Letter to Seniors

Dear Senior,

As you begin your courses for your final year of high school, we’d like you to think about your future plans. Just think, you only have a few more classes and then you will be done with high school! But that presents its own problems, doesn’t it? The worst thing you can do now is stress out about things and panic. Don’t panic, but don’t procrastinate either. You need to decide what you want to do post-graduation if you have not already done so. If you need help or advice in this, please contact me. Below are some suggestions for you to begin or continue your post-high school preparations.

Do you want to go to a four-year university, a community college, or perhaps a technical school? If you plan on going to a university, application deadlines are looming, so get your applications in as soon as you can. For all three categories of schools, I advise you to visit the campuses of those that interest you. Be sure to check out the financial aid and counseling offices when you’re there.

Also, check out the school’s official website. There is a ton of information online about your school of choice. What about a technical school? Whether you want to be a chef, a mechanic, or a cosmetologist, you still need to prepare now. There are a surprising number of scholarships for such schools as well.

As a student of Sequoia Secondary, you have access to some excellent online resources. We encourage you to go to sequoiasecondary.org. If you click on the Student Services menu, you will be taken to the “Counselor’s Corner.” You will find a wealth of information regarding college, scholarships, standardized tests, and more. Ms. Newsom will update the Current Scholarships listing regularly during the school year, so take a look occasionally, visit some of the websites, and apply for scholarships that interest you. Look for scholarships on your own as well. As a senior, most scholarships are geared toward you. But you won’t receive any funds if you do not apply. Also, most scholarship deadlines are in the first semester of the school year, so now is the time to apply. Don’t wait!

I encourage all seniors who plan on attending a four-year university to take both the SAT and ACT if you have not already done so. Sign up for the next available test date today! (See the Counselor’s Corner for registration links.) If you’ve already taken both tests, retake the one you did better on. The SAT and ACT are quite different. The SAT tends to test logic and reason, whereas the ACT focuses more on knowledge. If you did poorly on one test, chances are you’ll do better on the other. Check out the Counselor’s Corner for more information, including links to practice tests. Be sure to use the Sequoia Secondary school code when you register for the tests: 030608.

Go online and fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Do not wait until you and your parents have completed your taxes. The sooner you fill out the FAFSA, the more likely you will receive financial aid. If you wait until February, March, or even April, you will receive far less financial aid money than if you fill it out first thing. This is vital!

Most importantly, do not panic! You still have time, but you must use it wisely. Call or e-mail us if you have questions or do not know what to do next. We are here to help.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Bynum
Director of Student Services