Future Prep for Students Part 3: The Best School Websites and Senior Year
By: Raven Lawson
Senior year is filled with new responsibilities and challenges that students need to take on. Time management becomes key because it is important to balance classwork with college applications. While this time can be incredibly stressful for both students and parents, the best school websites can provide their students with resources to help relieve the pressure that application season brings.
College Planning Resources for Seniors
There are many resources that schools can recommend to help their students manage senior year. Schools can include planning resources on their own websites that students can take advantage of such as timelines and a frequently asked questions section. Websites for schools can implement timelines that inform the students of important due dates so that students can stay on track with both their school work and their applications. An FAQ section would be helpful because college counselors can include the answers to questions that they are often asked, that way all students can receive that same information. The best school websites can also include webinars and other online resources pertaining to college, so that even when students are at home, they will always have access to resources that can help them throughout the college application process.
An online resource known as Naviance has been very beneficial for me as I prepare for the college application process. Naviance allows students to take quizzes to help them determine what kind of college environment they would thrive in, and it provides information about each of those schools. Naviance has helped me learn about the different college options such as liberal arts versus research based, private versus public, and four-year versus two-year institutions. This knowledge has been very helpful because it helped me understand what kind of academic and social environment I want to be in when I go to college.
College Application Workshops
Schools can also help their seniors by holding college application workshops on campus. I think it would beneficial if schools provided workshops about writing the personal statement and the FAFSA because these are two of the most important factors when it comes to preparing for college. These workshops could be taught by the college counselors or schools could invite college advisors to come on campus and teach them. The best school websites will also record these workshops and post links to them online that way students who were unable to attend, can still receive the same knowledge.
In addition to college application workshops, the best school websites can include a section where seniors can sign up to get one-on-one assistance with their college applications. This would be beneficial because it would allow college counselors to set aside dates and times to help specific individuals that way everyone has a chance to receive the help they need. My school also has college peer counselors, which are seniors who work in the college center and provide assistance with any college related matters. Students can take advantage of these peer counselors when they have smaller questions about things such as scholarships.
A resource that I think would be beneficial for all high school students is a panel or forum with school alumni to talk about their college experiences. These alumni panels would provide current students with personal information about the college process and campus life. Students would also be able to witness how people from their same school perform once they have graduated and moved on to college. Schools can post notifications on their website about these panels and who is attending. Alumni panels would be a great way for current students to ask any questions that they have about searching for colleges, the application process, or being a college student. Alumni panels might be more relatable for current seniors because they are getting advice from individuals that are closer to their age and have just recently gone through the college application process themselves.
Schools can also use their websites to post advice from alumni regarding college, that way both students and parents have access to this advice at any time. If alumni are unable to come back to the school, the best school websites can host video conferences so that students and alumni can communicate wherever they are.
It is important that during the chaotic time that is senior year, schools are doing their best to assist students with managing their time between school work and college applications. By using the above tips, the best school websites can provide their students with resources to help them make the most of their senior year and prepare for college. I think that with these tips, application season can be much easier and schools can make the transition from high school to college a smooth and enjoyable one.
My name is Raven Lawson, and I am a seventeen year old high school senior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES). I am a writer and designer for my school’s Yearbook and I am one of the Presidents of our Black Student Union. Through my school’s college counselor I learned about a summer internship opportunity. I applied in early February, and had the fortune of being selected as one of eighty-seven interns. I then joined the team here at Edlio as a marketing intern. After highschool, I plan to pursue a career in journalism or communications, and I am looking forward to utilizing the skills I learn at Edlio in the future.