Student Services Office. Forms may be obtained from the office or from the GCA website. Official transcripts are typically mailed within three days of the request.

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• Request letters of recommendation from teachers, administrators, work supervisors, or volunteer coordinators

Select someone who knows you well and can speak to your many attributes! Be considerate of the person’s time, and provide plenty of notice. (You will not get a good recommendation from someone at the last minute!) Give them all of the necessary information and addresses. Provide a copy of your educational resume if this will assist them in citing positive examples in their letter. Be courteous and appreciative of the person’s time; write a thank you note! 

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• Continue to monitor and apply for scholarship opportunities

 

 November:

• Deadline November 1: Early Decision applications

Many colleges and universities allow students to apply under an “early decision” or “early action” program. Typically, this requires that you apply earlier than most applicants, but you also find out earlier whether you have been accepted. Generally, these programs are not for everyone. Unless you have an absolute first choice college, it is best to consider a regular admissions process, as most acceptances under these options are binding. Students are often better off to “shop” the various offers made by multiple schools. If you believe that early decision is of interest to you, check with the admissions office of the particular college.

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• Deadline November 1: Senior Ad for Yearbook

The Parchments Yearbook Staff extends an invitation to all parents to leave their senior a memory page in the yearbook. Information regarding the cost, construction and deadlines for senior ads are communicated with parents via a letter sent home at the end of September in addition to being posted on the website.

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• Deadline: November 1- First installment of Senior Trip payment

• Attend the Balfor “Cap and Gown” meeting- Date/time to be announced

• Review and begin preparing for Worldview Panel session

Specific information is distributed early in the school year through Bible class to all seniors. Students are taught and coached toward this requirement in preparation for the panels which meet in April and May. 

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December:

• Deadline: Three days prior to Christmas Break- Request official transcripts for January 1 deadline

Please be mindful that many schools have January 1 application deadlines. The Student Services office is closed over Christmas Break and will not be able to facilitate a late request. Plan ahead and be considerate and do not wait for the last minute!

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• Deadline: December 15- Second installment of Senior Trip payment

• Prepare to file the FAFSA

The FAFSA cannot be filed until after January 1. However, most families are very busy during the holidays. Gather preliminary tax information now. Complete a FAFSA worksheet to compile all of the data early. Apply for a PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov. 

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• Continue application process and scholarship search

 

January:

• File FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.

Regardless of aide status, colleges require that students and families have a current FAFSA form on file. Do this early to meet deadlines for the specific colleges of interest.

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• Class ranking available after completion of first semester grades.

• Update prospective colleges list with Student Services

Midterm transcripts are mailed “automatically” to colleges still under consideration by students. It is important to keep the Student Services office updates as you add or delete schools from consideration

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February:

• Deadline: February 15- Third/final installment of Senior Trip Payment

 

March:

• Deadline: March 15- Submit any additional photos for senior video to the Student Activities office.

• Update FAFSA information if necessary

Once the taxes are done, make any adjustments necessary to the online FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.

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• Notify Student Services of college acceptances, scholarships or other awards

 

April:

• Compare various acceptance packages and award letters to make a final college decision

• Inform schools (in writing) that you are declining acceptance offers

This is particularly important so that offers of placement and assistance can be made to other deserving students.

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• Make appointment for college physical

• Be sure that you have reported all community service hours, SAT/ACT scores to Student Services

• Study for AP exams

• Prepare and sit for Worldview Panel interview

Panel appointments are distributed in writing approximately 3-4 weeks ahead of time.

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May:

• Deadline: May 1- Notify your college of choice that you accept the admission

Most colleges require notification of commitment and room deposits from students by this date. Additional information is included in the admission materials sent to the student.

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• Take AP exams

• Attend the mandatory Graduation Meeting- Date/Time to be announced

The student and at least one parent or guardian must attend this very important meeting if the student is to participate in graduation ceremonies.

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June and following:

• Begin planning your orientation and move in to your new school

• Final transcripts sent to your destination college by Student Services

This is done for you based upon the information that you have submitted to the office

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• Have college physical and any vaccinations completed

• Register on the GCA website as an alumnus

It is our desire to keep in touch with you and to pray for you as you enter this next phase of life! Be sure to keep your address and contact information up to date. 

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