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Senior Year

Student To Do List:

Work hard all the way to graduation – second-semester grades can affect scholarship eligibility. Stay involved in after-school activities and seek leadership roles if possible. 


Firm up narrowed list of 8-12 colleges for application. Make sure to include “good” financial aid schools that meet selection criteria and where the student profiles in the top 20% relative to all other applicants. Include at least one in-state fallback school.

Determine the information required to submit the FAFSA, and any further financial aid forms, such as the CSS Profile form or Institutional forms from each college. The FAFSA is available on October 1st and financial aid forms should be filed as soon as possible.

Obtain admission applications and prepare to meet specified requirements for narrowed list of colleges. Determine and be prepared to meet admission and financial aid application deadlines. Start submitting, through guidance department, the required admissions package for each school. Be prepared to counter possible resistance from guidance counselor to submit applications to the recommended eight to twelve schools.

Complete any last scholarship applications.

Continue to visit more college campuses on the narrowed list. Thoroughly explore campus, classrooms and dorms. Speak with students and faculty. Meet with admissions and financial aid officers. Include, if possible, the experience of a student on-campus overnight stay. 


Before you make your final decision, make one last visit to your top three schools to firm up your decision points.

Collect your college acceptances and compare and review the colleges’ financial aid award offers with your parents for any negotiation or award review possibilities.

When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.

Parent To-Do List:

Work with your child on filling out the FAFSA and any further financial aid forms.

Compare and negotiate any award letters and communications from the school in a timely manner.

Make informed decisions about student loans; the following resources are important to review:

Understand the benefits of federal student loans.

Help your child learn about the responsibilities involved in accepting a student loan.