Panorama Community Schools

12th Graders - To Do List by School Terms

Seniors' Tasks (consider asking parents to help you complete these activities!)
2025 Iowa projections on percentage of workers who will need certain levels of education for their jobs (Page 5 of )
    1. High School Diploma or Less - 32%
      1. 2018 = 39%
    2. At least some College (Certificates included) or a 2 year Associate Degree - 39%
      1. 2018 = 32%
    4. Bachelor Degree from 4 year College or University - 21%      
      1.  2018 = 19% 
    5. Graduate Degrees beyond a Bachelor's Degree (Master's, Specialist, Doctorate) - 8%
      1. 2018 = 9%
Panorama High School Graduate Facts
  1. Historically 90% of Panorama graduates attend college, 5% serve our military, & 5% seek full-time employment.
  2. Employment has largely been in services and sales: such as grocery stores, convenient stores, construction & maintenance (electrical, HVAC, welding, utilities), nursing homes, and restaurants.
  3. 2017 Grads pursued and became employed with on-the-job-training in "middle skills" vocational positions, through either the employers training new employees or through apprenticeships, at a much higher rate than typical (approx. 17%, or 8 out of 48 graduates)
  4. 90% or more of PHS graduates in last 3 years have earned college credit before PHS graduation
  5. Panorama graduates attending Iowa Regent Universities have enjoyed more scholarship money since 2014 than in prior decades due to new state initiative to recruit Iowans
  6. Higher Regent Admission Index scores by students - remember the more core courses you take the higher your RAI can become
    1. Example: UNI Residents of Iowa Scholars of Excellence (UNI RISE) Award
Just After Birth (or anytime before or after)
    • Ask your parents to start a IOWA529 Plan for you!
Panorama Senior Year Overview 
1stTerm/9 weeks
  1. Let me know if you would like help with FAFSA submission in next two weeks, by September 20...Troy Andersen (Iowa College Access Network) and I will be helping families complete their FAFSA online submit October 2, between 2-6pm (estimate 30 minutes) in our school atrium. For HS Seniors graduating May 2020, financial aid application materials released online October 1, 2018 (soonest you can submit your FAFSA application), most students going to college in Fall (August) 2020, will complete the 2020-21 FAFSA, using your family 2018 tax information (
    1. Financial Aid Process Presentations listed throughout state by Iowa College Access Network (same talk we had with ICAN Presenter end of Gr.11)
    2. ICAN Video Tutorial of this FAFSA Presentation is online for our reference 
    3. see PHS financial aid webpage for an overview
  2. Golden Circle College Fair - biggest college fair in IA, Sept. 29, Prairie Meadows Conf. Ctr., Altoona, Sunday - Register online
    1. College reps and recruiters will visit our school again this year (great way to shop & learn)
  3. Meet with CWebner by October 31st - individual conversation about your PHS graduation, your hopes, and plans!
  4. Apply to colleges you have an interest in, 6 or less; Do not want to wait until you know which one you will attend.
    1. Most colleges want you to apply through their website
    2. Most online college admission applications are free (community colleges and private colleges in Iowa)
    3. State universities do cost to apply for admission; example - UNI is $40)
    4. You apply to college as a freshmen (not a transfer student - even if you have a bunch of college credits)
    5. Request your PHS transcript be sent to colleges in our front office on half sheet of paper form (not all colleges require this when you apply)
    6. Freshman Admission Application also used as screening for automatic scholarships (GPA & ACT), examples:
      1. University of Northern Iowa's "Panther Impact Awards" -
      2. Iowa State University's automatic scholarships chart for Iowans based on HS GPA &/or ACT -
      3. NWMSU of Maryville, Missouri, has online tool for you to enter GPA, ACT, Rank to see automatic $$$ -
      4. Simpson College -
    7. Consider community colleges and out-of-state-colleges for lower costs, examples (all Iowa colleges are great but other states recruit Iowans):
      1. DMACC tuition and fees
      2. South Dakota gives in-state prices to Iowa HS graduates:
        1. Wayne State College's "Nebraska Access" lowers 2019-20 costs for Iowan with 3.25 GPA & 22 ACT = $16,335
        2. USD, Vermillion tuition  
    8. Colleges will respond to your application giving you guidance if they need you to do more to be accepted, and may also inform you about scholarships, so you may still get accepted after an initial rejection/denial.
  5. Plan your Tests Strategy (free practice tests at Panorama Test Descriptions &
    1. 4 Yr Colleges Want ACT or SAT
      1. ACT or SAT (cost near $50), Sept.20 Deadline for ACT Registration for Oct.26 (Sat.) test date
      2. ACT given at West Central Valley HS, Stuart in October & April
      3. ACT is Accepted by all 4-year colleges/universities in U.S.A.
      4. Most Iowa HS Students take ACT because it was made by same people who made Iowa Tests (U of Iowa)
      5. Panorama HS ACT Code is 163465
      6. NCAA Eligibility Center for Div1&2 athletics is 9999 (so your ACT scores will be shared with NCAA)
      7. NAIA Eligibility Center for Level 1&2 athletics is 9876 (so your ACT scores will be shared with NAIA)
      8. (register – writing test for more money is not required for most, but Ivy League Athletic Conf. colleges want it for admissions)
    2. Community Colleges use ACT OR free tests they have purchased to give students on computer/online
    3. DMACC uses the ACT, and DMACC has students test using ACCUPLACER & ALEKS (math) at their locations (including Perry VanKirk)
      1. ALEKS math assessment - Directions to Take ALEKS
      2. Direction for signing up and taking Accuplacer at a DMACC location
    4. Military enlistment requires ASVAB AND THERE IS NOT DEADLINE (people who are not in a 4yr or do not have a Bachelor Degree "enlist" - those with Bachelor Degree are "Officers"). 
      1. ASVAB (free with military recruiter help) to expand your military career options - typically recruiter will give student 20 minute computer delivered "pre-ASVAB" to give an estimate of how student will do on test areas, then show student how they can practice to boost their scores...
  6. Talk Financial Aid Possibilities with your Parents
    1. Ask if they would help you pay for college, allow you to drive their car, allow you to live at home, eat their food? 
    2. Can you live at home rent free, not pay for groceries, while working full-time, or taking college first year or two at DMACC Perry  VanKirk Center - then you have great chance of avoiding debt, maybe even get a head start creating wealth! 
    3. Look at a Free Application For Federal Student Aid together (new copies released closer to October 1 annually)
    4. Consider your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution); EFC is $ government believes your family should pay for your college, and how much you can afford to pay for college:
      1. FinAid free tool
      2. Government’s free tool
    5. Estimate your college debt and Try not to take on a total college debt higher than you expect to earn your first year out of college; here is an Iowa online starting salary guide by college program for your consideration (Iowa Student Loan).
    6. DMACC & State of Iowa offer free college Career Training programs (no set age or deadline to participate, but they do have family income requirements; family of 4 earning $60,000 or less annually)
      1. Business/Information Technology
      2. Manufacturing/Industrial Technology
      3. Healthcare
      4. Hospitality
      5. Transportation 
  7. If you want to play college sports or get athletic scholarship – apply with NAIA & NCAA (D1&D2) for eligibility process
  8. Ask parent for dates they could travel to visit colleges before winter and roads get bad, have day excused absence by using Visit College Form
  9. Ask Nurse VanGundy to verify you have time to complete state required CPR training with her.
2ndTerm/9 weeks
  1. Complete financial aid (FAFSA requires parent financial sharing so talk with parents); options for free assistance:
  2. October is month DMACC has open to get into Spring Online Courses, get with CW/guidance to submit
    1. Community college courses do transfer to ISU, IOWA, & UNI, look before last chance to get in free college courses at PHS in spring: 
  3. Obtain letters of recommendation from those you asked to write you one for inclusion with local scholarship application packets
  4. See local scholarship descriptions on Panorama Guidance Webpages, our ongoing goal is to make all applications available online, but you may need to email request electronic file from Mr. Webner
  5. ROTC ANYONE? Combine 4 Year College with Military for big scholarship
    1.  Air Force 4 year college scholarship application due December 1 (26 ACT)
    2. Army 4 year college scholarship application due to get started February 4 and complete by March 4 (19 ACT)
    3. Navy 4 year college scholarship application due January 31 (22 ACT)
    4. Iowa Endorsed Apprenticeships
  6. NCRC Test Date yet to be announced (likely November before Thanksgiving)
    1. NCRC results can be shared week after sitting for this computer, test, gives you an item to put on your resume & use for academic & career planning too
    2. NCRC is required for free career training in DMACC's Workforce Training Academy take NCRC here at Panorama (PHS alumni have shared their HS NCRC did help them get jobs after HS)
  7. submit a yearbook picture and a baby picture to Mr. Druivenga before Winter Break. These same pictures can be used for graduation pictures used by local newspaper & commencement slide show – or others can be submitted by March.
  8. Jostens, company providing graduation related invitations, jewelry, & apparel; usually comes in November for caps and gowns measurements.
  9. Give correct spelling of your name to PHS office for purpose of having correct on your diploma, ASAP once school year begins
  10. prepare resume & get letters of recommendation for local scholarships; Resume Writing, Intro; with CWebner link at bottom of page
  11. IF Seeking full-time employment after HS, then: plan, make contacts, apply, follow up (Mr. Webner will assist you in developing & initiating plan)
 3rd Term/9 weeks
  1. If you have not completed FAFSA, do it if thinking of attending college
  2. Fill out local scholarship applications
  3. Read SAR (Student Aid Report) from different colleges generated from FAFSA, then make final decision of which college you will attend, (car needed? part-time work needed? etc. so you can Narrow your college selections
  4. If you want full-time work after HS, apply to companies/employers, just ask guidance/CWebner if you'd like help!
    2. (Two pages of apprenticship jobs the Iowa Workforce Development helps unions advertise)
  5. Questioning yourself on your career plan? Just ask guidance/CWebner, and adults you trust, to help you think about options to help you move forward.
4thTerm/8 weeks
  1. Hand in local scholarships – week before deadline/early is best, see local listings
  2. May want to try to get more financial aid from your favorite private college by showing their financial aid officer a package from a competing other private college offered to you.
  3. Senior Awards Night is middle of May’s third week, Wednesday 6pm, week preceding graduation ceremony, with Baccalaureate ceremony following. Please attend to pick up awards and support each other. 
    1. Last two years every senior who applied for scholarships managed by Bump Law have gotten $!
    2. As you find out, please share letters/emails for awards you have received & would like to be recognized! (email Mr. Webner)
    3. Once you get an award, mail the individual, family, or organization a  thoughtful “thank you” card or letter!!!
  4. Consider applying for Burchfield Trust (pdf file link below) loan to help pay for college expenses; contact is Deanna Van Cura  (receptionist for Bump & Bump Law Firm – across street from Casey’s Store).
  5. Make your final college selection after you have compared the financial situation for each.
  6. College Transcript Request, HS cannot send your college courses to a college for you, you must request that your college transcript be sent.
  7. Local Transcript Guide webpage link; use DMACC, ICCC, Graceland U (have credit card ready), WITCC website directions using keyword search “transcript request"
  8. Apprenticeships for you?
    1. Looking for paycheck with job training/education? - give those companies and employers you have applied to for work a follow up phone call, keep applying until your hired or decided to go another direction (college & or military service).
After HS &/or College (Or Maybe During Your Education)
Save money weekly and invest for your future taking advantage of the compounding interest earned over time in stock market!
  1. The best time to plan for your retirement is in high school! 
    Living in the U.S. you have access to the stock market which allows you to literally "make money work for you instead of you working for your money".  However in 2017 CareerBuilder report publicized by CNBC -
    • 78% of Americans with full-time jobs reported having to live paycheck to paycheck (less than one month's salary in savings to cover regular living expenses). 
    • Even 10% of those making $100,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck.  
    • 56% reported being in more debt than they know how to face. 
    • PHS Students - Remember how many business courses you are required to take compared to English, Math, Science, Social Studies & PE?
      • You can do so much better than face the uncomfortable money issues that are common stress and tension for so many!
  2. Most Americans are not investing when young and able, to use and enjoy money throughout their lives, can cause tension in adult life ( 
    1. Saving money and Investing money are not the same thing; Saving v. Investing 2018 article by Johua Kennon, The Balance
  3. Einstein called compounding interest the 8th wonder of the world (builds on popular "7 Wonders of the World" sights)
    1. Rule of 72 is example of compounding interest which computes how many years it will take money to double in value (divide 72 by the interest rate the money grow by)...which takes less than 10 years in most investment scenarios. So the more decades the money is allowed to grow, the more wealth is created.
    2. Retire a Millionaire on Just $35 Per Week?; Dave Ramsey article & graphic 
  4. Many people like the idea of having a lot of money and living the good life (freedom, recreation, relaxation) but most of us start thinking about creating that for ourselves too late or never.
    1. How I learned to read and trade stocks in prison, Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll (11min Ted Talk video; Prisoner explains how he came to teaches inmates about how to get money to work for them instead of always working for money) 
    2. When should you start investing for your retirement?; Vanguard company webpage explains why investing earlier is best
  5. Many people do not follow their passions, or dream jobs, because they fear that such a career path would earn too little money for them to be able to take care of themselves...but if people understood how to manage their money to create wealth, I believe more people would have satisfying careers and fulfilling lives (Chris Webner)
  6. Practice Comprehending Your Own Financial Investing Possibilities using free online tools
  7. Example of Plan to Contribute to Savings While Younger (before age 30), then to save no more until retirement (age 67*).
    1. How Teens Can Become Millionaires, Dave Ramsey website, see graphic explanation of how those who wait to invest often never catch those who invest early in life (19-26 years for this example).
    2. Challenge To My Children: Save $100 a week for twelve years (start age 18-22) and give it aggressive chance to grow (part Roth IRA & part regular IRA/mutual funds) hoping for an interest rate of 10 percent annually, then odds are you have somewhere around $110,000 after 12 years. Then, for 30 years, you let that $110,00 investment grow on its own in same aggressive plan for first 15 years then more conservative in last 5 years, but you never contribute to it again, so it is just compounding interest. Odds are, after 30 years you would have $1.9 million dollars. Why try? It is better way to live than continually worrying about having enough money (Risk and Return by
      1. How much interest rate is good and how to get it? trendshare, 2018, online article, "What is a good annual rate of return?" addresses these two questions
*Full Social Security benefits (monthly income) start at age 66, so 67 is often a target to "retire" with maximum benefits, but some people start their retirement, with lesser benefits, at age 62 ( Retirement is an individual decision based on many may know someone who retired before the age of 50 (?).