Senior year is very busy and important for both students and parents. Much planning and discussion is necessary to capitalize on all possible resources to ensure proper placement in employment, military, or educational settings.
The Guidance Office and CTE Office are available resources for you to use here at school to help you navigate through your child’s senior year. Erica Jones is our Career Development Coordinator, and she and I will work together to plan for your child’s graduation endeavors.
As counselor, I will recommend numerous avenues for seeking information. Your child will encounter many important deadlines throughout the year – failure to meet them could be costly and may affect his or her future. Please stay in contact with the Guidance Office and let me know if you have any questions or concerns as you are entering into the graduation process.
The SAT is very important and is necessary if applying to a four year college. The benchmark score for SAT testing is 1500. This is also a competitive score for scholarships and awards. The SAT is offered in October and November this Fall. I would strongly encourage your child to take the SAT one last time if they are trying to get into a competitive four year program. The ACT Assessment is also accepted at many colleges and universities, and it is becoming more popular because of our state’s recent movement to use it for accountability purposes in the high schools. The national average for the ACT composite is 21.1. For competitive scholarships and honors programs, the ACT composite needs to be around 27. Dates for the SAT and ACT are posted on the Guidance bulletin board in the front hallway, and your child can come to the guidance office to sign up. They will need to download a picture for their admission ticket, and they will need a credit card number if they do not qualify for a fee waiver.
If your child has a particular college or major in mind, now would be a good time to go to that college’s website to find the entrance criteria and set up a web portal account. Finding out this information will be a key component in deciding whether your child needs to take the SAT again. It will also give you a good idea as to how your child’s GPA compares to the college’s expectations and requirements.
Now is the time that you and your child need to begin filling out college applications. SAT scores will automatically be sent to the colleges of choice, so students should not wait for this information in order to apply to college. Also, the FASFA, which must be filled out for financial aid, will not be done until January; therefore, students should not wait for this information in order to apply to college.
I can help students fill out their college applications, or they can do it on their own. All applications that are done here at school will be completed through cfnc.org. This is an excellent website that is a free resource for college and career planning, and all applications can be done through this one web tool. Applications may also be completed by going directly to the college’s website and setting up a user account. Applications need to be typed and well thought out. If students choose to print off their application and do it by hand, they need to be neatly written with black ink. If you would like for me to review over your child’s application before they submit it, I would be happy to go over it with them. I can also send off paper applications. Please submit a check or money order with your child if you would like for me to review and mail it. I will send a transcript with all applications that are mailed. The earlier each application is mailed or submitted, the sooner a response will be received. Most colleges now prefer that students apply on-line. Remember to please tell me when you apply on-line so that I can mail the transcript directly to the school. If you choose to use cfnc.org, you can use your NCWISE student number to send transcripts electronically.
If your child has taken any college courses while at North Duplin such as Learn and Earn, Huskins courses, iSchool courses through UNCG, or Concurrent Enrollment, he/she must request a transcript directly from the college. Transcript requests from JSCC may be picked up in the Guidance Office. The request form must be taken to JSCC, and they will request $1.00 per transcript sent. Transcript request forms for UNCG may also be picked up in the Guidance Office with each transcript costing $5.00. These transcripts should be requested after ALL courses are complete, which is usually at the end of the school year. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact me.
There will be a Financial Aid Workshop on Monday, December 10th @ 7:00pm in the Media Center. We will have representatives from JSCC who will explain the FAFSA process and what you will need to prepare for during the spring semester. There will also be a FAFSA workshop on February 7, 2013 at James Sprunt Community College in Monk Auditorium. Financial aid officers from JSCC and UNCW will conduct the meeting. Both workshops will be very informative, and you will come away with a better understanding of the FAFSA process. FAFSA College Day will be on Saturday, February 23rd. Most colleges in NC will be available to answer questions and help parents complete FAFSA through the on-line website. You do not have to attend the workshop at the college you are attending. Most students in our area go to JSCC or MOC.
Scholarship applications will be given to students as the Guidance office receives them. We have also given you a list of websites to research different scholarships in your packet. Another option is to go to Duplin County Schools webpage, click on students, and click on Future For Kids. You can go to this website to find scholarships that are pertinent to your child and your family’s situation. Encourage your child to listen closely to announcements and to keep a check on the Guidance bulletin board. Information will also be posted on our school’s website. I will announce application and deadline information as soon as it is received. I also recommend that you contact your employer, church, civic groups, and insurance companies to see if any scholarships are available. Some businesses will offer scholarships to their employees’ children. Fire departments and rescue organizations also offer awards to members’ children. If you or your spouse is a veteran of war, scholarships are available to assist your child with financial aid. Please follow up with the Veterans Administration to see what benefits are available to your family.
If a senior plans to participate in college athletics, it is imperative that he/she sees me to complete registration for the NCAA Clearinghouse. This must be done for students who plan to play sports at a Division I or Division II college or university. The cost is around $50.00 to register, but students may receive a fee waiver if they qualify. Students need to see me to determine if they are eligible for a fee waiver.
For students planning to enter the military, I will be glad to make the necessary contacts to make sure that your child gets all available information. Many branches of the military have representatives visiting our school regularly. I can arrange meetings with military representatives if asked. The ASVAB will be given at our school in the spring. Seniors who would like to take this test need to let me know ahead of time.
I have given you and your child a lot of information today. Please make sure to go through everything with your child. Hopefully this information will be able to assist you as you begin to navigate through your child’s senior year. Please know that I will assist you any way I can through the process. As the year progresses, please feel free to contact me. I will be glad to answer any questions you have concerning educational, job, or military placement for your son or daughter.
Lynne K. Smith