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A 12th Grade Senior Year Timeline

In the Fall of Your Senior Year:

Make sure you are on track to graduate and that you are taking courses required for college admission. See your school counselor or adviser.

You should have already taken the ACT or SAT tests. If you haven’t, register NOW by checking with your school counselor or advisor.

Work on college essays and personal statements. Many English classes will have this as an assignment.

Attend financial aid nights at your high school or local college.

Go to college fairs and other information events. Your school can help you find these.

Start gathering letters of recommendation from teachers and others.

In the Fall of Your Senior Year:

FAFSA now opens in October. If you have older siblings they probably started theirs in January. You are lucky. It is easier now. You can use the “prior prior” years taxes instead of waiting for your prior year’s taxes to be done. There is also a cool tool to import the tax year directly from the IRS. DO THIS EARLY. If you don’t get it done early, do it as soon as you can. There is a lot of misinformation out there such as “if you don’t get it done on the first day the money is all gone.” No it is not. The most important deadline to hit is the financial aid deadline for the college you want. Those deadlines are important to the college not only for federal financial aid but for institutional financial aid direct from the college.

After the FAFSA, shift your time to looking for scholarships.Your school counselor or adviser can help with finding them but don’t leave it all up to them! Fill out the application and turn it in timely!

In the Spring of Your Senior Year:

Do college visits to those that have asked you to enroll.

Review colleges acceptances and the financial aid package they are offering.

Notify the college you want to attend and let them know your decision. Read all correspondence from them. It will have important information and updates.

Graduate and send final transcripts to the college you will be attending!

© 2013 Roger D. Chamberlain

Roger Chamberlain
Roger Chamberlain works for a university helping low income and under represented high school students prepare for and be successful in college.
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