Senior year is here and graduation is just around the corner. We are here to help you determine your next steps for life after high school. The hardest part is taking the first step. Check out a few ways you can explore and execute your future!
- STEP 1: Explore your options
- STEP 2: Check out Naviance
- STEP 3: Complete financial aid
- STEP 4: Involve your family
- STEP 5: Complete your senior survey
- WHAT'S NEXT? Own the future YOU choose
- Guaranteed Admissions Program
STEP 1: Explore your options
What is your post-secondary plan for life after high school? Consider what pathway, college, program and/or job you’re interested in.
- Take a few moments to reflect.
- Capture the vision of your life in your after high school statement.
- Your statement should include what pathway, career interest or educational path you seek in your future. Also, include the location in your statement this could be a specific college, industry or company.
- If you are still developing your plan, capture this in your statement.
- Putting your plan into words will help you and others determine your next steps!
Example 1: I plan to attend Highline College, studying Cyber Security while working part-time at the Matt Griffin YMCA as a lifeguard. I plan to live at home with my family.
Example 2: I plan to attend Renton Tech College full-time in the carpentry apprenticeship program.
Example 3: I’m still developing my plan for after high school, but I hope to work in the medical field and stay close to home.
Not sure? Here are some resources to explore your options!
- Strengths Explorer Assessment In Naviance
- Career Cluster Assessment in Naviance
- Super Match Assessment in Naviance
Talk to your counselor (small schools: Aviation, New Start, Highline Virtual Academy, Choice, Big Picture, WELS and Maritime) or visit your college and career center and connect with your College and Career Access Specialist (large schools: Tyee, Mount Rainer, Highline and Evergreen). We’re here to support you, let us help!
These tools are a great start to think more about how your skills, personality and interests can translate to a career and future that is the perfect fit for YOU!
- How to Become an Apprentice
- South Seattle College Apprenticeship Resources
- South Seattle Georgetown Apprenticeship Programs
- Federal Apprenticeship Program
Military Resources Site
STEP 2: Check out Naviance
What is Naviance?
Naviance is a digital tool to help explore and document your college and career plans.
Still considering what next step is best for you? These assessments are a great way to dig deep into your interests and skills.
- Strengths Explorer: Explore how your personal strengths translate to potential careers
- Career Cluster: Based on your interests, explore the career pathway that interests you
- Super Match: Find the college that is the perfect fit for you based on your preferred criteria.
STEP 3: Complete financial aid
Most plans will require students to obtain some form of training or education after high school. If so, completing a financial aid application is essential to fund your training/education.
The only way to find out what type of aid you are eligible for is to complete a FAFSA or WASFA.
If you are planning to do an apprenticeship, attend a 2-year technical program or college, or a 4-year college, your next step is completing your Financial Aid Application! If you’re planning to continue to work, we still encourage you to complete an application. There are an abundance of opportunities and sometimes plans change, so having your financial aid complete is a great way to stay a step ahead.
Before each year of college, apply for federal grants, work-study and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Your college uses your FAFSA data to determine your federal aid eligibility. Many states and colleges use FAFSA data to award their own aid. After submission, you’ll receive your Student Aid Report (SAR report).
Complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) if you are undocumented or do not qualify for federal financial aid because of immigration status. If you complete a WASFA, your information will not be shared with your school. You are not required to disclose your immigration status to any staff members. If you have completed the FAFSA, you have already applied for federal and state financial aid and do not need to complete the WASFA unless your college asks you to.
Ways to get help with your financial aid application:
Finacial Aid Events:
Filing your Financial Aid is the first step to securing money for college. We are offering Financial Aid completion sessions where you and your family can complete your application with a trained financial aid expert. Before attending, gather the necessary information you'll need to provide, see the full list of information here. See dates here that the event will take place on your campus below:
- 10/20 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Mount Rainier High School
- 10/21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m Southwest Boys and Girls Club at 9800 8th Ave SW #105, Seattle, WA 98106 for Evergreen students and families
- 11/2 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Highline High School
- 11/10 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Mount Rainier High School
- 12/8 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Highline High School
- 12/15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Tyee High School
Questions? Reach out to your campus College and Career access specialist. If you attend a small campus reach out to your counselor for direct support.
- 1 on 1 appointment: Ask your counselor (small innovative schools) or college and career specialist (large high schools) about opportunities to get help with your financial aid application.
- Otterbot: Otterbot is a free texting service created to support seniors. Otter sends financial aid information and reminders to College Bound Seniors. Student can access Otterbot via text message 24 hours a day, seven days a week by texting “Hi Otter” to 360-92807281
What to bring for Financial Aid Help:
What you need to apply:
- Student name, birthdate, Social Security Number (for FAFSA, not required for WASFA)
- Parent name(s), birthdate(s) & Social Security Numbers (if they have one -- not required for FAFSA or WASFA)
- If parents are married/divorced -- the month and year they were married/divorced
- Student & Parent email
- Student green card number (if applicable)
Other items that would be helpful to have:
- Parent & student 2020 tax form (IRS 1040) and W-2’s
- Estimated amount of funds that parent and student have available (such as in a bank account)
- Supplemental Sources of Income (such as: TANF, SNAP, SSI, Unemployment)
Financial Aid Workshop Videos
STEP 4: Involve your family
Determining your plans for life after high school is no easy task! It’s always important to keep your family in the know of your plans. Here are a few tips on how to engage your family in this process.
- Senior Scoop Newsletter: The award-winning Senior Scoop email newsletter is available twice a month to share opportunities, events, and updates for students and families. If you missed an issue you can access it on the Senior Scoop website. Senior parent/guardians on file will automatically receive the emailed newsletter, however, you can add other parents, guardians, and key adults by subscribing here.
STEP 5: Complete your senior survey
As a part of your High School & Beyond Plan requirement you must complete the Senior Fall Survey in Naviance. When you complete your Senior Fall Survey, it helps staff determine what support to provide, workshop topics to offer, and colleges to invite!
We'll connect you with resources specific to your interests to help you plan for life after high school. Here are a few examples of how the Senior Fall Survey will help us, help you:
- Program Specific Information: By indicating the colleges or programs you plan to apply to in the survey, we are able to connect you with programming, scholarships and opportunities related to those specific colleges/programs.
- Workshops: We want to give you the information you want and need. This is your opportunity to tell us what you need more (and less) of.
- College and Career Opportunities: By knowing what field you plan to study, we can help connect you to internships, scholarships, and more.
- 1:1 Follow-up: This is your opportunity to share which support is needed to finish your Senior year strong to help you prepare for the Future You Choose.
How to Access the Senior Survey:
- Video Resource:
- Check out this video here for a step by step tutorial to complete the survey.
WHAT'S NEXT? Own the future YOU choose
Here’s a list of things you can do to help solidify your plans!
- Complete those applications! Check out the senior scoop to learn about opportunities to get help.
- Get your personal statement reviewed, contact your CCAS or counselor.
- Keep your grades up and connect with your teachers and counselor when you are in need of support.
- Get organized & create a timeline with key dates and deadlines.
- Connect with representatives from the college/program you're interested in. Introduce yourself, ask about upcoming opportunities, and discuss your interests.
- Research scholarships! Most scholarship applications open in the winter/spring. However, some are open now. It’s always a good idea to know what is out there so you can plan ahead.
- GearUp WA
- Senior Scoop Newsletter
- Naviance, click the scholarship tab!
- Highline Virtual Calming Room
- Ways to practice self care:
- Find a creative outlet
- Get moving, and get outside
- Connect with your support system
- Don't be afraid to feel it out
- Do what works for you
- Managing Stress (video)-Brainsmart-BBC
- Mood Meter Strategies
- Ask for help! We don't expect you to be an expert but we do expect you to advocate for yourself when in need. We’re here to help!
Guaranteed Admissions Program
Have a 3.0 or Higher? You’re In!
Highline Public Schools has partnered with the The Guaranteed Admissions Program (GAP) that guarantees admissions to select colleges based on a 3.0 GPA or higher! GAP lets you know if you’ll be admitted to Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, Washington State University or Western Washington University before you even apply! We are also partnering with Pacific Lutheran University for students with a 3.3 GPA or Higher. That’s right, if you meet the minimum requirements you can guarantee yourself a spot at any of these colleges before you even apply.
The following criteria must be met in order to qualify:
- You have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher (WSU, WWU, EWU, TESC, CWU)
- You have a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher (PLU)
You're on track to complete the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs)
Complete your financial aid (FAFSA or WASFA)
Finish your senior year strong!
How To Participate:
Complete your required High School and Beyond Plan Senior Fall Survey in Naviance and agree to participate. On the question that asks for your consent to share your name, address, school email, and gpa for admissions programs, select I AGREE. If you wish to not participate in Guaranteed Admissions select, I DO NOT AGREE. You can opt-out at any time and your decision to participation does NOT commit you to any college.
Fill out the Common App. Colleges and universities are required to collect some additional information, and they want to make sure you are considered for eligible scholarships.
Send your unofficial transcript to make sure all your high school classes are complete or in-progress.
You can upload your transcript in the Common App or you can have your high school send your transcript to the college or university you are considering attending.
Complete the FAFSA or WASFA by Feb. 1.
A FAFSA or WASFA (for students not eligible to complete a FAFSA) are required to help you qualify for most federal and state financial aid. Every bit counts and can help pay for your education!
Once you complete the Common App and send your unofficial transcript, you'll receive a formal admission packet in the mail. The packet will describe what happens next. Please contact institutions if you have questions.