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Ending Senior Year With a Strong Finish

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Ending Senior Year With a Strong Finish

It’s May. High schools are in the process of getting ready to end for the school year. There is the senior award ceremony, prom, senior cookout, senior day and graduation practice. This also means that it is exam season. Your exam could be for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, industry certification or final exams related to particular subjects, tied to a state standardized assessment or both.

It is imperative that you try your best and resist the infamous and dreaded senioritis that sets in during the last couple of months of school. Here are some things that need attention before you graduate:

Grades

By this time, most seniors know their grade point averages and their class rank. Just about everyone in the senior class knows who the valedictorian and salutatorian will be on graduation day. However, performing poorly on a final exam because you think it will not affect your standing is incorrect. In fact, the opposite could occur. There is still the chance that if your grade point average becomes lower, your class rank can too… depending on how your classmates perform on their tests.

A lower final grade on your report card could jeopardize your college admission standing, scholarships and/or NCAA eligibility. Low scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and industry certification could result in not receiving a particular diploma or college credit; or not becoming certified in a particular career and technical education area. Low scores on subject specific final exams or state standardized assessments can result in being retained or not meeting graduation requirements.

Fees

Be sure you have returned all text and library books, athletic and music equipment and paid all student parking fines. Your school may hold final report cards, transcript requests, etc. for students who have outstanding balances. You would not want any indebtedness to impede your college attending process.

Final College Preparation Duties

Before you leave high school for the last time, be sure you requested a final transcript, to be sent to your institution of acceptance, from your school counseling office. If you have new financial aid needs, be sure to contact the financial aid office on your college campus. If you were “wait listed” by one of your desired choices, call or email the admissions office to make your interest clear. Check to see if there are any last minute changes in their enrollment for the upcoming fall.

If your college has a math or writing placement test, be sure to schedule the test in the summer so that you are scheduled for the correct courses in the fall. Be sure you have received all of your scholarship monies before you leave for campus, or ensure that the organizations will send monetary awards to campus, in order to lower your tuition bill. Lastly, don’t forget to attend summer orientation and contact your new roommate.

Enjoy Your Summer!

This will be your last summer before you enter college. Make it a memorable one. Celebrate with your friends, earn some spending money for college, take a summer class to get ahead in your studies, or sign up for a summer program. Whatever path you choose, enjoy it!

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Written by Tracy Jackson, PhD

Dr. Tracy Jackson has been a school counselor since 1997 with experience at the elementary, middle & high school levels. She earned her PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Old Dominion University where she is an adjunct professor. As Coordinator of Guidance Services for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Tracy oversees the comprehensive school counseling programs for 85 schools & works with over 170 school counselors. Her blog provides resources & information to school counselors.

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