Class of 2021’s Countdown to November 1

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Graphic by: Henry Severe

Kimani Dodd, STAFF WRITER

  For the class of 2021, the pressure is on. They have to keep their grades up and apply for college. They have to start narrowing their lists down and ensure that all the requirements for college admission are turned in. It’s easy to lose track of time, so here’s a guide to staying organized:

 

  One of the most important requirements for college is the SAT/ACT. It’s highly recommended that students take either the SAT or ACT in the spring of their junior year. This gives students the opportunity to take the test a second time in their senior year if they’re not happy with the previous score. Students should base their target score on the colleges they want to get into. However, with the impact of the pandemic on testing dates, many schools have gone test optional or become more flexible with SAT/ACT guidelines, with the exception of Florida public universities. 

 

  Another key requirement is letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation allow admission officers to learn more about a student’s character. They can offer additional insight into a student’s personality and their experiences. For students applying for an early decision, ensure that you ask your teachers by October 1st. Teachers will have lots of students asking for letters so the sooner you ask, the better. Make sure you check the college’s website to see when the early decision deadline is. The deadline is different for each school, but typically it’s in November. 

 

  Furthermore, seniors should get a copy of their high school transcript for their college application. High school transcripts show the type of classes students took, the grades you received and your cumulative GPA. Some transcripts show your test scores and the awards you’ve received. They allow admission officers to see your progress over 4 years. Admission officers want to know that you challenged yourself all throughout high school instead of just taking the easy path. Not every college has the same method for turning in transcripts, so it’s best to check the college’s website. Seniors this year must order their transcripts off of Parchment, so be sure to do so in a timely manner.

 

  Lastly, every student should apply for the FAFSA. The FAFSA is used to determine students’ eligibility for financial aid. To fill out the FAFSA, you go to the website https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Once you get there, you click on the tab that says start here. The earlier you submit, you’ll have a better chance of getting grants, school aid, or student aid. The deadline for the 2020-2021 FAFSA is June 30, 2021.

 

  Overall, there are quite a few things seniors must do. They’re so close to the finishing line and these are the final steps. College is right around the corner and we can’t wait to see what the class of 2021 accomplishes.