Senior Year College Planning Timeline

 


September

  • Make sure you have all applications required for college admission and financial aid. Write, phone, or use the
  • Internet to request missing information.
  • Update as necessary “my game plan”, “my resume” and “my colleges” in Naviance
  • Check on application and financial aid deadlines for the schools to which you plan to apply. They may vary and it
  • is essential to meet all deadlines! Make a list of all deadlines for your college applications.
  • Meet with your counselor to be sure your list includes colleges appropriate to your academic and personal record.
  • Review your transcript and co-curricular records with your school counselor to ensure their accuracy.
  • Double check your transcript to make sure that you have all of your graduation requirements and that we have the
  • correct grades and test scores.
  • Register for the October/November SAT Reasoning Test and/or SAT Subject Tests, or September/October ACT, if
  • you still are not satisfied with your scores.
  • If the colleges require recommendations, ask the appropriate people to write on your behalf. At least three weeks
  • before the due date, ask your counselor and teachers, employers, or coaches to write letters of recommendation.
  • Provide recommendation forms, any special instructions and a stamped, addressed business envelope to the
  • people writing your recommendation. Be thoughtful! Write thank-you notes to those who write recommendations
  • and keep them informed of your decisions.
  • Listen to announcements and attend College Callers. Be sure to get permission slips from the Counseling Office
  • and to check with your teachers. Prepare questions in advance and think about the kind of impression you would
  • like to make on the person who is likely to read your application.
  • Plan visits to colleges and set up interviews (if you didn't get to them during the summer or if you want to return to
  • a campus for a second time). Read bulletin boards and the college newspaper. Talk with current students and
  • professors.

October

  • Attend a regional college fair to investigate further those colleges to which you will probably apply. Visit the College
  • Fairs section on NACAC's Web site to view the schedule for NACAC's National College Fairs and the Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs.
  • Make a list of all college application deadlines, be sure you have everything into the counseling office three weeks
  • in advance of those deadlines.
  • Until you are 18 years of age, you will need to have your parents sign transcript release forms for each school to which you are applying. You will also need to bring in large envelopes with proper postage, so that we can send out your transcripts, counselor pages and any letters of recommendation.
  • Make sure that we have included the test scores of your choice on your transcript.
  • We will mail applications in time to reach the colleges by the deadlines, if you bring everything in on time yourself.
  • If applying early decision or early action, send in your application now. Also prepare applications for back-up schools. Remember, if you are accepted under the early decision option, you are expected to enroll at that college and to withdraw all other applications. Submit financial aid information if requested from early decision/action candidates.
  • Be sure your first quarter grades are good.
  • If you are still unsatisfied with your standardized test scores, register for the December/January SAT Reasoning Test and/or SAT Subject Tests, or December ACT.
  • Have official test scores sent by the testing agency to colleges on your list, if your colleges require scores directly from the testing agencies.

November

  • Continue completing applications to colleges. If you are completing them on-line make sure to edit them and have your counselor or another adult take a look at them as well.
  • Make copies of all applications before mailing the applications.
  • If you need financial aid, obtain a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) from the counseling office. Check to see if the colleges to which you are applying require any other financial aid form. Register for the CSS Profile if required and obtain the college's own financial aid forms, if available.
  • Keep all records, test score reports and copies of applications for admission and financial aid. Do not throw anything away until at least the end of your first year in college. Having detailed records will save you time and effort should anything be lost or should you decide to apply in the future to other colleges and scholarship programs.

December

  • Check in regularly with your counselor to review your final list of colleges. Be sure you have all bases covered. It is a good idea to make copies of everything before you drop those envelopes in the mail. If for some reason your application gets lost, you will have a back-up copy. File your last college application.
  • If you applied for early decision, you should have an answer by now. If you are accepted, follow the instructions for admitted students. If the decision is deferred until spring or you are denied, submit applications now to other colleges.

January

  • Keep working in your classes! Grades and courses continue to count throughout the senior year.
  • Request that your counselor send the transcript of your first semester grades to the colleges to which you applied.
  • Parents and students, complete your income tax forms as soon as possible. You will need those figures to fill out the FAFSA. Complete and return your FAFSA as quickly as possible after January 1. Check to make sure your colleges or state does not require any other financial aid forms. If they do, consult your guidance counselor or contact the college's financial aid office.

February

  • Remember to monitor your applications to be sure that all materials are sent and received on time and that they are complete. Stay on top of things and don't procrastinate; you can ruin your chances for admission by missing a deadline.
  • If you completed a FAFSA, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within four weeks after submitting the FAFSA. Review the SAR carefully and check for any inaccuracies. If necessary, correct any items on the SAR and return it to the FAFSA processor (if a college transmitted your data directly, notify the college of any change).
  • If more than four weeks have passed after sending in your FAFSA and you have not received an acknowledgment, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (319) 337-5665. To identify you, they will need your name, social security number, address, and date of birth exactly as it was written on your FAFSA.
  • Complete scholarship applications. You may be eligible for more scholarships than you think, so apply for as many as you can.   Listen to announcements, check Naviance and stop by the counseling office to make sure that you have completed scholarship applications.
  • Enjoy your final year in high school, but don't catch senioritis!

March

  • Stay focused and keep studying-only a couple more months to go!

April

  • Do not take rolling admission applications for granted. (Some colleges do not have application deadlines; they admit students on a continuous basis.) These schools may reach their maximum class size quickly-the earlier you apply, the more availability there may be.
  • Review your college acceptances and financial aid awards. Be sure to compare financial aid packages in your decision-making process. If you are positive you will not enroll at one or more of the colleges which accepted you, please notify those colleges that you have selected another college. Keeping colleges abreast of your plans might  enable those colleges to admit someone else. If you know which college you will attend, send your tuition deposit and follow all other instructions for admitted students. You must decide which offer of admission to accept by May 1 st (postmark date).

May

  • By May 1, decide on the one college that you will attend. By May 1, send in your tuition deposit to the college you will attend. Notify the other colleges that accepted you that you have selected another college.
  • Complete Graduation Survey in Naviance
  • BE PROUD-you have completed a difficult task.
  • If your first-choice college places you on their waiting list, do not lose all hope. Some students are admitted off the waiting list. Talk with your counselor, and contact the college to let them know you are still very interested. Keep  the college updated on your activities.
  • Take Advanced Placement examinations, if appropriate and request that your AP scores be sent to the college you will attend.

June

  • Request that your counselor send your final transcript to the college you will attend. Notify the college of any private scholarships or grants you will be receiving.
  • Know when the payment for tuition, room and board, meal plans, etc., is due. If necessary, ask the financial aid
  • office about a possible payment plan that will allow for you to pay in installments.
  • Congratulations, you've made it through high school! Enjoy your graduation and look forward to college.

July

  • By May 1, decide on the one college that you will attend. By May 1, send in your tuition deposit to the college you will attend. Notify the other colleges that accepted you that you have selected another college.
  • Complete Graduation Survey in Naviance
  • BE PROUD-you have completed a difficult task.
  • If your first-choice college places you on their waiting list, do not lose all hope. Some students are admitted off the waiting list. Talk with your counselor, and contact the college to let them know you are still very interested. Keep the college updated on your activities.
  • Take Advanced Placement examinations, if appropriate and request that your AP scores be sent to the college you  will attend.
  • Request that your counselor send your final transcript to the college you will attend. Notify the college of any private scholarships or grants you will be receiving.
  • Know when the payment for tuition, room and board, meal plans, etc., is due. If necessary, ask the financial aid office about a possible payment plan that will allow for you to pay in installments.
  • Congratulations, you've made it through high school! Enjoy your graduation and look forward to college.
  • Look for information in the mail from the college about housing, roommate(s), orientation, course selection, etc. Respond promptly to all requests from the college. August-September
  • Ease the transition into college. Accept the fact that you'll be in charge of your academic and personal life. What you do, when you do it and how things get done will be up to you. You'll have new responsibilities and challenges. Think about budgeting your time and establishing priorities. Take charge of the changes that lie ahead and eliminate or minimize pressures. Go forth with confidence and enthusiasm, willingness to adapt and determination to succeed academically and personally.
  • Pack for college. Don't forget to include things that remind you of friends and family. Be prepared for the newopportunities and challenges. Have a great freshman year!  


  • Reprinted from NACAC's PACT Guide: revised March 2005