How to prepare for senior year


Isaiah Holmes

As many people get closer to their senior year in high school, they may have questions regarding what they should be aware of so that they are best prepared to take on their last year in high school.


Although the school year does not start until early September, it is never to early to start researching colleges and planning your journey after high school. It is very helpful to attend college fairs, college-related panel discussions, and read up on what colleges have to offer so that you know everything about that college.


Making spreadsheets to organize information about colleges is the key to a smooth senior year. You can organize the spreadsheet by “name,” “location,” “total cost of attendance,” “extracurriculars offered,” “average ACT/SAT score,” “admission rate,” and “application fee.” You can refer back to the spreadsheet for the rest of the year or until you decide on a college you are going to. Senior student, Kyra McGee, said, “I used a spreadsheet to organize my college choices and it was very helpful because I did not have to keep searching for information about the colleges I was interested in.”


Spreadsheets about scholarships are also very useful because you will soon realize that college is not cheap. The average senior student will apply to about ten scholarships for college and only be awarded 1-2 of them. The spreadsheet should be organized by “name,” “award amount,” and “deadline.” You should start searching for scholarships during the summer to get a head start on the essays. When school starts, you should start completing other requirements like asking teachers for letters of recommendations, asking your counselors for transcripts, and asking writing teachers to help improve your essays. Some of the best websites to search for scholarships specific to yourself is:,, and Senior student, Ella McCarthy, said, “Organizing the scholarships I applied to in a spreadsheet eliminated confusion as to whether I applied to them or not and made me aware of the number of scholarships I completed.”


The Common Application is another important part of the college process. This is the application most colleges look at when considering you. It helps to read up and familiarize yourself with the “Common App” during the summer so that you are comfortable with it when it is time to start applying to college. The Counseling Department at Whitney Young offers a “College Readiness Boot Camp” to teach students how to navigate through Naviance and the Common Application. It is not mandatory, but highly recommended to attend.


Now that you have some insight on important pieces of the college puzzle, consider this information as you are approaching your senior year in high school so you can make the best of your final year!