Senior Timeline for College Planning

  • Talk about your plans with your school counselor, log onto Naviance to research careers, colleges, and scholarships and go to the various other websites on the Useful Links Page.
  • Visit colleges that interest you. Call ahead for the campus tour schedule. Schedule an on-campus interview with an admissions representative.
  • Finalize your list of colleges. Be sure your list includes "safe" schools as well as "reach" and "realistic" schools. Make sure that the list of colleges you are thinking about is updated in Naviance. Keep a college calendar of all admission deadlines.
  • If you plan on competing in Division I or Division II college sports and want to be eligible to be recruited by colleges, you must register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse click here for the link. Register early for Fall SAT tests at and/or Fall ACT test at

Month By Month Timeline


  • Get started on your applications right away if you plan to apply through an Early Decision or Early Action program. Deadlines for early applications tend to fall in October or November.
  • Attend the College Fair at SHS
  • See your School Counselor
  • Download Senior Brag Sheet for Counselors or a Senior Brag Sheet for Teachers if asking for
  • Register Early for SAT I/SAT II and/or ACT
  • Finalize College list (4-6 colleges)
  • Start working on your college essays. Write essays that focus on your experiences and make you stand out from the crowd. Visit the Guidance Department to sign-up for the Essay Writing Workshop in September.
  • Consider Early Action, this is a non-binding way to apply early to colleges.
  • Organize Folder for EACH College you are applying to
  • Update your "resume" -- your list of accomplishments, involvements, and work experiences -- with your senior year activities. Your resume will help you complete your applications and essays. Naviance has a resume builder to ensure you have the best resume possible.


  • Plan college visits & interviews
  • Check for local college fairs
  • Ask teachers for recommendations
  • Begin filling out applications online, use the Common Application whenever possible
  • Beware of early decision and early action deadlines
  • Take SAT I /SAT II and/or ACT test
  • Study Hard


  • Take SAT I/SAT II again if needed
  • Send Early Action/Decision applications
  • Notify Your Counselor by filling out transcript request form as to which colleges you are applying
  • ASVAB test (sign-up in guidance department)
  • Finish all Applications & Essays
  • Check Deadlines
  • Attend SHS Financial Aid Night
  • Follow up with your teachers to ensure that letters of recommendation are uploaded on time to meet your deadlines.
  • Study Hard


File FAFSA & other financial aid forms
(CSS Profile)

  • Submit mid-year grade reports to counselors
  • Study Hard


  • Check/Apply for local private scholarships
  • Check Deadlines for AP Test
  • Contact your colleges and confirm that all necessary application materials have been received.
  • Study Hard


  • Continue to explore colleges
  • Don't get senioritis! Colleges want to see strong second half grades.
  • Study Hard


  • Review college responses and aid offers
  • Make final decision & send in deposit by May 1st
  • You should have received your FAFSA Acknowledgement/Student Aid Report
  • Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters arrive this month. Read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.
  • Study Hard


  • AP exams are administered
  • Fill out dorm forms
  • Check arrangement for Stafford Loan
  • On the waiting list? Contact the admissions office and let them know of your continued interest in the college and update them on your spring semester grades and activities.
  • Study hard for final exams. Most admission offers are contingent on your final grades.
  • Study Hard


  • Study for Final Exams
  • Graduation
  • Thank your parents!!!!
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