Guidance Senior Timeline

Last Updated: 1/7/2020 8:28 PM



  • Research colleges you’re interested in online for admissions information.
  • If you’re applying for Early Decision, start filling out the forms to meet the college’s deadline.
  • If you haven’t taken the ACT/SAT or if you think you can do better, register.
  • Get with your counselor to find out about the financial aid sources available to you.
  • Ask your parents to get their tax return information ready so you can submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1.


  • Meet with college admissions representatives at college fairs or when they visit your school.
  • Attend a financial aid seminar if your school offers one.
  • If you haven’t picked a college yet, narrow your list by visiting schools and talking with students. You should probably talk with your parents too.
  • If you’re going Early Decision, most schools want the applications submitted about now.
  • If you’re going through the regular admissions process, it’s time to ask teachers to write recommendations and to polish your admissions essay if you have to write one.
  • Check with each school’s financial aid office to see what financial aid forms they require in addition to the FAFSA.


  • Make sure your applications were received on time.
  • If you went Early Decision and were accepted, withdraw your applications from other schools.


  • Submit midyear grades if the colleges you’ve applied to require them.
  • Send in any deposits that are required.
  • If you’ve been accepted by more than one college but haven’t heard from your first choice, contact that school about a decision before you make any nonrefundable deposits to other schools.
  • If you’ve decided on which school to attend, notify that college of your decision. Let any other colleges that have accepted you know about your decision.


  • Follow up on your financial aid package.
  • If you’re going to need student loans, compare the benefits offered by the various lenders your college uses.
  • Take AP tests if you’re enrolled in AP courses.
  • If you’re on a waiting list at a school you really want to attend, ask the director of admissions how to strengthen your application.


  • Let your high school counselor know which school you’re going to so the school can send in final grades, class rank and proof of graduation.
  • Send thank-you notes to counselors, teachers and others who helped you through the process.
  • Prepare a budget for the coming school year.