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High School Resources


Senior Year Checklist

We have provided a Senior Year checklist for students to keep track of all the necessary requirements that need to be finalized! 

You can get the complete checklist by clicking below: 

Senior Year Checklist

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We have provided a resume template that can be a great start to building your resume! You can get the resume template by clicking below: 

Resume Template

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As you continue to apply for colleges they will give you a financial aid award when your acceptance letter is given to you. Make sure you are looking out for this award because schools give you money based on your GPA, ACT/SAT, Parent’s income and any other factors involved in your application.

Research the homepage of the college’s you are interested in attending for any upcoming scholarship applications that you can apply for.


Use scholarship websites! Some scholarship websites are not always efficient because they can be not so clear on the eligibility but for the most part these two websites are some of our favorites: 


Another resource that is available is a scholarship book that can be found in your local public library. This book has millions of scholarship names and it quickly helps you see if you are qualified or not. We recommend this book because it really does help you see all types of different scholarships that are available for the year. It gives you quick information on scholarships when sometimes websites ask for a little bit more of your time. This book is available in different years and it's better to borrow it from a public library than to spend money on it. 


Book name: The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2019 by Kelly Tanabe. 

Research for different opportunities where you can find scholarships both locally and nationally! For example, in Kansas, there is a website called Greater Kansas City Foundation that provides students with links to different scholarship opportunities. 



Check for opportunities in your state and community that offer scholarship/grants! Such as the Hispanic Development Scholarship, KC Scholars, etc. Keep in track of the scholarships that your college counselor provides to your senior class. Take a look at our Advice + Tips page to see how you can organize scholarship deadlines! 


Check in with your school’s Federal TRIO programs! They are there to help you during the college applying process and scholarships that are available for you in your state!

Paying For College:

1. Completing the FAFSA (if applicable)​​​​​

Types of financial aid you might be eligible for after completing the FAFSA:

  • Pell Grants: Provide need-based grants to undergraduate students. The money does not have to be repaid (unless you withdraw from the school before finishing an enrollment period). 

  • State aid: Primarily is available to students who attend college in their state of residence. 

  • Institutional aid: Is provided by public and private colleges and universities to help their students pay for tuition and fees. 

  • Federal Work Study Programs: Are offered by colleges to help their students earn money by working part-time. 

  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and unsubsidized): Are available to undergraduate and graduate students attending colleges at least half the time. These loans will need to be repaid. 

2. Apply for scholarships! 

Make the time to apply! 

  • Determination pays off with scholarship applications - especially since it’s money you don’t have to repay. Make your applications part of your weekly routine, and apply to as many as you can.

  • Master the essay 

    • Application committees are looking for what sets you apart.

  • Consider who you know 

    • Some workplaces and civic groups offer scholarships, so ask your family if they have any connections. 

  • Little amounts add up 

    • For every $20,000 prize, there are thousands of smaller awards that receive far fewer applicants. Seek out all possible options regardless of amount- it all adds up! 

  • Get an editor 

    • Find someone who wants to help you with your scholarship search, and ask them to review your applications for grammar and flow. 

  • Talk with the financial aid office 

    • If you know where you’re going to college, check with the school’s financial aid office to see if they can help you with your search. 

  1. Estimate and compare your total college costs 

    1. Go to your college/university website and search for the Net Price Calculator or you can add the costs yourself! 

    2. See the estimated costs for one year at that school 

    3. Find out what financial aid may be available 

3. Determine if you need additional money for college 

  • Explore additional college financing options

    • Tuition payment plans: 

      • May be available by colleges to help their students pay tuition in installments instead in one whole payment. 

  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans: 

    • Credit-based student loans offered by the federal government. 

  • Student loans 

    • Direct Unsubsidized:

      • Interest rate is 4.53% (changes year by year)

      • All students are eligible 

      • Students are responsible for the interest on the loan during the lifetime of the loan. 

    • Direct Subsidized:

      • Interest rate is 4.53% (changes year by year)

      • Eligible students demonstrate Financial Need through the FAFSA 

      • No interest is charged on the loan while the student is in school. 

(References: Wells Fargo)

8 Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA:

1. ​ ​Create a FSA ID for yourself at: 

If you are required to provide parent information on the FAFSA, your parent must register for an FSA ID too.​ 

2. Go to​​

3. Log in using your FSA ID

​Click “Start a new FAFSA” and enter your FSA ID. 

4. Choose which FAFSA you’d like to complete

You should complete the FAFSA for the school year you will attend. Remember, the FAFSA is not a one-time thing. You must complete your FAFSA each school year. 

5. Enter your personal information 

This is the information like your name, date of birth, etc. If you have completed the FAFSA in the past, a lot of your personal information will be pre-populated to save you time. Make sure you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on official government tax documents. 

6. Enter your financial information

You should use income records for the tax 2 years prior to the academic year for which you are applying. For example, if you are filling out the 2018-2019 FAFSA, beginning this year you will be required to fill out the information with the taxes of two years prior.  

You can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you find it easier to input information or you can do it manually. 

If your parents are not American citizens and do not have a social security number, you can input 0000. But it is important you reach out to your college counselor before doing so. FAFSA will put your application under verification. But do not worry, please reach out to your counselor on the steps needed to complete your application. We understand these can be stressful times for immigrant families but if you trust your counselor, please reach out or contact someone who you do trust to help you complete the application. 

7. Choose up to 10 schools  

Two-thirds of freshman FAFSA applicants list only one college on their applications. Don’t make this mistake! Make sure you add any schools you plan to attend, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet. You can add up to 10 schools to your FAFSA at a time. 

8. Sign the document with your FSA ID  

Your FSA ID serves as your electronic signature. You will use it to electronically sign and submit your FAFSA.

Is Your School the "Best Fit" for you?

Some questions to consider: 

Programs and Majors- 

Does the college offer the program you want to study/pursue? Is their program known to be of high quality?



Will you be attending a college that will challenge you academically?



How much will you pay to attend the college? Can you afford it? Keep in mind that financial aid varies from school to school. 


Success Rates- 

What is the school’s graduation rate? How likely are its graduates to get a job after graduation? How will the school help you succeed? 



Do you feel excited to be on campus? Do you feel safe? Does the school offer opportunities for you to experience new things that interest you? Will you be able to focus on your education there? 



Do you like the town and area where the college is located? Do you want to explore new places, or do you want to be closer to home?

Questions to Ask a College Admissions Representative:

  • What are the admissions requirements for your college/university? 

  • What type of financial aid is available? 

  • How is financial aid awarded to students? 

  • How many students receive financial aid? Scholarship aid? 

  • What types of scholarships are available? 

  • What employment opportunities are there on campus? 

  • Does your school help students find internships? 

  • Does your institution have a payment plan? 

  • What is the relationship between your college and the local community? 

  • What is the most popular major at your university? 

  • How many majors/minors are offered at your university? 

  • Does your school do double majors, if interested? 

  • What is the cultural diversity like at your university? 

  • Do you have a multicultural office or resource center? 

  • How many students attend your college? 

  • What is there to do for fun? 

  • What is student housing like? 

  • How are roommates assigned? 

  • What kind of tutoring services do you offer? Are they free? 

  • Are students required to live on campus? 

  • What is your student/faculty ratio? 

  • What is the average class size? What is the largest class offered? 

  • What % of students eventually go on to earn graduate degrees? 

  • Is there a Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO Program on your campus? 

  • How is your university really different from others? 

(References:;; various college sites)

Applying to College:

Make a list that contains all of the possible universities/colleges you can attend. It sounds pretty straightforward, but it is such an important first step to take. Write down all of your possible choices. Choose your top 5 or at least top 3. 

  • Your list should contain: Application Deadlines for Early Admission/Regular Admission, ACT/GPA Requirements, Acceptance Rate, Pros/Cons, etc.


It also helps to do a vision board! Make sure it contains your ultimate goals but also to include realistic options. It is also very helpful to include your stressors (Pros/Cons) of all of your options. Sometimes it's better to make a guide that focuses specifically on Pros/Cons because it helps eliminate options. 


 Remember that your college choices should vary. Meaning, do not make all of your choices extremely hard universities to get into. It should contain both of your safety and dream schools. Have a diverse amount of schools that you apply for, state schools, community college, out of state schools, etc. You never know how the future is going to end up. You have to accept the fact that you might not get accepted into your dream school. However, this does not mean that you will never reach your dream school. “It's not how you start the season, it's how you finish” (Albert Pujols). You should always have multiple plans in deciding where you want to attend college.


Many colleges will have Facebook Admission pages that are made for students like you who are interested in attending their school. Go on Facebook and look to see if there is a Facebook Group Page that you can be a part of. Colleges also use admission social media pages in other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc. These social media resources can be very useful because it gives students the opportunity to ask questions about the application process.

College Research Guide:

Ask yourself these questions as you research for potential college options! 



  • What are the admission requirements for acceptance? 

  • What is the priority deadline for application admission? 

  • What steps are necessary to complete in order to apply for admission? 

  • Is the application for admissions also the application for scholarships? 



  • What are the eligibility requirements for automatic scholarships? 

  • What competitive scholarships are available? 

  • What are the scholarship deadlines? Use your scholarship organization tool to track them!!! 

  • What are the requirements to apply for scholarships? 

  • What steps are necessary to complete in order to apply for scholarships? 


College Expenses 

  • How much is in-state tuition? Out-of-state tuition? 

  • What are the costs of room and board? 

  • What is the cost of books? Fees? 

Financial Aid 

  • What is the FAFSA deadline for your specific college? 


Academic Major 

  • What information is included about your major? 

  • What classes will you need to take for the major? 

  • What is the average class size? 

  • What opportunities for academic development are available? (ex: service learning, research, etc.) 


Career Support 

  • What services are provided for career development? 

  • What events does the career center facilitate throughout the year? 


Student Life

  • What are the college traditions and history? 

  • What types of clubs, activities, and organizations are offered on campus? Which ones interest you? Do they have cultural clubs? 

  • What events and activities take place on campus that interest you? 

  • What programs and centers are on campus that can help you? (ex: multicultural center, student health center, etc)


Housing and Dining 

  • What are the housing options for freshmen? 

  • What kinds of amenities are included in the dorms?

  • How many dining halls are on campus? 

  • What meal plans are available? Is there a specific one for freshmen students?

Tips for Successfully Completing a College Application:

Make Sure You: 

  • Know the college’s admission requirements before you even apply and check to see that you meet the admissions requirements! 

  • Include your Social Security Number (if applicable) on the college application if they ask for it so that your application can be processed accurately! 

  • Check your email frequently to make sure you do not miss any emails from the colleges you applied to. Follow up with the Admissions Office about 14 business days after you have submitted your application to ensure they have received your application and do not need any other information. 

  • Write neatly and clearly if it is a paper application. If online application, ensure that there are no typos. 

  • Highlight your high school activities (9th-12th grade). Some college applications ask students to list their school, volunteer, church, and community activities as well as awards and special recognitions. 

  • Spell everything correctly and spell out words rather than using abbreviations! 

  • Take your time and proofread before submitting your application. 

  • Ask your school counselor or Lead College & Career Coordinator about an application fee waiver. 



  • Use an inappropriate email address 

  • Provide contact information that is outdated 

  • Feel that you need to declare a major. If you are undecided, that is okay! 

  • Give a cellphone that has an appropriate voicemail message

  • Scratch out mistakes on paper applications, use white our or start over

(References:;; various college sites)

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