Deep Breaths Towards the Finish Line for Seniors

When can I breathe?”: that’s what students are usually trying to say when they ask, “Do my senior grades really matter?

The finish line is in sight! Help manage your mentee’s burnout by stepping away from the paperwork and do some enjoyable activities like talking a walk in a garden, playing ball at the park, visiting a museum or taking in a movie together. When they’re ready to tackle the last few highly-anticipated months of high school here’s what they’ll need to do:

Submit Financial Aid Forms

Every student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with up to ten colleges to receive that information. Once submitted to the Dept. of Education your mentee will know how much they are eligible for in the Federal Financial Aid programs: Pell Gran, Work-Study, and Student Loans. The schools use this information to package a financial aid offer for your student.

THEY GOT IN! Now what?

  1. Rank College Acceptances - there may be financial aid offers that should be considered.

  2. Commit to a University (yay!)

  3. Submit a Deposit

Second Guessing

More than likely, your mentee chose to apply to multiple universities (which we encourage) and chances are they’ll receive acceptance letters from more than one. While this is a huge accomplishment, it can be a cause of unexpected grief. After working so hard to overcome their barriers when faced with the promising fruits of their efforts, you may see your student begin to second guess themselves. We call this the “imposter syndrome” and our hope is that you can foster your mentee’s self-esteem by administering a little Mental Health First Aid (remember your A.L.G.E.E. training!). The admissions office already determined they deserve to be there, now your student needs to believe it.

Scholarship Ready

By now your student and you have spent plenty of time researching scholarships and should have a decent catalog for reference along with their deadline dates. Those personal statement essays are polished and ready to submit. Even their business attire is interview ready. What can you do to help?

  1. Review each scholarship individually - find out the foundation’s WHY.

  2. Finesse the essay + your recommendation letter - tailor it to the feel customized for that foundation’s goals.

  3. Practice a round of interview questions - give encouraging, constructive feedback.

  4. Craft a sincere “thank you” script - send handwritten notes or emails to each foundation, especially after an interview.

Time to celebrate! We’d love for all our students to participate in our TEDTalk competition for a chance to win our very own scholarship. The judges panel will select five students to present at Ed-Fest and we hope you’ll be with us to congratulate all our seniors on their incredible accomplishments. See you at graduation!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Desiree Webb-Oftedal