IB Diploma Class of 2018 

Congratulations!  You are one year away from graduating from high school.  I hope over the next couple of months you get some time to relax and unwind.  I also hope you take some time to work on the following items below.  Senior year can be stressful at times as you prepare to tour colleges, apply to colleges, apply for scholarships, and attend many senior activities.  It’s always a good idea to get a head start.  I am available all summer through email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 772-564-4369.  I check my email and phone messages daily.

 

  1. Essay—scholarship committees often ask for a 500 word essay that describes your future plans and goals.  Get the essay done early.  Good information on our Guidance website under: Financial Aid for College 
  2. FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid; must be completed
    1. Federal Deadline 
      1. Online applications must be submitted by midnight Central Time, June 30, 2018.  Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 15, 2018.
    2. State Deadline
      1. Florida - May 15, 2017 (date processed)
    3. College Deadline
      1. Check with the college(s) you are interested in attending. You may also want to ask your college about its definition of an application deadline - whether it is the date the college receives your FAFSA, or the date your FAFSA is processed.
  3. Scholarships—go to the Guidance Page on the website; under Local Scholarships, look at what’s offered and what you may want to apply for.  Typically, the scholarship information is the same each year (usually the only changes are submission date/chairperson).  Create a word document now that you can copy and paste into the application when it comes out in January/February.
    1. Bright Futures Scholarships—there are two levels: Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) and Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) ***as of 2016-17***   You have to submit an application to Bright Futures!!! 
      1. Florida Academic Scholars
        1. must complete 100 hours of service—CAS takes care of this.  Once you complete CAS, I send an email to Mr. Valencia who updates your Record 
        2. SAT combined score of 1290+ or ACT score of 29 
          1. Earning the IB Diploma automatically qualifies you for this level no matter what your SAT or ACT score is.  So if you score a 1280 and/or a 28, but you have EARNED the IB Diploma, you will earn this level of scholarship
        3. $103 per credit hour which = $309 per class since each college class is typically 3 credits; tuition/fees at the University of Florida and UCF are $636; FSU tuition fees per class is $645
      2. Florida Medallion Scholars
        1. must complete 75 hours of service—CAS takes care of this.  Once you complete CAS, I send an email to Mr. Valencia who updates your Record
        2. SAT combined score of 1170+ or ACT score of 26
          1. Earning the IB Diploma automatically qualifies you for this level no matter what your SAT or ACT score is.  So if you score a 1160 and/or a 25, but you have EARNED the IB Diploma, you will earn this level of scholarship
        3. $77 per credit hour which = $231 per class since each college class is typically 3 credits; tuition/fees at the University of Florida and UCF are $636; FSU tuition fees per class is $645
    2. Write a Letter of Introduction and include in Scholarship Packets 
      1. Committees can get to know more about you 
      2. You can highlight something(s) that may not appear on your application/transcripts
        1. Maybe a medical issue you’ve been dealing with; death in the family that affected your grades; you’ve had to work “full-time” because you help support your family that’s why you don’t have as many extracurricular activities, etc. 
  4. CAS—you are required to complete 150 hours (50 Creative, 50 Action, 50 Service).  We use ManageBac for the process of tracking your hours and activities.  I made a power point presentation that will help you with creating activities.  Please use it.  You are allowed to work on/complete CAS hours over the summer because you are now matriculating into 12th grade. 
    1. CAS Project—at least 40 hours; the 40 hours count toward the overall 150 hours; explore now what you and another/others might want to do.
      1. Every Senior I have spoken with encourages you to get the CAS Project done EARLY!!! 
  5. Resume—put together your resume now.  College/Scholarship applications will ask what you’ve been involved with.  It’s always a GREAT IDEA to give your resume to any person writing a letter of recommendation for you.  This link will help with your resume: http://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_getinarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10178 
    1. Update your resume as needed throughout the year 
  6. Letters of Recommendation—start thinking now about who would write a good letter of recommendation for you.  When you get back in August, approach the person(s) about writing a letter of recommendation.  Many times, teachers/staff will write a letter that is fairly generic.  Also ask other adults in advance (employer/coordinator of an organization you volunteer at often, etc.) 
    1. For example:  To Whom It May Concern:  It is a pleasure to recommend “Johnny” for your scholarship.  I have known “Johnny” for three years as a student in my IB Chemistry class….
    2. Give the person you ask for a recommendation your RESUME; helps them write good letter of recommendation 
  7. Colleges/Universities—try to make some visits over the summer to narrow down your choices.  College applications cost from about $41 up to $100.  So, narrowing your list is wise.  Make sure your list includes the college of your “dreams” and at least one college that is “safe”—meaning you will get in easily.
    1. Apply for Early Admissions? 
      1. Is this a college/university you are going to no matter what?—apply early then 
      2. Applications for early admission are usually due September/October 
      3. Some colleges/universities have a rule that if you apply for early admission and get accepted, then you HAVE to attend that college/university—so make sure you want to go there 
  8. SAT/ACT scores 
    1. Scores are important for gaining admission to colleges—especially highly competitive colleges/universities 
    2. If you have taken the SAT and/or ACT, you can always retake either test.  Colleges take your best scores for admission.  Example: in November 2016 you scored a 580 on the verbal and 500 on math for a score of 1080.  If you take it again and score a 570 on the verbal and a 600 on the math, you will now have a score 1180 (580 verbal from November 2016 + retake math of 600 = 1180). 
    3. If your score is not as high as you want it or need it to be, look at taking a test prep class 
      1. Some seniors took prep classes and their scores went up 
      2. Keep retaking SAT or ACT until you get the score you need 
    4. Research your college/university’s admission requirements (SAT/ACT scores, GPA averages, etc.), so you know what you must have to get accepted 
  9. Extended Essay (EE)work on it over the summer.  Create a decent rough draft which is due by Monday 9/25/17.  Again, you will be ahead of the game. 
    1. Seniors have said starting over the summer and having a solid rough draft made life in the Fall less stressful 
  10. Read the books assigned for English over the summer. 
    1. Why? 
      1. Reading them twice (summer then in school year) made it easier to prepare for English Paper II