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May Checklist for High School Seniors

Soon-to-be college freshmen, there's plenty to focus on accomplishing this May!

Elizabeth Hoyt

April 22, 2019

May Checklist for High School Seniors
It's May and your high school graduation is closer than ever! But, before you get too excited, remember that there are plenty of loose ends to tie up in high school...and there's plenty to think about for next semester as well. Speaking of which, you're about to embark upon the next phase in life and there's so much to prepare for, it's probably a little bit overwhelming to keep it all straight at this point.

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That's why we've developed a list to help keep you focused throughout the month on tasks you need to accomplish to finish the school year properly, as well as start preparing for your next semester in college. So, soon-to-be college freshman, here's what you need to focus on accomplishing this May:
1. College Summer Orientation Sessions
Take note of any summer orientation sessions that you need to attend for college and start to make plans accordingly, looping your parents in so they can help arrange to attend, too.

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2. Summer Job Planning
Firm up any summer job plans (or make some if you haven’t done so already).
3. College Savings
Create a savings plan that allows you to save your summer earnings to start college off on a positive financial note.
4. Final High School Transcripts
Check in with your high school counselor to ensure they have the correct college of choice on record and are forwarding your final school transcripts to the college.
5. Prepare Your College Budget
Prepare a realistic (note the emphasis on the word realistic) student budget that you can utilize once you get to college.
6. Consider a Credit Card
If you’re 18, consider opening a credit card. It’s a good idea to start establishing good credit earlier in life. They key is to take out a low limit and only buy things when you actually have the money to pay for them. Keep the balance as low as possible and pay off the balance each month, never spending money you don’t actually have! Avoid the credit trap – if you think you can’t handle a credit card, it’s best not to open one at all.
7. Family Discussions Regarding Budgeting & Contributions for College (Aside from Tuition)
By now you’ve likely discussed the tuition budget, but have you discussed the other areas with your family? Discuss financial aspects regarding computers, dorm supplies as well as other financial contributions for college living so that the entire family is on the same page. It’s best to discuss now because you’ll have the entire summer to work, save and apply for scholarships and look for jobs on your college campus if your parents aren’t able to contribute. Keep in mind that, come fall, most jobs on campus will be taken so it’s best to know earlier than later.
8. File Your Federal FAFSA
It’s your last chance to submit your FAFSA form for Federal aid – if you haven’t done so already! The federal deadline for the FAFSA falls on June 30 – so make sure you get yours in before then if you’d like to apply for Federal aid. The school and state deadlines typically fall sometime between February and early April, so it’s really best to submit your form as soon as possible after October 1!
9. Your Future Roommate
Create a list of things to discuss with your future roommate, such as who’s bringing what to the dorm room, pet peeves and what each of your daily routines are like - how you sleep, study, hobbies, etc.
10. Finish High School on a Good Note
STAY FOCUSED until the very end of high school! It sounds much easier than it is but you’ll need those grades to ensure your admission to the college you’ve been accepted to!

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