Senior Year

August/September

  • Register for the October/November SAT and/or SAT Subject Test, or October ACT.
  • Review college application deadlines and special application requirements.
  • Ask teachers, coaches, and employers to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Visit with guidance counselor to review list of colleges, making sure choices are appropriate for academic and personal requirements.
  • Update any personal records.
  • Visit Scholarships.com to conduct a free college scholarship search and to research financial aid.
  • Visit the public and high school library, bookstore, and the Internet to research any additional sources of scholarships and financial aid.
  • Plan visits, and set up interviews to those colleges not previously visited.
  • Submit applications for early decision/early action programs. Prepare applications for back-up choices.

October/November

  • Register for the December/January SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests, or December ACT.
  • Develop a schedule of admissions and financial aid deadlines.
  • Begin preparing your applications for regular admission. These applications are usually due by the end of December or early January.
  • If you submitted early decision applications, contact the admissions offices at those schools to make sure they have everything they need from you.
  • Visit Scholarships.com for college scholarships and financial aid information. Update personal profile information to include any changes or last minute additions.
  • Visit guidance counselor to make sure transcript and test scores have been sent to selected colleges.
  • Visit high school guidance office, bank or public library to inquire about scheduled financial aid presentations.

December/January

  • Early decision replies usually arrive between December 1st and December 31st.
  • Obtain all financial aid forms that may be required by intended colleges.
  • Visit Scholarships.com, update personal profile information to include any changes or last minute additions.
  • Obtain a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) (available at high schools, colleges and libraries, or by calling 1-800-4-fed-aid. FAFSA is also available online--along with additional college information at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov). Complete, copy, and submit FAFSA (Don't wait for the deadline). Parents and students should compile income tax information and complete and file income tax returns early to complete the FAFSA application.
  • Check to determine if any other financial aid forms are required.
  • Contact the admissions office of the college(s) to which you have applied to make sure that your information has been received, and that they have everything they need from you.

February/March

  • Make sure that all required financial aid forms have been submitted.
  • Many private scholarships have March 1 application deadlines. Visit Scholarships.com to update your personal profile information, apply for any new scholarship awards discovered.
  • If required, send copies of income tax returns to financial aid offices.
  • Receive Student Aid Report (SAR). This should occur approximately 2-3 weeks after you submit FAFSA. Contact school's financial aid office to ask if they need a copy of the SAR.
  • Monitor all applications, and make sure that all materials have been completed, sent and received on time.

April/May

  • Take the Advanced Placement exams for any AP subjects you've taken in high school.
  • Sign and return financial aid forms.
  • Receive admissions notifications and compare financial aid packages. Send any required deposits prior to their due date.
  • Make your acceptance choice. Find out what deposits you will be required to make to ensure your place in the freshman class.
  • Send final transcript and student loan applications to chosen college. Contact financial aid office to check status.
  • Visit Scholarships.com.

June/July

  • Complete any remaining financial aid forms.
  • Contact the school you will be attending to determine when fees for tuition, room, and board are due and how much they are.
  • Pay all college bills due.
  • Visit Scholarships.com, it's never too early to look for next year.

August

  • During the summer before your freshman year, you should participate in any summer orientation program for incoming freshmen.
  • Make any necessary arrangements for any medical exams or health insurance coverage.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Colleges Offering Tuition Discounts and Freezes to Attract Students

June 2, 2020

by Izzy Hall

College tuition seems to rise every year, but with the potential loss of many incoming and returning students due to the coronavirus, some schools are changing their tune. From cancelling planned tuition increases to introducing programs that waive tuition for in-state students, colleges and universities are trying to retain their current student population while also hoping to attract new students. [...]

University of California Seeks New Standardized Test

May 27, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Across the country, both private and public institutions of higher education have announced that they will be test-optional for students applying to enter school in the fall of 2021. This policy, instituted as a response to coronavirus cancellations of standardized testing dates, comes with the caveat that it would only exist during next year’s round of admissions. But the University of California system has gone in an entirely different direction by announcing that will no longer require the SAT or ACT for all California state applicants. [...]

Wrap up May with these Memorial Day Scholarships

May 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Time to break out the white pants, beach chairs and barbeque sauce! It’s Memorial Day weekend and we’re excited for the (unofficial) start of summer. But there’s still almost a week left of May, and plenty of scholarships to consider before we jump into June. So, enjoy your three-day weekend – and set aside some time to apply to these scholarships. [...]