There are some very important things that you can be doing during your senior year to prepare for your future. Follow these steps to lead to success:
- Take or Retake the standardized tests of your choice. Most students don't get the score they want the first time. Plan on taking it once more before applying to college.
- Continue to visit colleges and narrow down your list of potential colleges. Most counselors recommend that students select four colleges to apply to. If you select a school which you don't meet their requirements, make sure to have a "fall back" school in case you aren't accepted.
- Create a "College Deadline" Calendar. The only way to ensure you don't miss a deadline is to mark it on a calendar that you check frequently.
- Remain involved in extracurricular activities. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students who exhibit leadership abilities. Extracurricular activities can provide both.
- Collect letters of recommendation from several sources. Collect the remaining recommendations based on the specific requests from each application. Make sure to provide ample time for your recommender to write a decent recommendation. In other words, DON'T WAIT TIL THE LAST MINUTE!
- Provide your advisor/counselor with a list of the items required to complete your applications. You will not only need recommendation letters, but also transcripts, GPA, and school profile reports. Make sure to provide ample time for your advisor to complete the forms.
- Complete your applications with plenty of time to review them for accuracy. Once you've submitted your information, check with your advisor to make sure all the school information has been submitted. Confirm with the college that they have all the information needed make their decision.
- Apply for scholarships! College is expensive but if you are willing to do the work, there are plenty of scholarships available to help pay down your costs. Apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of receiving funding.
- Submit financial aid forms. Know your state and school financial aid deadlines and submit the forms before the deadline. This increases your chances of receiving grants and loans.
- Request that mid-year grade reports be submitted on your behalf. It is your responsibility to request that your counselor submit the mid-year report to the colleges you applied to. Colleges will often make their final decision after receiving your mid-year marks so remember to keep up the hard work.
- Watch your mail for your acceptance letters. Most decisions are made by March or April.
- Make your final decision as to which college you will attend. Schedule a last minute campus visit if you are still undecided.
- Schedule and take AP exams. Exams are held the first two weeks in May.
- Follow up on financial aid information. Make sure that your FAFSA application has been submitted on time and that the college you are attending has all the information they require. Apply for loans to cover any additional costs.
- Finalize college enrollment paperwork. Colleges will need to know your plans for housing, scheduling and other necessary information. Make sure to submit them by the appropriate deadlines.