Senior Checklist: College Applications and more

Early fall is a stressful time for seniors who are busy with college applications, transcripts and taking the SATS and ACTS, so to make sure seniors are on track in their college process, Mrs.Blockson approves this checklist for seniors.

Lyanette Jobson

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The senior year is often stressful. Therefore, students must learn how to balance their activities with the demands of college applications. Unfortunately, Mrs. Blockson has seen students miss deadlines in the past. She says the cause for this is, “Students are nervous that they aren’t doing their applications right or that they might not get accepted. They think their test scores or grades aren’t good enough. They are also concerned about the outcome. It’s all centered around fear.”

Another big problem is that most seniors are disorganized.

To combat these tendencies, I asked what are some of the most important things seniors should keep in mind this year. Mrs. Blockson had lots of wise advice, which she gave in a list to make it easier for seniors to remember.

One was that deadlines are for real. Second that once seniors graduate, no matter what paths they choose, people are going to see them as adults, so they need to act accordingly. Third, since seniors are going to be viewed as adults in the world, they need to make no excuses and be accountable for their actions. Fourth, learn how to be honest with yourself so that you can make intelligent decisions using true information.

Another scary concept is what colleges are looking for when reading your college application. However, you don’t have to worry because Mrs. Blockson also gives insight on what colleges are looking for in your transcripts and applications. She says, “when looking at your transcripts and school profile they look to see if you challenge yourself by taking honors and AP courses we offer. They also look at your GPA and class ranking. When reading your application they don’t want a repeat of what is on your transcripts such as your community service hours or your school involvement. In your essay, they want to pick up your character from reading it. They also see if you follow directions.”

Most seniors have heard over and over “keep up with Naviance!” but some don’t understand how truly important it is. Mrs. Blockson was eager to explain why saying, “Naviance is the only way a counselor can send your transcripts to colleges and the only way teachers can send recommendations to colleges. Naviance is also an important way to be able to look at scholarship lists.” Seniors should also be aware of, or the Federal Student Aid Application. Filling out your FAFSA is very important because it’s required by all colleges.

Another requirement for most colleges is the CSS Profile. Seniors should use the guidance webpages, more specifically the Cleveland Heights Guidance webpage, where you have the option to click on information for seniors. Mrs. Blockson also adds a lot of crucial information about scholarships not found on Naviance.

Since the college process is so tedious and stressful, some ways seniors can make it smoother is by: listing their colleges in Naviance, requesting transcripts from Naviance, notifying their counselors that they have listed their colleges in Naviance, keeping deadlines, completing college applications a month in advance and asking for teacher recommendations two months in advance.

Mrs. Blockson’s work seems very stressful, but she joyfully explained how much she enjoys listening to student’s future plans. She likes the passions seniors have when telling her about their future. She also finds joy in helping not only seniors but their families too, “It’s so exciting to see the students excited.” She also helps ease the anxiety seniors feel so that they are able to get over their fears. It’s even more pleasing to her when she sees them apply to the college they were nervous about, and get accepted. She humbly describes that, “after the students get in they come back and thank me, but it was them who did it.” Giving students the confidence to apply to a college they are nervous about also brings her happiness.

Without Mrs. Blockson, her seniors at Cleveland Heights High School would be lost.

The following links are mentioned in the article:

CSS Collegeboard Profile

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

CHHS Guidance Page