Senior Year Checklist

 

During your senior year, you may be working towards finalizing your college and career plans. This year is filled with co-op applications, admission applications, scholarship essays, financial aid applications, and the need to meet several deadlines throughout the year ahead. Continue to build your resume by achieving academic success, as well as participating in extracurricular activities. Colleges are very interested in well-rounded students.

The college preparation process that takes place during your senior year is filled with a lot of details and related paperwork. It is very important that you involve your family with this process. Stay organized and keep track of deadlines! MEFA has a great set of worksheets to keep track of deadlines and requirements for your college admissions applications. Please see it here: http://www.mefa.org/college-admissions-toolkit/

September/October

_ Review your career plans and decide which type of post-secondary school is best for you.  Work on developing a list of colleges and finalize your college application list.

_ Request admissions information via the web, social media, college fairs, or school catalogs.

_ Collect letters of recommendation from your teachers to include with your college applications.

_ Start brainstorming about ideas for your college essays and begin writing drafts of your essays.

_ Continue to take challenging courses during your senior year. Stay focused on maintaining or increasing your GPA.

_ Register for the SAT and/or ACT assessments and mark your calendar with TEST dates.  Send scores to colleges you plan on applying to following the exam dates.

_ Create separate folders for each of the schools that interest you and keep the materials organized.

_ FINALIZE and submit any Early Action Applications – most are due by November 1st.

_ Attend Southeastern Regional’s College Fair.

_ Visit your top college choices, if possible. Make appointments with faculty, staff, and students.

_ FINALIZE College Application List. Be sure to note all admission application requirements as well as the forms necessary to apply for financial aid. Be sure to note all deadlines!   Finalize portfolios, audition tapes, writing samples, or other evidence of talent, if required for admission.

_ Complete the CSS Profile Form for any private colleges that require this financial aid form. Review this information in this guide that pertains to the CSS Profile Form.

_ Signup for Co-op job if you haven’t already done so. Review professional licensing requirements for post-high school job placement.

November 

_ Complete applications for every scholarship for which you may be eligible.  See information on scholarship searches on this site.

_ Continue to work on regular admission applications. Follow up to ensure your teachers/coaches/supervisors, etc. send letters of recommendation. Ask your Guidance Counselor to send or upload your official transcript to any colleges you are applying to.

December

_ Sign up for a FSA ID, so that you can complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.  (Also let your parents know that they will need their own FSA ID.)   Urge your parents to file their taxes as soon as possible after January 1. This will make the financial aid process more streamlined.

_ Finalize any outstanding admission applications and schedule admissions interviews, as applicable.

_ Attend the Financial Aid Night hosted by Southeastern Regional to learn about the financial aid application process, the aid sources available to you, and how to prepare to pay for college.

January

_ Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 but by February 15th for priority filing. The FAFSA can be completed online (or you can go to http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa to download a PDF version of the FAFSA). Keep copies of all documents, including your PIN, in a safe place. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email which is a confirmation of the information you submitted on your FAFSA.

_ Attend the FAFSA Night at Southeastern Regional for assistance completing your FAFSA or visit the College Planning Center, 231 Main Street, Brockton, MA for assistance completing the FAFSA.

_ Contact the U.S. Department of Education at 800-4-FEDAID for assistance completing the FAFSA and/or plan to attend a FAFSA Day Massachusetts event (free FAFSA advice) near you. Information on FAFSA Day locations and hours can be found at http://www.fafsaday.org.

February

_ Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) as soon as it is ready for viewing. Review your SAR for errors and make any corrections as indicated. This is an important step in the financial application process. Reviewing your SAR and making any necessary corrections will ensure that colleges are receiving your corrected information which will be used to determine financial aid eligibility.

_ Be sure to respond to any missing information requests from the financial aid office at the colleges you have applied to. It is VERY important to make sure that you have submitted the information that colleges need to process your financial aid application. Check in with the financial aid offices to ensure your paperwork is complete. Submit tax forms if you have been selected for Verification

March/April 

_ Continue to visit colleges that you have applied to.

_ Be on the lookout for college acceptance letters.

_ Compare financial aid award letters and verify financial aid offers.

_ Start looking for summer jobs.

_ Make your final college decision based on college admission and financial aid information.

_ Mail in a deposit to your top choice school and also notify the schools you have chosen NOT to attend.

May

_ Plan for registration and housing, at your new college and mark your calendar with important dates. Be aware of any summer orientation sessions that you must attend at the school in which you will enroll, and make plans accordingly.

_ Finalize your summer job plans, and make a plan for saving a portion of your summer earnings.

_ Prepare a realistic student budget.

_ The guidance office will need to forward a final transcript to the college where you plan enroll, so be sure to notify the guidance office of your final college decision.

June/July

_ High School Graduation – Congratulations and best of luck!

_ Save money from your summer job to help with college expenses.

_ Send “thank you notes” to everyone who helped you plan and prepare for college.

_ Make copies of important documents such as health form, insurance, financial aid award letter, and anything else important and keep in a safe place.

_ Be sure to accept the financial aid awarded to you so that the college can process all aid sources. Touch base with the college financial aid office if you have questions or concerns.

_ Develop a budget and arrange to pay the college bill. Research and apply for alternative education loans, if necessary. Work with the college’s financial aid office to finalize college financing options.

_ Prepare for the new adventures that await you on campus! Congratulations you are starting college!

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