Jr./Sr. High School Counseling

Notes...For Seniors Only!

Why Transcripts Matter to Colleges

By the time you’re ready to start your college search, you’ve already invested a lot in your high school experience. You’ve carefully selected courses that interested and challenged you. You got involved in extracurricular activities and clubs. So, colleges and institutions that only consider your GPA and ACT scores are missing a large part of who you really are as an individual. Iowa’s private colleges believe you are more than two numbers. You are a multi-faceted individual who deserves the time and consideration in a thorough admissions process that private colleges perform.

What We See Behind Transcripts

Experience in high school says a lot about your priorities, scope of interests, responsibilities, time management and passions. Since choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, how your college application is considered should be approached with sensitivity. In the end the thorough application process Iowa’s private colleges use produces a better match that leads to a better on-campus and academic success.

College Planning Checklist for Seniors

  • Complete NCAA Clearinghouse form in September or October
  • Compile a senior resume, activities & awards list, personal essay
  • Retake ACT in September, October or December, if necessary
  • Apply to colleges early!
    • Transcripts are sent from the high school office
    • GPA and Rank are available from the Counseling Center
    • ACT, SAT & ITED scores are included on the transcript
  • Visit or re-visit colleges
  • Investigate scholarships!
    • Campus-based (awarded by the specific college)
    • Academic (based on GPA)
    • Activity-based (music, drama, sports, etc.)
    • Organization-based (parents' employer, Masonic Lodge, etc.)
    • Local (included on numerous scholarship bulletins)

Complete the FAFSA Financial Aid form ASAP after OCTOBER 1st.

College Visits to Campus

A reminder that college visits to campuses must be arranged through the Counseling Center in order for them to be excused absences. Refer to the Student Handbook or see Mr. Patterson for more information.

Start A Scholarship File Folder With the Following

  • Scholarship Bulletins from the Guidance Office or downloaded from the website
  • Your GPA and Class Rank, which will change at semester and year's end
  • A copy of the first few forms you complete
  • ACTIVITIES LIST - all of your high school and community activities, years of participation, offices held, projects you initiated, etc.
  • PERSONAL ESSAY - many forms ask for the same type of essay, so keep it on a disk
  • A list of all scholarship forms you have completed and dates sent or turned in
  • A list of people who are willing to write RECOMMENDATIONS or serve as a reference for you
  • Most local scholarships have deadlines in March or April. Seniors need to be responsible for picking up scholarship forms and FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS ON THE FORM!

Local forms due April 1st MUST be turned in earlier if April 1st falls on a weekend OR during a Spring Break.


If you ask a person to do a recommendation for you, you must provide a PRE-ADDRESSED, STAMPED envelope if they mail it to a specific address, OR a BLANK envelope, if it is a local scholarship given to Mr. Patterson.

Follow up and be sure the person has completed the recommendation on time.

Federal Applications for Student Aid (FAFSA)

ALL college-bound seniors need to complete this form (it's free), even if you don't think you'll qualify to receive any federal or state aid. Do this ASAP after OCTOBER 1st. Many colleges have early dates for their priority aid deadline.

NCAA Clearinghouse

If you plan to participate in college athletics, see Mr. Patterson for the NCAA eligibility web address to begin your registration process. Cost must be paid by the student. Register early!!


All transcripts are handled through the High School Office.

Follow these guidelines

COLLEGE ADMISSION TRANSCRIPTS must be sent directly from the HS Office. Give Mrs. Proctor the name of the college you wish them sent to. These are OFFICIAL transcripts.

SCHOLARSHIP TRANSCRIPTS: Most can be stapled onto the scholarship form by the student. These copies are given to you and are stamped "Issued to Student". These are NOT used for college admission, only for scholarships.

Any questions about transcripts can be answered by Mr. Patterson, or Mrs. Proctor.