Mentoring Tips (Academic) – Senior Year

This year you help launch your student into the world.  The first part will be very stressful, but after college selection and financial aide are finalized, the end of year celebrations will be fun and exciting.

Topics for discussion

  • Encourage your student—empathize that it is very stressful, but he can do it!
  • Make a plan for the future that includes personal goals, finances, academic interests
  • Help make a list of colleges that includes safety, target and reach schools
  • Ensure that your student has made a timeline that includes application requirements and deadlines for each school, standardized tests, teacher and personal recommendations, financial aid requirements, etc.
  • Encourage using test prep courses and study materials to raise grades for standardized tests– SAT, SAT II subject tests, ACT
  • Ensure that your student is seeking opportunities for financial aid and completed FAFSA application.
  • Summer employment or activities
    • Work with student to identify and apply
    • Keep in touch over the summer to see how things are going.
  • When report cards are sent out
    • Praise any strong performance—grades, attendance, etc.
    • Encourage seeking extra help where grades are weak

Suggested Activities

  • Work together on timeline of deadlines
  • Create and organize a binder of necessary materials for college requirements.
  • Visit a local college campus or college fair and spend some time together visiting college websites.
  • Assist with applications and financial aid forms.
  • Help with essays, such as editing, recommending enhancements, etc. Be sure not to take over the process—the essay must be written by the student and reflect her ideas and voice.
  • Communicate regularly prior to each deadline to ensure that the mentee is on task.

Getting together:

  • S/PA activities – Please communicate with your student in advance so that you know whether to see one another at the events.
  • “Get to know you” breakfast or lunch is held early in the fall. You will have a chance to sit and talk with your student.
  • Community service and enrichment events – we usually have one in fall and one in the spring. All S/PA students are expected to attend and it is a great opportunity to spend time doing something fulfilling together.  Past activities have included the FoodBank of New Jersey, All Stars Program of New Jersey, Greater Newark Conservancy
  • January – All students, mentors, and families are welcome to attend the S/PA Winter Holiday party.
  • Extracurricular activities—If your student welcomes you, attend sport events, plays, and special events.
  • Senior year special activities—your student may invite you to attend graduation, National Honor Society induction ceremony, pre-prom event or other special senior events.