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Senior Checklist

Grade 11 May/June

Athletes who plan on playing college level sports need to register with the NCAA clearinghouse. The website is


Get off to a good start this semester. Your junior year grades are very important. Take as many academic courses as possible.

 Check credits to make sure you are on schedule for meeting graduation requirements.

 If possible, narrow your career interests to one or two fields.

 Volunteer for community service experience.


Register to take the ACT or PSAT if you are considering going to college out of state.

 Start thinking more seriously about what sort of college you would like to attend. The College Board website may help you get started.

 Register for the ACT preparation class if available.

 Review for the ACT test. Study the ACT Student Bulletin and old tests. Use computer software, websites like March to Success, and printed aids. Consider participating in a preparation program.


Take the PSAT if you are interested in trying for the National Merit Scholar recognition. On the test form, check the box which will put you on the mailing list for college information.


Study college information.

 Collect information on scholarships and financial aid programs.

Check registration deadlines for the SAT, ACT, and other appropriate tests and take preparation class if available.


Plan program of study for senior year with your counselor. Learn about opportunities to earn college credit for advanced placement. Take as many academic courses as possible. Register for college entrance tests.


Participate in a SAT/ACT preparation program.

 Take SAT or ACT.

 Take Achievement Test(s).

 Continue to develop strong study habits.

 Explore opportunities for college dual-enrollment credit.

Summer (Before Senior Year)

Select the top three colleges you feel best meet your needs by August. Make sure to include a “sure bet”, two or three “good prospects”, and a “dream” school.

 Visit college campuses. You only get two college visit days during your senior year.

 Keep a record of the advantages and disadvantages of each college.

 Request catalogs, applications, financial aid information, and specific information about your proposed major area of study.

 In August begin thinking about personal statements for college admission essays. Reflect on interesting experiences you have had. Think about how you might explain how you are different from other students.

Grade 12 /August

Check your credits. Be sure you have all of the required courses and credit for graduation. Make any adjustments needed in your schedule to meet the requirements for graduation or the requirements at the particular college you wish to attend. Think about volunteering for community service.


Meet with your guidance counselor to review your records. Match these with the entrance requirements of the colleges you are considering. Make a list of your activities and awards. Update this list throughout the fall.

 Register for and take college admissions tests if you haven’t already.

 Choose a minimum of three colleges to which you will apply. Your selection should include at least one that you feel will definitely accept you. Athletes should discuss their ability to play at college level with the respective coaches.

Go to the college websites to complete your applications for admissions at the schools of your choice.

 Begin thinking more seriously about your financial aid needs. Calculate your Estimated Family Contribution (ESF) and judge whether you will need a scholarship, grant, loan, or work/study program. You can find assistance at the web site addresses provided earlier in this guide.

 Get an early start on applying for scholarships and grants. You can apply throughout the year, but start now.

 Check college catalogs and web sites for applications for admissions, housing, financial aid, required entrance exams (SAT or ACT) and deadlines for financial aid forms (FAFSA). If you are a candidate for early decision, file your application in time to meet that deadline. Also be sure to check the LAST acceptable test date for an early decision candidate. Parents and students need to be aware of the contractual obligations for early decisions.

 Register to take the appropriate college entrance exam.

 Talk with teachers and other people who know you well and whom you will ask to write a recommendation for you.

Prepare a resume to assist any person from whom you will request a letter of recommendation.

 Schedule college tours. Check your school calendar for dates when you are not in school other than holidays. Use these. Call ahead for an appointment.

 Meet with college representatives when they visit your school.

 Maintain good grades.

 Distribute applications and recommendation forms to guidance counselors and teachers for completion of their sections. (Teachers and counselors are asked to write numerous recommendations; always allow at least four weeks for them to complete recommendations.)


Make more college visits.

 Arrange sending of transcript and recommendations to colleges. Provide a stamped, addressed envelope if needed.

 Begin to fill out application forms. Many colleges require essay responses. Allow yourself ample time to do a good job. Request that an English teacher check your essay for grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, etc. (Again, allow sufficient time for the teacher to check and make suggestions.)

 Meet application deadlines for early decision (usually November 10), housing, scholarships, or financial aid.

 Take/retake the SAT/ACT if necessary.


Continue to study hard because your first semester senior year grades are very important.

 Research the quality of the departments at colleges you like the most. Ask questions of current students when you visit. If interested in a pre-professional program, check on the placement record for the university.

 Complete college applications for admissions. Follow up on letters of recommendation. Request transcripts as needed. Copy ALL forms before you mail them. Mail to meet deadlines.


Look back over your timeline to be sure you have completed each step in the college admissions process.

 Request that SAT or ACT scores be sent to all colleges to which you have applied. If you did not list them when you registered for the tests, fill out the special form for additional college scores. These forms are on the ACT/SAT websites.

 Expect notification of early decision acceptance or deferral by December 15. If you are not accepted, file your other applications IMMEDIATELY.

 Ask your parents to begin gathering their financial information.


File your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. The FAFSA website is (Estimate the required tax information if your tax forms are still incomplete. It is best if your family completes tax returns by the end of the month.) Pay attention to the deadline since some states require an earlier deadline than others. Keep a photo copy for your records.

 Research for scholarships and loans.


Keep your grades up….finish strong….remember that you will be accepted to college.

 Check deadlines for financial aid/scholarship grants. Many forms are due March 1.


Check dates for Advanced Placement test if needed.

 Check new College tips and bulletin boards for scholarship deadlines.

 Make certain all scholarships are completed and mailed.


Look for acceptance notices. April 15 is the most popular date for some competitive colleges to notify students. Let your counselor know what has happened.

 Choose your college and write the college a letter of acceptance, which the college should receive before May 1.

 Write other colleges to decline their acceptance (also before May 1).

If you are wait-listed and with to be kept in consideration, be sure to advise the college.

 If all colleges send rejections, don’t panic! There are several alternatives. See your counselor.

Finalize plans for housing, financial aid, and/or scholarships.

 Make any deposit required by the institution you plan to attend. May 1 is the generally accepted nationwide deadline for deposits for fall term.

 If applicable, register for Advanced Placement Tests. List colleges you wish to receive your scores.


Make final choice of college or university if you have not already done so. Complete all details concerning college admissions.

 Notify your counselor of your final college choice and whether you have been awarded any scholarships (academic, athletic, artistic, dramatic, or musical).

 Request that a final transcript be sent to your college choice.

 Take Advanced Placement Tests.

 Attend Senior Practice Assembly and Graduation.

 Sign up in the Counseling Center for your final transcript to be mailed to all colleges of your choice.

 Return all books, equipment and uniforms. Pay any fines and clear any holds on your records or diploma.


July/Summer before College Freshman Year

When you receive your Advanced Placement Test grades, if you have not already requested that the scores be sent to the college that you will be attending, request College Board to do so.

 Participate in the orientation program of the college you will attend. This may have occurred in the spring or may take place just prior to the fall term.

 Check on opportunities to pre-register for fall term classes. Learn about campus resources and facilities.