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Remember to submit all requests for transcripts and letters of recommendations in writing. Please allow one week for transcripts to be sent and two weeks for a letter of recommendation to be written.
If you do not yet have a plan for next year, please come see Mrs. Murphy or Mrs. Crist as soon as possible. Mrs. Crist is here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
August before Senior Year
- Register for the September ACT if appropriate (http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html#second).
- Come up with a preliminary list of colleges that includes reach, match and safety schools.
- Explore the websites of the colleges that interest you to learn about admissions requirements.
- Check your senior year class schedule to make sure you're taking the English, Math, Social Science, Science, and Foreign Language classes you'll need for your top-choice colleges.
- Look over the Common Application and begin thinking about potential topics for your personal essay.
- Visit and interview with college representatives if appropriate.
- Register for October or November SAT and SAT Subject Exame (check SAT dates).
- Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss the colleges to which you're thinking of applying.
- Request letters of recommendation, especially if you are applying early.
- Continue to visit and interview with college admissions representatives.
- Request applications from all the schools to which you might apply. Create an account with The Common Application if the colleges you've selcted use it.
- Create a chart of deadlines. Pay particular attention to early decision , early action, and preferred application deadlines.
- If appropriate, register for the October ACT exam.
- Work on your college essay
- Try to assume a leadership position in an extracurricular activity.
- Work to strengthen your academic record.
- Take the SAT, SAT Subject exams, and/or ACT as appropriate.
- Continue to research schools to narrow to roughly 6 - 8 schools.
- Take advantage of college fairs and virtual tours.
- Complete your applications if you are applying early decision or early action.
- Research financial aid and scholarships. Do your parents' places of employment offer college scholarships for employee children?
- Get your college essay in shape. Get feedback on your writing from a guidance counselor and a teacher.
- Request your high school transcript and check it for accuracy.
- Keep track of all application components and deadlines: applications, test scores, letters of recommendation, and financial aid materials. An incomplete application will ruin your chances for admission.
- Register for the December SAT or ACT if appropriate.
- Take the November SAT if appropriate.
- Don't let your grades slide. It's easy to be distracted from school work when working on applications. Senior slump can be disastrous for your admissions chances.
- Make sure you've submitted all components of your applications if you are applying to colleges with November deadlines for early decision or preferred application.
- Put the final touches on your application essays, and get feedback on your essays from counselors and/or teachers.
- Continue to research scholarships.
December - January
- Complete your applications for regular admissions.
- Make sure you've had your test scores sent to all colleges that require them.
- Confirm that your letters of recommendation have been sent.
- Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Aid).
- If you are accepted to a school through early decision be sure to follow directions carefully. Submit required forms, and notify the other schools to which you applied of your decision.
- Continue to focus on your grades and extracurricular activities
- Have midyear grades sent to colleges.
- Continue to keep track of all deadlines and application components.
- Continue to research scholarships. Apply for scholarships well in advance of deadlines.
February - March
- If you submitted the FAFSA, you should receive the Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully look it over for accuracy. Errors can cost you thousands of dollars.
- Contact colleges that didn't send you a confirmation receipt for your application.
- Don't put off applying to schools with rolling admissions or late deadlines -- the available spaces can fill up.
- Talk to your school about registering for AP exams.
- Keep your grades high. Colleges can revoke offers of admission if your grades take a nosedive senior year.
- Some acceptance letters may arrive. Compare financial aid offers and visit campus before making a decision.
- Don't panic; many, many decisions are not mailed out until April.
- Continue applying for appropriate scholarships.
- Keep track of all acceptances, rejections, and waitlists.
- If waitlisted, learn more about waitlists and move ahead with other plans. You can always change your plans if you get off a waitlist.
- Keep your grades up.
- If you have ruled out any colleges that accepted you, notify them. This is a courtesy to other applicants, and it will help the colleges manage their waitlists and extend the correct number of acceptance letters.
- Go to accepted student open houses if offered.
May - June
- Avoid senioritis! An acceptance letter doesn't mean you can stop working.
- Most schools have a deposit deadline of May 1st. Don't be late! If needed, you may be able to request an extension.
- Prepare for and take any appropriate AP exams. Most colleges offer course credit for high AP scores; this gives you more academic options when you get to college.
- Have your final transcripts sent to colleges.
- Send thank you letters to everyone who helped you in the application process. Let your mentors and recommenders know the results of your college search.
- Keep on top of procuring student loans. Notify your college if you receive any scholarships.
- Graduate. Congratulations!