Senior Checklist for Post-Secondary Planning

Throughout Fall Semester
____      Study at home, do your homework, be organized, manage your time, use your planner, get good grades.
____      Set up a college planning organization system such as a notebook or dedicated drawer at home, and put all of your college information and forms into it.
____      Participate in extracurricular activities & service learning opportunities. Update your activities resume often.
____      Research colleges and scholarships. Naviance will be one of your biggest resources this year!
  • Naviance Family Connection Go to  then Students then Naviance
Username: Student’s 6-digit student ID
Password: Student’s 8-digit birthdate (e.g. May 14, 1999 is 05141999)
____      Explore college options and narrow your selection 
  • Attend the Fall UNO College Fair, Sun. Oct. 1, 2017, 1-4 p.m. Sapp Field House *
  • Visit with college admissions representatives at Benson. Watch bulletin for dates, sign up on Naviance. *
  • Go on campus tours. Sign up at the college website or look for info in bulletin.
____      Complete 2-4 college applications by early December* OR…
Complete military, trade school, apprenticeship, job applications.  Keep track of deadlines for your college choices. Use the college website to submit applications. On Naviance, request transcripts be sent to the colleges you’ve applied to.  Consider applying to at least one local college or university.
____      Create an Activities Resume* using the activities resume builder on Update it on a regular basis.
____      Begin writing essay(s) for college or scholarship applications. Many scholarships require an essay. Give yourself plenty of time to have them proofed and remember to revise, revise, revise.
____      Research and apply for scholarships.* 
Write deadlines on a calendar. Good scholarship resources are:
  • Naviance Scholarship List/Search
  • OPS Scholarship Handbook
  • ScholarshipQuest at
  • The website of the college you plan to attend
  • Benson School Counseling Office (Scholarship “wall” and binder)
  • Benson High School and Alumni Scholarship applications will be available in February
September thru October
____    Your counselor will call you down for an individual meeting in September to make sure you’re on track for graduation, have the courses needed to meet college admission requirements, and to work on post-secondary planning.*
____    Attend an EducationQuest Financial Aid Program* at local Omaha area high schools throughout the fall. See Upcoming Events at for dates and locations.
____    Explore college options - Attend the UNO College Fair, Sun. Oct. 1, 1-4 p.m. Sapp Field House
____    Come to one of the College planning sessions at Benson HS with your parent(s) or guardian(s) during Parent-Teacher Conferences. More information about times/location to come.
October thru December
____  Take (or retake) your college entrance exam*
  • · Most 4-year colleges/universities require the ACT or SAT for admission. Colleges typically use your highest composite score for admission and scholarship decisions. For registration info, fee waivers** or to register, visit the counseling center. ** Students receiving free/reduced lunch may qualify for a registration fee waiver.
  • ACT Test Date Register by: Late Registration - extra fee
  • Test Date:  October 28, 2017, Register By:  September 22    Late Registration Dates:  September 23 - October 6, 2017
  • Test Date:  December 9, Register by:  2017 November 3   Late Registration Dates:  November 4-17, 2017
  • Most local 2-year community colleges require students take the Accuplacer. Wait until January through March to take these. They will accept the ACT and SAT as well.
  • Be sure to PREP for your college entrance exam. The scores on these exams can determine which English or Math class you take in college, or how much money a scholarship committee may award you. It is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that you prepare for these tests like they are worth money! Information on test prep may be found in the Counseling office.
____  Prepare and complete the FAFSA* (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which opens on October 1, 2017. Parents, FAFSA use your 2016 taxes for processing. Try to complete by mid-December!
  • Create a FSA-ID (student and parent) at · Use 2017-18 FAFSA Checklist found at
  • Schedule an appointment via Naviance with Wynter Davis, our EducationQuest representative if you need help filling out your FAFSA. She is at Benson every Wednesday.
  • After you have submitted your FAFSA, you should expect your Student Aid Report (SAR) within a week to 10 days.
____  Use Naviance to request letters of recommendation from your teachers if needed for college or scholarship applications. Ask in person, and at least three weeks in advance. Let teachers know if you will be using this letter for multiple applications.
* Indicates an OPS High School College and Career Readiness Milestone.

Naviance Family Connection

Login:  Student ID (your lunch number)

Password: Your Date of Birth  mmddyyyy  (no dashes or slashes, two digit month, two digit day, four digit year)

Use Naviance to...
   - Find Scholarships
   - Request Transcripts
   - Request Letters or Recommendation
   - Sign up for College Visits


Seniors are encouraged to take the ACT at the beginning of their senior year and juniors at the end of their junior year.  Students qualifying for free/reduced lunch should see their assigned counselor for a fee waiver.  Students are allowed 2 ACT fee waivers that can be used during junior and/or senior year.  Colleges use your highest composite score for admission and scholarship decisions

    - Register online at
    - Benson's school code:  281690
    - Benson's test center code:  180000
    - Students qualifying for free/reduced lunch, see your counselor about fee waiver information. 

   - Be sure to select the 4 colleges you want to receive your results.