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Families: 12th Grade Checklist

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12th Grade Family Checklist

College is right around the corner. Find out how you can help your student succeed with our monthly checklists.

 

FALL
WINTER
SPRING
SUMMER
  • SEPTEMBER

    • Make a post-high school plan.

      Encourage your student to share their career goals and support them in his/her educational aspirations.

      Talk to your student about keeping and sharing a calendar of deadlines and organizing material with you.

      Check in regularly with your student on how the college application process is going.
    • Stay on track.

      Talk to your student to make sure she/he is on track to graduate and enter college.
    • Clean up your online act.

      Talk to your student about keeping social media profiles private and clean.
    • Explore how to pay for college.

      Have a conversation with your student about the cost of college and what you will be able to contribute.
    • Sign up for the SAT or ACT.

      If your student hasn’t taken the test yet or want to re-take it, make sure your student signs up for ACT or SAT test in time!
    • Look out for special circumstances.

      Look up specific deadlines and requirements with your student if they are interested in the arts, military or playing sports in college.

      If your student is undocumented, he or she may be eligible for in-state tuition at public community colleges and universities as well as state financial aid.

      Almost all male students must register with the Selective Service within 30 days (before or after) of their 18th birthday. If they do not register, they will not be eligible for federal financial aid for college.

      If your student has a special circumstance (such as in foster care, homeless, a teen parent and/or has a disability), explore specific resources and support services.

    Conversation Starters

    • What do you imagine yourself doing in 10 years? How will you get there?
    • What have you learned about the cost of college?

     

    OCTOBER

    • Document accomplishments.

      Have a conversation with your student to make sure they're on track for college applications, including writing down their work and school experiences.
    • Tell your story.

      Encourage your student to have their college or scholarship essays edited by a trusted adult.
    • Narrow the field.

      Attend a college visit or college fair with your student.
    • Complete the FAFSA.

      The Free Application for Federal Student Aid opens October 1! Your student will likely need your help in obtaining all of the documents needed to file the FAFSA. This includes social security numbers, tax returns and other financial information.

      Attend a workshop at school or a College Goal Oregon event for hands-on help completing the FAFSA.
    • Request letters of recommendation.

      Brainstorm with your student several adults and educators who know them well and could write a good letter of recommendation.
    • Take or re-take the SAT or ACT.

      Make sure your student gets a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast on the day of the test.
       

    Conversation Starters

    • What is something you've done in high school that you're particularly proud of?
    • Which adult has had the biggest impact on your life? What is something you've learned from him/her?

     

    NOVEMBER

    • Finalize your list of colleges.

      Talk to your student about their top choices, including looking at the costs for each school.
            Remember – private schools with expensive price tags often have more scholarships and financial aid to give than the cheaper public schools!

      Make sure your student has a backup plan, too.
    • Be prepared.

      Ask your student if they need information from you, such as employment history or tax records.
    • APPLY!

      November is Oregon College Application Month. Congratulate your student on taking the first step and applying to college!
    • Follow up.

      Make sure your student has submitted ALL of the information necessary for college, financial aid and scholarship applications including letters of recommendation, transcripts and college admission test scores.

      Encourage him/her to check e-mail regularly as this is how most colleges will communicate.

    Conversation Starter

    • Why did you select these schools as your top choice?
  • DECEMBER

    • Finish applying to colleges.

      Make sure your student has submitted ALL of the information necessary for the application including letters of recommendation, transcripts and college admission test scores.

      Encourage him/her to check e-mail regularly as this is how most colleges will communicate.
    • Talk to current college students.

      Talk to parents of current college students about the transition to college and what to expect. Ask them what they wish they had done when their students were seniors!
    • Get set for scholarships.

      Help your student search for scholarships online and check with your employer or organizations you might be a part of for scholarship opportunities.
    • Catch up on details.

      Remind your student to use the winter break to catch up on tasks not yet completed in the college application and financial aid process.

    Conversation Starters

    • What are your plans for helping to pay for college?
    • Which of your activities do you enjoy the most?

     

    JANUARY

    • Complete the FAFSA.

      Remind your student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid if he or she hasn't done so already. Your student will likely need your help in obtaining all of the documents needed to file the FAFSA. This includes social security numbers, tax returns and other financial information.

      Attend a workshop at school or a College Goal Oregon event for hands-on help for completing the FAFSA.
    • Continue applying for scholarships.

      Help your student search for scholarships online and check with your employer or organizations you might be a part of for scholarship opportunities.
    • Make a summer plan.

      Encourage your student to apply for summer enrichment programs, internships or jobs.

      Many college orientation programs take place during the summer, so help your student plan accordingly.
    • Register with Selective Service.

      If your student is male, make sure he registers with Selective Service within 30 days (before or after) of his 18th birthday. If he does not register, he will not be eligible for federal financial aid for college.
       

    Conversation Starters

    • What are your goals for the summer?
    • What are your favorite ways to spend time with our family?

     

    FEBRUARY

    • Apply for scholarships.

      Offer to help edit or proofread your student’s scholarship essays.

      Help your student search for scholarships online and check with your employer or organizations you might be a part of for scholarship opportunities.

      Remind him/her of key deadlines, especially the OSAC application due on March 1.
    • Visit campus.

      ­­­Join your student on school field trips or attend special Preview Days on college campuses for admitted or potential students.
    • Get a check up.

      Colleges in Oregon require (Measles) or recommend (flu, HPV, Hepatitis B) certain immunizations before enrolling. Make sure your students is healthy and ready to go!
    • Confirm FAFSA info.

      The Student Aid Report is a summary of what your student filled out on the FAFSA – offer to go over the information to make sure that everything is correct and make any changes if necessary by March 15. 

    Conversation Starters

    • How many scholarships are you applying to?
    • When you're feeling stress, what is something that helps you relax?
  • MARCH

    • Keep up the good work.

       Colleges (and scholarship applications) look at second semester grades – so make sure your student continues working hard in school. No slacking!
    • Continue applying for scholarships.

      Continue to encourage and support your student in applying to scholarships.
    • Confirm summer plans.

      Encourage your student to apply for summer enrichment programs, internships or jobs.

      Many college orientation programs take place during the summer, so help students make their plans accordingly.
    • File taxes.

      The deadline for filing taxes is April 15, Financial aid awards are based on your and your student's tax information (federal and state) from previous years, so be sure to file on time. 

    Conversation Starters

    • Now that all the major application deadlines have passed, what are you doing to ensure you stay on track this spring?
    • Which of your high school experiences has been most memorable?

     

    APRIL

    • Look for decision letters from colleges.

      Celebrate acceptances with your student, and be supportive if he is put on the wait list or denied.
    • Compare financial aid award letters from colleges.

      Colleges send financial aid award letters soon after sending acceptance letters. Review these carefully with your student and make sure she understands how loans, grants and scholarships work.

      Compare the cost of attendance and how much aid is given at each school.
    • Sign up for and attend preview days on college campuses.

      Many colleges have days or weekends specifically for admitted students – your student can take advantage of these to help decide between colleges or get to know one better. Some colleges might offer sessions specifically for parents as well.
    • Decide where to attend college in the fall.

      Help your student think through the process and consider all of the factors in choosing a college like distance from home, cost, academics, and more. Be supportive in his final decision and celebrate!

      Many colleges require a confirmation and initial deposit on May 1.

       

    Conversation Starters

    • Which things are most important to you in making a decision about which college you'll attend?
    • When you are away from home, what things do you miss most?

     

    MAY

    • Study for and take tests.

      Make sure your student gets a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast on the day of AP tests and/or college placement exams.
    • Fill out forms.

      Colleges send lots of information that require forms to be returned by a certain deadline. Help your student review the information and return them on time. Forms may include accepting financial aid, loan paperwork, housing and meal plans, and orientation and class registration.
    • Say thank you.

      Encourage your student to send thank you notes to anyone who has helped him through the college application process: counselors, teachers, coaches, scholarship providers, etc.
    • Start thinking ahead.

      Be prepared for the transition to college! Help your student create a reasonable budget and a way to track expenses.

      Explore with your student who’s available to help on college campuses.
            There’s often information specifically for parents available on college websites, too.

      Make a packing and supply list with your student.

      Review with your student what to expect from college classes.

    Conversation Starters

    • What are you most excited about in college? What are you most nervous about?
    • When you want to give yourself a treat, what do you choose?
  • SUMMER

    • Send final transcripts and scores.

      The school will send a final transcript and grades to your student’s college – so make sure the school knows your student’s final decision!

      AP scores will be available online in July; your student can send scores to a different college than he or she indicated on the test for a fee.
    • Get organized.

      As a college student, your student will be responsible for his/her own time, money, academics and social life. Help your student navigate these new responsibilities:

      Make sure your student has health insurance through the school, your policy, or your student's own policy.

      Help your student with banking and financial needs – setting up a checking account at a bank or credit union near campus, deciding the best way to monitor his or her budget, and learning more about student loans and credit cards.


      Make a packing and supply list with your student; if living on campus, have your student connect with his or her roommate to coordinate supplies.
    • Attend orientation.

      Make sure your student is registered for and attends orientation. Some colleges also offer programs specifically for parents!
    • Make the most of summer.

      In addition to your student’s job, internship, or summer program, encourage your student to read a good book, try something new, and spend time with friends and family!

    Conversation Starters

    • What are three things you want to do this summer?
    • What are three things you plan to do in your first term of college?

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