What to Expect - SENIOR YEAR

What to Expect - SENIOR YEAR

What to Expect Your Senior Year

Senior Year

This is the year you have prepped for during you high school career! The day you return from graduationsummer break, you will start to apply to college. You should have all your standardized testing completed so you can start the application process. Your college applications need to be completed by Thanksgiving to allow the colleges to realize your zeal for their institution. You will also complete your financial aid this year. Remember, the more you accomplish the beginning of your senior year, the more relaxed you will be. We hope that you will use the resources provided here to take those last few steps towards making your future goals a reality!


Continue to maintain or raise your current GPA. As Even if you are already accepted to a college, they will receive your final transcripts in June, if your GPA drops significantly or if you fail a class, they can revoke your admissions. Do not let “senioritis” set in! You need to stay focused!  

AP courses

Did you take an AP exam and wonder what college will accept your class for credit. Check out https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies to find out!

Career Exploration 

Trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life can be a daunting task for a person at any age. We encourage students to start their career exploration early to make the process easier. 

Check out https://www.onetonline.org/ to research careers and possible salaries. 

Visit https://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Products/CareerGuide/Pages/default.aspx

  Published by the Department of Labor & Industry, this guide is packed with great information on a variety of different careers and resources to help with your career search.

Thinking about a career in the trades? You may want to further your education before you get started. Check out these somewhat local and affordable options:


Considering a military career? You have a lot of options to consider:rotc

Have you ever considered a career in Military Social Work?

  • Military service members, veterans and their families have special needs that may necessitate working with a social worker. For example, military personnel may be dealing with psychological and emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, especially if they have been fighting on the front lines of war. Families of veterans may be struggling with domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse or suicide. Military social workers must be prepared for the complexity that comes with treating both active-duty and civilian clients who are part of military culture.

Job Shadowing

This is an amazing opportunity to find out about any career you are interested. Contact the company’s human resource department. Mention you are a high school student interested in learning more about the specific career and would like to job shadow. Job shadowing is the cheapest and fastest way to find out if you would like to pursue a specific career. Remember: finding out what you do not like is just as important as finding out what you do like!

College Search

You need to finalize your college list of 3-6 colleges. Include a dream school and at least 2 schools you know you will be accepted.  Wondering how to find the "perfect" college? Here are some tips to help you with the search:

Getting Started:

  • Try out the Super Match College Search: This tool can be found under the "Colleges" tab in Naviance. It will allow you to select all the things your dream college would have (activities, location, size, setting, majors, etc.) and it will generate a list of colleges you may like based on those factors.

  • Add colleges to your "Colleges I'm Thinking About" list: This tool can be found under the "Colleges" tab in Naviance. It will help you get organized and give you some great information on the colleges you are considering. Click on the graphing tool next to each colleges to see what type of students that college has accepted from Spring-Ford in the past.

Finding out what type of college you would like is important as you research where you would like to apply. Do you want a big university where you are referred to as a number or a small school where everyone knows your name? Do you want the city life or prefer suburbia. Only you can make this decision. Talk with students who attend the college of interest. Make appointments with the Admissions Counselors to visit the college campus or ask questions over the phone. Remember, the admissions counselors are deciding who will be accepted, always be polite and courteous. After your visit, send a hand written thank you note.

3 Factors of Your Best Fit College:

1. Academic Fit: This is why you are going to college! Make sure that the college offers the academic program you need to set you up for your future career. You can determine if a school is a good academic fit by meeting faculty members for your major, checking out the classrooms/labs/facilities for your major, asking about student research/internship/co-op opportunities for students with your major. Not sure what you'll major in? Find out what the opportunities the college offers to students who are undecided.

2. Social Fit: This is going to be your home for the next 4 years! Do you like the campus? Have you tried the food? Would you want to be friends with the people you see walking around on campus? Does the school offer the clubs, sports, music programs, etc. that you want? The more comfortable you feel on campus, the more likely you are to take academic risks and get involved. You will build up your resume without even realizing it!

3. Financial Fit: For some families this may feel like the biggest factor of the three and for good reason! College is expensive! When searching for a college, we recommend that students apply to both expensive and inexpensive schools because sometimes those expensive schools offer the most free money to our students. Each school will provide students with a financial aid package after the student has been accepted. This will break down the entire cost of the college and what types of scholarships, grants, and student loans that are being offered. Students should review their financial aid package before committing to a college.


Are you interested in playing collegiate sports? What division are you considering? Check out http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future to register and find the requirements for Division I and Division II. Make sure you review the sliding scale requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT. https://www.ncsasports.org/ncaa-eligibility-center/ncaa-sliding-scale

Remember Division III will not offer an athletic scholarships. Send your official SAT/ACT scores to the Eligibility Center through the testing agency (College Board or ACT) using the CEEB Code 9999. Make contact with the coaches, send them footage of your best game so they can see your talent! Use social media to highlight your abilities and desire to play in college

Applying to college

1. Finalize your list of colleges, research the application requirements, and research the deadlines. You can build on your current list by using the Super Match Search Tool in Naviance.

2. Complete your Counselor Recommendation Information Form ("About Me" tab in Naviance on left side)

3. Complete your college applications (either on  https://www.commonapp.org/ or the individual college's website). This will most likely include an essay. It is a good idea to have someone read over it before submitting it. . If you have a portfolio, you might want to consider applying on the coalition http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/.

4. If you use the Common Application you MUST link your common app to Naviance. 

5. Add your colleges to the "colleges I'm applying to" link (only after completing your application). 

**If you are applying to a self-reporting school, see the counseling office for an unofficial copy of your transcript to make self-reporting easier.

6. Add teacher and counselor recommendation requests at the bottom of the "colleges I'm applying to" tab. Remember to give your teacher a minimum of 2 weeks to write your letter. 

7. Request SAT/ACT scores to be sent (collegeboard.org or act.org). These will not be listed on your transcript. 

Financial Aid

Not sure you can afford college? There are many ways to make college financially affordable:


  • FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a government form used to determine a family's need based on prior year tax information.

  • Each college that students list on the FAFSA, will use the financial information provided to create a financial aid package that breaks down all the aid available for the student at that institution as well as the final cost of attendance.

  • This form also qualifies every student to receive a Stafford Loan which is a student loan completely in the student's name.

  • The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1 of each year on https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

    • WARNING: Do not fall victim to a scam site that asks for credit card information or requires you to pay a fee to fill out the form!

    • WARNING: Do not fill out the FAFSA before October 1 of the student's senior year!

  • Curious about how much you may qualify for? Each college is required to have a net price calculator on their website for families to estimate the cost of attendance for each school.

  • Be on the lookout for priority FAFSA filing dates! Some schools will give more financial aid to students who file by this date.

PA State Grant

  • The PA State Grant is FREE money available to PA state residents who demonstrate financial need and attend a college in Pennsylvania.

  • The absolute last day to apply for the PA State Grant is May 1 of the student's senior year.

  • Students will be linked to the PA State Grant Form from the FAFSA, but if you missed it, you can still fill it out https://www.pheaa.org/grants/state-grant-program/.


Check with the counseling office for scholarships. You can also research scholarships at https://www.goingmerry.com/, https://www.fastweb.com/, https://www.dosomething.org/us. You can also check out https://myscholly.com/ which is a scholarship database app for your device. Remember, scholarship money through outside the college organizations are checks with your name that go into your pocket! 

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