I want to tell you about my first week of Senior Meetings.
I only had 2 days of them this week. They’re 30 minutes a piece, and I try to do about 6 each morning and catch my breath in the afternoon. I love the conversations that I get to have with 12th graders. Some are decisive, and some have no clue what’s next. Both types of meetings are fun for me. I have students applying to 4 year and 2 year colleges, heading to work with a certification of some sort, and joining the military. These meetings are pretty student and parent driven as I answer any questions they might have specific to the student’s plan. I let students sign up for a meeting with me first. If they don’t sign up for a time, I assign them a time because it’s important for me to meet with each of them and make sure they have a plan to be college or career ready.
In my particular meetings, here is how my flow usually goes:
- I ask where the student sees themselves in 5 years. This usually is not a question they’re expecting, but it gives me an idea of the direction they see themselves going in.
- Then we talk about where they are in that process. If it’s college, where are they in the application process? If it’s work, they they already have a certification or a job secured? If it’s military, have they taken they ASVAB or met with a recruiter yet?
- If they’re headed to college and we’re checking on the status of that process… we look at the schools they are applying to or thinking about applying to. Are they on the Common App, Coalition App, or are they applying directly to the institution? I show them how to send their transcripts to these schools or how to request them from me. I make sure they know how to send their SAT and ACT test scores through the respective testing agencies.
- If they qualify for free or reduced lunch, I make sure they know what benefits come with that regarding fee waivers for tests and application fees.
- Then, we talk about financial aid. I walk them through our state scholarships, letting them know about where they stand with those at this point when we look at GPA, test scores, and class rank. I show them our school’s resources for where we keep our scholarships and how they can access them. Here is a FREE STARTER SCHOLARSHIP SPREADSHEET for you, your students, and your parents to use to keep organized and motivated in the financial aid process!
- I let them know about important dates coming up like a College Essay Writing Workshop, a district financial aid night, College Application Day, etc.
- I give them a copy of their unofficial transcript, a flyer with all upcoming important dates, and a handout with the state scholarship information. Before they leave, they have to complete a digital survey that our district asks for (it has basically a summary of what we talked about and what their plans and interests are).
- an intro letter from YOU, their school counselor (or add your own if you don’t like mine!)
- a small group interest form (this would be a great way to see if they need some extra help in a small group counseling setting dealing with Stress Management or First Generation College Going help)
- a passwords page– to keep track of ALL of those usernames and passwords (students can NEVER remember them!)
- a deadlines page– fill in the month and use the box for big deadlines
- to-do list– has 10 lines for immediate to-dos and the other side of the sheet has some space for coloring and doodling to relax in the midst of all of this craziness!
- a college search sheet– helping a student identify some of the key things they’re looking for in a college
- a college list– a table for the college’s name, the type of decision they are applying under (early decision, early action, regular decision), a checkbox for sending their transcript, and a checkbox for sending SAT/ACT test scores… this one also has space for doodling!
- a testing summary– students can write out all of their SAT and ACT tests and scores and superscore it at the bottom… it also has room for filling in upcoming test dates
- an application to-do list– tells students step by step HOW to apply for college… I find this is confusing for many students!
- financial aid terms to know– just a quick run down of some words and acronyms in the financial aid process
- financial aid– bullet points of what you need before you fill out the FAFSA
- brag sheet and essay brainstorm– this will help students brainstorm what is unique about them and try to pinpoint some highlights to bring out on their college essays
- resume– to fill in some of the things they’ve been involved with from clubs to sports to work to musical talents
- questions to ask an admissions counselor– self explanatory… may be helpful on a college tour or thinking about what questions to ask a potential college interviewer if applicable
- the importance of self care– last but not least! some tips and a checklist for staying positive and caring for themselves during a stressful season