March College Prep Checklist for High School Seniors

Check out our college and scholarship to-do list for high school seniors.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 27, 2024

March College Prep Checklist for High School Seniors
You’re almost to the finish line, but still have some tasks to finish up before the school year – and your high school career - is over.
It’s March, and your final year of high school is drawing to a close. Fortunately, you don’t need luck to finish on a high note; you just need to stay on task. It can be easy to lose sight of the college admissions process with the anticipation of what’s ahead. That is completely understandable; there is a lot going on – and a lot to be excited about!

College Planning Checklist for High School Seniors

Seniors, you’re almost to the finish line, but you still have some responsibilities to finish up before your high school career is over. Here’s what you should focus on throughout the month of March.

Start Making College Decisions

You can’t make your final college decisions until all of your admissions responses have arrived from colleges, but you can start mapping out the different scenarios so that you’re prepared for whatever decisions may arrive. If you’re waitlisted or rejected, take a few days to mourn the decision, and then move on. There are so many great colleges out there, and not getting into your top choice may be the best thing that ever happened to you. Just ask these celebrities.

Apply for FAFSA, Meet 2024-2025 Financial Aid Deadlines

If you have not already done so, be sure you apply for the FAFSA -- ASAP. Your FAFSA will help you with additional funds to pay for college. Find your FAFSA state deadlines.

Verify Financial Aid

Before you make any finalized college budget decisions, make sure to verify your financial aid. You don’t want to count on any financial aid that isn’t actually available to you! Consider financial aid in your college decision as well. Though fit is very important, whether you can afford your top choice college is just as vital. Now that you’re equipped with the financial information, you can compare your choices better.

Send Your Final Transcripts to Colleges

Ensure your final transcripts are sent to colleges via your advisor or school counselor. Never assume they will do the job for you. You can follow up with both your high school counselor as well as the admissions committee.

Prep for Finals and/or AP Exams

If you have any upcoming finals and AP exams, prepare well ahead of time. Your senior year grades will have an impact on your college admissions decisions. Just as colleges are able to admit you based on your grades, they are also able to rescind their offers if your grades plummet drastically – without good reason. Additionally, if your grades improve and you are on the waitlist somewhere, let that college know! It could move you from the waitlist to the admit pile.

Prepare for Graduation Early

The earlier you sign up for graduation gear and plan things (like graduation parties, announcements, etc.), the more money you could save. Make sure to take on tasks early so that you won’t get penalized for late sign-ups.

Apply for Scholarships

As always, you should continue to apply for scholarships. Paying for college will require you to pull from a variety of resources, and you can always use extra money to pay for school! Make sure to continually apply to scholarships you match to, and don't get discouraged if you don't win. Applying is ultimately a numbers game; and the more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances are of winning. So, apply early and often!

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