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NEW HOPE, Miss. (WCBI) – For many high school students senior year is the culmination of 12 years of education and a time for fun and fellowship. But for 12th graders hoping to continue their education, the time plan for the future is now.

90% of these students will eventually move on to college. It’s a long process, that begins long before they receive their high school diploma.

New Hope Counselor Holly McBrayer says, “Actually their freshman year. A lot of them don’t understand how important their GPA is and how much the freshman year actually counts.”

New Hope Senior Meg Butler says, “I’ve always known that I wanted to attend college and I really started preparing myself in high school by taking high honors courses, AP level.”

Senior year has some crucial milestones when gearing up for college. The Summer prior to senior year students can start applying to schools on their wish lists. In August, scholarships become available and by January the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms need to be filled out. For some taking that next step is tradition.

According to New Hope Senior Tee Payne, “I’ve always knew I wanted to go to Mississippi State. At first I was going to think about studying kinesiology but I thought about it and I like computers a little more so I’m going into computer engineering.”

Students talked about schools like Mississippi State, Ole Miss and MUW. Counselors say, it’s refreshing to hear that high school students are already gearing up for college, doing what needs to be done their senior year.

Butler says, “I’m studying really hard and I’m starting to look at my course material that I’ll be taking for college. I’m taking the ACT again, a few times probably. And I’ve applied for college.”

Parents beware as well, it’s important you stay involved and promote good grades and follow through. With career days just around the corner students should have an idea of what they be and where they want to go.

McBrayer says, “At the beginning of the year they start freaking out saying, it’s not going to be as easy next year. I’ve got to do something new on my own.”

A College and Career Day will be held October 5th from 8:30a.m. to noon.

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