Seniors can usually take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that they are on the downward slope of their high school years. If they’ve maintained good grades and set themselves up well by participating in extracurriculars, senior year should look like more of the same. But there are still some final (very important!) checklist items that incoming seniors and their parents need to keep in mind.
✓ Meet with school counselor. Make sure that everything is on track for an on-time graduation and that courses will fulfill college requirements. Confirm what the counselor needs in order to begin sending transcripts. Some colleges require a counselor recommendation, so make sure you and your counselor are on the same page when it comes to meeting college application deadlines.
✓ Begin college applications EARLY. Most applications are due between November and January, so during the summer, you should be pulling together your final list of schools and noting specific deadlines and requirements for each application. We recommend doing as much as possible before school starts, including applications and essays. Doing so will make senior year less stressful.
✓ Request required docs and recommendations. As soon as you’ve identified what you’ll need for each application, begin requesting materials such as transcripts and letters of recommendation.
✓ Submit tax forms ASAP. Parents should be submitting tax returns well before the April deadline in order to prepare for financial aid applications.
✓ Submit FAFSA and scholarship applications. It is to your advantage to complete both of these as early as possible.
✓ Go on final college tours. Once you’ve received acceptance letters from specific schools, you can really narrow in on which tours are a priority. As we’ve noted before, junior year is a great time to check out state schools, but you can generally save tours of “reach” or very far-away schools for when you’ve actually been accepted.
✓ Make a decision! Drawing on your tour experiences, financial aid offers, and possibly the advice of your college planner, compare each school and make an informed decision. Make sure to send in your commitment letter on time, verify financial aid, and send final transcripts.
Have any additional questions about the checklist for incoming seniors and how to keep everything straight during senior year? Or would you like college planning help to guide you through the whole admissions process? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-216-2222 to learn more.