Senior Tutorial

When and What to do:


Try to narrow your college choices to three, five at the most. If you did not get a college information or catalog book from them in the spring in either your spring visit or spring college fair, e-mail the college and request that one be sent to you. This is very important!!! You want to make sure you do not have any additional or unknown requirements that are needed for your specific field of study. For example, AP Calculus may be a prerequisite for the field of study you are choosing. You need to know the course requirements for the college you choose. Most of the time, this is not an issue because you are are taking a college core track in high school, but you need to be responsible and know this for yourself. Don’t assume that your counselor automatically knows what college you want to attend or the additional requirements that school may require for unconditional admission.
If you did not meet with your counselor in the spring to do a graduation/requirements check, BE SURE you do that NOW. You have to make sure you are getting all the courses you need!! This needs to be your responsibility to make sure you and your counselor have discussed this. Make sure this is done prior to school starting.
Make sure you have registered for the ACT/SAT. Check the regular and late deadlines. ***Reminder if you have already taken the ACT you can now re-register online. Pick up a packet from your high school counselor of visit the ACT/SAT pages in TASSELTime to get dates and registration information. Be sure you are having your test scores sent to the appropriate school.
If you have the opportunity to take a ACT/SAT preparation course provided by your school—TAKE IT!!! If you do not have the opportunity, then get the Free practice test booklets from your counselor. Go to the ACT/SAT pages in the site and you will find TEST Prep Help.
On the ACT and SAT pages in this site I recommend some test prep videos. These are more for schools to purchase put you and several of your friends could go in together to order these. Each video comes with 10 workbooks. These videos show you how to do the problems in the workbooks, which are directly from previous tests.
Begin thinking about who you want to ask to write recommendation letters or letters of reference. You want to ask a teacher who knows your capabilities and can recommend you based on your academic performance (athletic and fine arts performance as it applies to you). No offense, your best friends mom or the local preacher may be able to testify to your character, but can he/she testify to your academic performance with specific detail given to projects or assignments you have completed? Print off a recommendation form from the scholarship page and look at the areas you will need to fill out. Keep in mind that you need to be detailed when you fill out the form, especially if you are in a large high school. The way you fill out this form can help “jog” that teachers memory about you and your performance in his/her class.Only give the recommendation form out if you have an upcoming deadline. You will have 2 strips of reminders at the bottom of the form that you will need to tear off. Give them your completed form at least 2 weeks before the letter is due. Give this to the teacher 1 week before the letter is needed and then 2 days before the letter is needed.

You may want to make copies of the form with your information on it before you hand it out to the teacher(s). This will keep you from having to rewrite all the information each time. Obviously, you will have different class information but your extracurricular and other information will be the same.

Organize an essay committee for your self. I recommend you ask 3 people to form this committee– this doesn’t mean that these people have to meet together to critique your essay. You will give each of these people a copy of your essay so they can edit/critique your essay BEFORE you send it or attach it to an application (If they prefer give the essay to them on a floppy disk or e-mail it to them so they can edit changes for your– it takes less time if they are computer savvy).If you need help on how to get started on your essay, go to the essay page in this Website. There are several helpful links.
Find out when the fall preview days are for the colleges you have chosen and check to make sure you mark your calendar to attend. Be prepared to ask questions of the students and the recruiters when you take your visit. Be sure that you have all of the applications/forms .On the college page of this Website there is a PDF on the right hand side of the page under College Master’s Helpful College information “College Visits”. Print this off and look over the college visit question that are important to you and either ask them on your visit or ask them on the College Fair Night .
Select Scholarships from the menu inside TASSELTime. At the bottom of the scholarship page you will see a link that says Senior Tutorial and Senior PDF – this is where all of this information I am giving you—step by step– is located– You will also see a link that says : Must Read Scholarship Information this is a total overview of the whole scholarship process .
On that TASSELTime must read information you are given a list of things that you need to gather BEFORE filling out a database profile or asking for a recommendation letter. You will also want to gather this information prior to building or creating your resume.List of all your activities/awards since 9th grade

  • List of all your courses/ACT/SAT scores ( should be on your transcript)
  • Any organizations or clubs you are/were in
  • Any significant awards you may have received prior to your 9th grade year i.e. Community Volunteer Citizen
  • Names of your parent’s current employer/organizations they are/were in
  • Information on families past military experience and your ethnicity/minority background and religious affiliation
  • List of all volunteer work done since 9th grade– if you are not volunteering—START Do something in conjunction with Make-A Difference Day (PDF form for record of Volunteering) .
If you have not kept a formal record of volunteering you have done, then select the volunteer PDF form available on the scholarship page .
Tell your coach now if you are interested. You need to submit a clearinghouse form which you can get from your counselor. All of the information is online for the NCAA Clearinghouse and there are links on this page to help. It is very important that you make sure you are in compliance with the NCAA in your total assessment scores (ACT or SAT) and in course work. Talk with your coach and counselor today!!!
If you are not sure what you want to do, complete several interest inventories online. Really spend some time searching through the different occupations available. Find out the college courses required for that degree or the technical courses . Also look at the demand for the position and the salary range. Many of the interest inventory links are free.
Military information and Scholarship links are all provided so that you can find out any necessary information. You need to speak with your recruiter ASAP to get started if the military path is your plan. There are many wonderful military options.
If you prefer to look at the scholarships individually rather than filling out the profile, then go to the Scholarship Page inside TASSELTime and in the upper right hand corner click on “Individual Scholarships” or “Minority Scholarships.” The only drawback is that you will have to look at every single one of them to make see if you meet the requirements.
Select the Scholarship page from the tool bar inside the TASSELTime Website then select Scholarship Database At the top left corner of the page. The databases on this page have been researched to provide the best information without taking students to some inappropriate sites.
Select 3-5 databases on this page to enter your information. Some of these will e-mail you the scholarships you qualify for and some will just list them for you to select through while you are on the internet. I suggest you set up an alternate e-mail address other than the one you regularly use. Most Internet Service Providers offer 5-7 e-mail accounts with their service. The reason you do this is because You Will Get CD Offers– this keeps your regular account free of that and allows you to use this separate account for ALL of your college correspondence (if you are going to use this e-mail address as a contact for your resume and or/ admissions information—select wisely {don’t use “lazygirl” or “partyanimal” or “girlmagnet”}—select something somewhat professional) Most of these databases will notify you of an added scholarship to your profile or will just e-mail you the link to that scholarship. IT IS UP TO YOU TO DETERMINE IF THAT SCHOLARSHIP IS WORTH APPLYING!Make a folder on your favorites menu that says Scholarships and begin to mark or save the scholarship in which you want to apply. BE SURE YOU LOOK AT THE DEADLINES AND MAKE A CHART( PAPER/OR COMPUTER) THAT LISTS APPLICATION DEADLINES.

What is the difference between a Key Word Search and a profile?

A key word search is for specific topics or majors to search by.

Example Profile: From the Scholarship Page select State Scholarships in the top right hand corner. The first link on this page is the Arkansas Scholarship Connection. Try out the profile to gain Arkansas specific information. Again IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO RESEARCH THESE SCHOLARSHIPS AND APPLY BY THE APPROPRIATE DEADLINE

End of June-September


Attend a College Fair in your area and take the admissions questions we discussed earlier and ASK THE RECRUITER. Take a fall visit to the college

Be sure you pick up all admissions and scholarship information as well as a catalog.  Some colleges have the admissions and scholarship information included on one form, some have separate forms and some ask you to actually be admitted before giving you the information on how to apply for internal scholarships.
Complete your essay for admissions—if required– and ask for recommendation letters by using theform provided in the site. Most of the time, the recommendation letter or letter of reference has to be mailed directly to the college, so it is very courteous of you to provide the person writing the recommendation letter with a stamped envelope addressed to the appropriate place.Choose wisely on the people you request to write a letter.
Be sure you are checking with your counselor concerning scholarships. Check the weekly announcements, announcements on the Web and bulletin board. There will be some scholarships that say “See your counselor for application.”Make sure you are meeting the deadlines. There are no “Do-Overs” for deadlines.

If you want to search for scholarships without submitting a profile in a database then look at the individual scholarship page and the minority scholarship page.

Make sure you allow your self some time over the Christmas and Thanksgiving Holidays to work on scholarship applications, essays, admissions forms. Don’t wait until the last minute and be sure you make copies of everything before you send it in.
TAKE THE ACT/SATRegister for the December tests if needed. Reminder (for Arkansas– different in other states) that you need a 19 in all sub categories to avoid taking remedial college courses. If you have tried several times and have not brought your score up then speak to the admissions recruiter at the specific college and ask them about taking a Compass or Asset test.

If you have already taken the ACT you can register online. It’s faster.

Fill out the FAFSA- It should open on October 1st and will use the tax return from two years ago.  It is very important to fill out the FAFSA- not required, but it really is necessary to help determine what type of aide you should or should not qualify.

The YOUniversal application should also open in October. Create an account so you can get started entering your information.  This application is necessary to qualify for the Lottery Scholarship.

End of October-December


In late December your counselor will receive the paper version of the FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is very important. Colleges won’t tell you that you have to fill this out—But basically you have to fill this out. This form determines the amount of aid you can possibly receive. There are 4 different categories of funding :

Internal (offered from the college usually merit-based can have need base element)

External (national, state and local scholarships both need and merit based Military related scholarships are also in this category)

Aid (Federal and State grant and aid mostly need based)

M&D ( This comes from Mom and Dad’s pocket) Hint: Mom and Dad will be more receptive to dish out the all-important spending money if you get all of your college paid for through scholarships!!!

Be sure you are meeting all of you application deadlines. If you have not filled out the FAFSA, do that as soon as you can. It is required for applying for the Lottery Scholarship through the YOUniversal application . Many of the final admissions deadlines are in February and March. Be sure you have submitted the forms on time.1. If you want to find out an estimate of if you will qualify for financial aid, go to the Financial Aid page in TASSELTime and choose one of the links to calculate you EFC (Expected Family Contribution) score.

2. Fill out the FAFSA form either from the paper version (takes 4-6 weeks) or the online version (takes 2-3 weeks). I recommend the online version but you choose your own preference. This is a free form. Many accountants have experience with the FAFSA. The online help is exceptional—it has a step by step tutorial. Also, many colleges offer “Financial Aid” workshops to help you fill out the FAFSA.

3. If you have special circumstances, you must file the form first and then talk with the specific financial advisor and the college of your choice. The head of financial aid is the ONLY person who can take care of special circumstances.

4. Be sure you are meeting all of you application deadlines. The Challenge and Governor’s Applications come out in January. See your counselor for the forms. You can submit the Challenge application online. Many of the final admissions deadlines are in February and March. Be sure you have submitted the forms on time.

5. There are no “Do-Overs” on deadlines.

6. Make sure that your 7 semester transcript is being sent to the colleges of your choice. Find out if the college is going to request it directly from the school or if you are responsible to get a copy and send it.

7. Find out if you can take the ACT/SAT to continue to try for more scholarship money. This is up to the individual college’s requirements.

End of January-March


1. If you plan to fill out your FAFSA, make sure you have submitted FAFSA by the appropriate deadline.

2. If you are going to apply for Challenge, make sure you have submitted Challenge application. Although the deadline is not until summer, IT IS VERY WISE TO SUBMIT IT ASAP.

3. Make sure an 8 semester transcript gets to the college. Again, find out if you college choice is going to directly request it from the school or if it is your responsibility to see that it is mailed.

4. If you have been offered several scholarships to different colleges, respond to all college/scholarship offers appropriately. Let all of the colleges know of your plans. This allows other students who are on a waiting list to also find out ASAP.

5. If you are still needing that magic 19 in a certain area or are trying to push for that one last try at a higher score, find out if your college choice will allow you to update your scores with the April or June test results.