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From: Hermelinda (Linda) Walking Woman


            Director of Education
            ED.D. Candidate Education Leadership & Policy Studies
            MA Biological & Environmental Sciences
            MAT Science Education
            BS Biology



Educational Guidelines for HS Students Planning to Attend College


During the Freshman & Sophmore Years of High School
  • Help your parents to remain involved in your school life, especially in course planning with the guidance counselor or other academic advisor. Have them attend any and all Parent and Teacher Conferences with you.
  • With your guidance counselor or other academic advisor, schedule a four-year college preparatory plan of classes.
  • Insist on taking challenging classes, for example, honors.
  • Be sure to join a volunteer organization and become involved in community service. A big part of scholarship consideration and college entrance applications is community service. Check with the Tribal Office for any volunteer work they might have such as helping with the Cultural Center or the Annual Pow Wow.
  • You should consider attending summer enrichment programs which strengthen you in academics or the arts.


During the Junior Year
  • Ask your parents to remain involved in your school life, especially in course planning with the guidance counselor or other academic advisor. Have them attend any and all Parent and Teacher Conferences with you.
  • You need to stay on track with your four-year college preparatory plan of classes and continue to take challenging classes. Colleges are impressed by students who challenged themselves academically rather than those who got an easy "A."
  • You should start researching possible colleges to attend and become familiar with their entry requirements. Guidance counselors have research material. Contact the colleges and have them send you a package.
  • You should take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) if offered at the high school. Placing as a finalist or semifinalist in this National Merit Scholar competition will opens many scholarships offers and invitations from universities.
  • Look up dates for the ACT test and take the ACT test in the second half of your junior year with plans to retake it at least one more time the next year before applying to colleges.
  • Start making a list of teachers, advisors or supervisors who you might ask to write recommendation letters for college and scholarship applications.
  • You should continue participating in community service and in summer enrichment programs. Check with the Tribal Office for any volunteer work they might have such as helping with the Cultural Center or the Annual Pow Wow.
  • With your parent(s), discuss college financial aid with your guidance counselor.


During the Senior Year
  • Most important for receiving good financial aid from the college of your choice is filling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early, now available after October 1st using parent's/guardian's previous year income tax information or after January 1st if you want to use a parent's/guardian's current year's tax filings. Each College has its FAFSA deadline usually between February and March. Even if there is no deadline, the sooner the FAFSA is filed, the better since a school's financial aid funds are sometimes alloted as students apply. The FAFSA is necessary for any financial aid. DO NOT MISS filing this very important application if you want any kind of financial assistance for college!
  • Ask your parents to remain involved in your final year in high school, especially in course planning with the guidance counselor, looking for scholarships available, and the college search. Have them attend any and all Parent and Teacher Conferences with you.
  • You should continue participating in community service. Check with the Tribal Office for any volunteer work they might have such as helping with the Cultural Center or the Annual Pow Wow.
  • With your parent, consult guidance counselor on scholarships opportunities available through the school, colleges, or private organizations. You should have a clear plan on how to fulfill scholarship application requirements.
  • Apply for scholarships from private organizations. Parents and guidance counselors can help you search for them. Check the Tribe’s website for any you qualify for.
  • Fulfill college scholarship requirements such as necessary letters of recommendation, personal essays, and/or portfolios. Don’t forget to thank teachers and supervisors who write recommendation letters.
  • Be sure to take the ACT test during the first semester. If the ACT test is taken more than once, send the best scores to the colleges you are interested in.
  • You should take the SAT subject test only if you choice of colleges requires it. The ACT test is accepted by most universities even the Ivy League.
  • In November, do not miss the deadline if applying for a college’s Early Decision acceptance into college.
  • Be sure to ask the college(s) of your choice for an application and check the deadlines for applying. DO NOT MISS the deadlines. Many colleges have their applications and information online.
  • Fulfill any application requirements such as sending test scores, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and/or portfolios.


With hard work and commitment, you can realize your dreams to attend college. It just involves staying focused during your high school years on not just graduating but on setting up the foundation for which you will continue onto higher education. I cannot stress enough how important it is for your parents to be involved in this process.

Ha'u,

Linda Walking Woman





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Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas
P.O. Box 5218
McAllen, Texas 78502