College Planning for High School Seniors
Senior year is easily the most overwhelming for high school students but staying organized will guarantee a solid finish.
August 30, 2016
It’s your final year of high school, which is not only the time to celebrate your achievements but bulk up your resume and course schedule to show colleges and universities that you’re a worthy candidate.
Senior year is easily the most overwhelming for high school students but staying organized will guarantee a solid finish, a good chance at your top choice college, and a year that you can look back on with satisfaction.
- Request applications and brochures from your target colleges if you haven’t already. For more college options, sign up for Fastweb’s College Search.
- Schedule college interviews with prospective schools.
- Set up a budget for college application costs – they can add up.
- Get your applications in order by creating files for your target schools. Make a list of application requirements (essays, transcripts, etc) and deadlines for each.
- Request letters of recommendation from teachers, advisors and employers.
- Work on application essays.
- ACT is offered on September 10, 2016.
- Start gathering materials and financial records for the FAFSA, available on October 1 (starting this year).
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October1.
- Talk to your parents about college cost. Decide how much you can afford and explore your options for funding.
- Request transcripts sent to your target schools.
- SAT is offered on October 1, 2016. ACT is offered on October 22, 2016.
- Visit Fastweb Financial Aid to learn more about financial aid.
- Start applying for scholarships from private organizations. Check your Fastweb search results for new scholarships.
- If you’re applying Early Action or Early Decision, get your application in this month.
- Keep copies of all applications and forms sent to colleges.
- Request test scores sent to colleges.
- SAT is offered on November 5, 2016. ACT is offered on December 10, 2016.
- Review the SAR (Student Aid Report) to make sure the information is correct. You should receive it 4-6 weeks after you submit your FAFSA (1-2 weeks if you submit your FAFSA electronically).
- SAT is offered on December 3, 2016.
- Work on college applications! Many applications are due this month or in early January.
- Find out when the SAT and ACT are offered and sign up, if you haven’t taken them already or need to retake.
- Check with your prospective colleges about additional financial aid application forms and requirements.
- Send mid-year reports to colleges, if necessary.
- Verify that your applications have been received by colleges.
- Send thank-you notes to your recommendation sources.
- Check the mail for admissions letters and financial aid awards.
- Compare your admissions offers. Ask your guidance counselor to help you weigh your options.
- Contact the financial aid office if you have any special financial aid circumstances.
- If wait-listed, notify the admissions office if you’re still interested.
- Plan your summer internship, job or program.
- Time for a decision! Most schools ask that you choose your school by May 1.
- Notify (in writing) the schools you have decided not to attend.
- Make sure you’ve received the necessary forms for housing, health insurance, financial aid, etc.
- Pursue additional student loan options.
- Notify colleges of any private scholarship awards.
- Have your final transcripts sent to your new school.
- Research banking options near your college.
- Double-check any final deadlines for housing, financial aid, etc.
- Set up a projected first-year college budget.
Need Money to Pay for College?
Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify. You'll find scholarships like the Sallie Mae's $1,000 Plan for College Sweepstakes, and easy to enter scholarships like Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship, and internships with companies like Apple, Google, Dreamworks, and even NASA!