Senior Guide to Graduating College and Career Ready
September - December
- Meet with your counselor to ensure that college graduation requirements have been met. Request letters of recommendation and transcripts in enough time to meet college application deadlines.
- Take a fourth year of math and science courses and/or participate in dual credit (a great way to get college credit while in high school). This will make you more likely to succeed in college!
- Register to retake the ACT/SAT exam, if necessary.
- Apply for your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) PIN number before December 31st. Get your parents to apply for a family PIN number as well.
- Attend college/scholarship fairs. Visit the colleges that interest you most.
- Narrow down your college choices and complete college applications. Make sure the application is complete. Keep a completed copy of the application as well as the date mailed for your records. Apply for every scholarship for which you qualify.
January - June
- File for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by Jan. 31st. Use last year’s tax forms to complete the FAFSA. If you haven’t received last year’s W2’s, you have until March 1st to amend this information and still be eligible for early financial consideration. Include the names and codes of each school you are applying to on your FAFSA.
- Check your Student Aid Report (SAR) as soon as it comes and make corrections as necessary.
- Confirm you are on track for graduation!
- Follow up on college application status. Send in mid-year grades.
- Review college acceptance letters and financial aid award letters with your parents, counselors and college & career coaches. Compare financial aid offers from all colleges you’re accepted to, identify gaps, and make sure you have enough to cover tuition costs (accept/decline/negotiate offers) before making a final decision.
- Use Spring Break to visit/contact the schools to which you have been accepted. Finalize your plans for attendance. Send in housing contracts, deposits, etc.
- Investigate pre-college programs and additional support services available at the college of your choice – many schools have summer opportunities that will make your transition smoother and allow you to begin school in the fall more prepared.
- Inform schools of your acceptance or decline offers by May 1 - the deadline for notifying colleges.
- Continue to apply for scholarships. Many scholarships have late deadlines and are reserved for newly-accepted students.
- Get a summer job and save money for college.
- Prepare to begin college. Continue to read each day. Purchase items you’ll need to take to college (computer, bedding, school supplies, clothes, etc.).
Awareness | Readiness | Access | Success