- Some colleges will have deadlines as early as this month. These would include rolling admission,priority, early decision, and early action deadlines.
- If you cannot afford the application fees that many colleges charge, ask your guidance counselor to help you request a fee waiver.
- Finalize your college essay. Many schools will require that you submit at least one essay with your application.
- Request personal recommendations.from teachers, school counselors, or employers. Follow the process provided by your high school or provide a stamped addressed envelope, the appropriate college forms, and an outline of your academic record and extra curricular activities to each person writing you a recommendation.
- Research possible scholarships. Ask your counselor, your colleagues, your religous and civic groups about scholarship opportunities. You should never pay for scholarship information.
- Finalize and send any early decision or early action applications due this month. Have a parent, teacher, counselor, or other adult review the application before it is submitted.
- Every college will require a transcript from your high school. Follow your school's procedure for sending a transcript.
- Make sure testing companies have sent your scores directly to the colleges to which you are applying or collect an official copy from your guidance counselor.
- The FAFSA (Free Application for federal Student Aid) will be available this month, but cannot be completed before January 1st. This is the form you will complete to find out what financial aid you are eligible to receive from the government. Ask your guidance office for a copy or visit FAFSA This form should be filed online if at all possible.
- Begin to organize regular decision applications and financial aid forms, which will be due in January and/or February.
- REGISTER FOR THE JANUARY SAT. IT IS THE LAST ONE COLLEGES WILL BE ABLE TO CONSIDER FOR A SENIOR.
- Many popular and selective colleges will have application deadlines as early as January 1st. Others have deadlines later in January and February. Keep track of and observe deadlines for sending in all required fees and paperwork.
- If necessary , register for the February ACT (some colleges will be able to consider it).
- Ask your guidance office in January to send first semester transcripts to schools where you applied. At the end of the school year, they will need to send final transcripts to the college you will attend.
- IT IS TIME TO FILE FOR FAFSA. The sooner you complete it, the sooner you will have an idea of your financial aid options. Watch the mail for your student Aid Report (SAR) - it should arrive four weeks after your FAFSA is filed.
FEBRUARY / MARCH / APRIL
- While most of your application will be complete and you are waiting to receive admission decisions, do not slack off in the classroom. The college that you do attend will want to see your second semester transcript. No senioritis!
- Acceptance offers and financial aid packages will start arriving. Review your acceptances, compare financial aid packages, and visit your final choices, especially if you haven't already.
- MAY 1ST IS THE DATE THE COLLEGE YOU PLAN TO ATTEND REQUIRES A COMMITMENT AND DEPOSIT.
- When you have made your college decision, notify your counselor and the colleges. Send in your deposit by the postmark date of May 1st. If you've been offered financial aid, accept the offer and follow instructions given. Also, notify schools you will not attend of your decision.
- Make sure that you have requested that your final transcript be sent to the school you will be attending.
- If you are "wait listed" by a college you really want to attend, visit, call, and write the admission office to make your interest clear. Ask how you can strengthen your application.