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College Planning Calendar (3).png

Senior Year


  • Discuss higher education plans with your family and guidance counselor.  Consider college choices and financial planning.

  • Continue to work on college applications and ask guidance counselors if you qualify for application fee waivers to help pay for the application fees.  Research CommonApp or CommonBlackCollegeapp.



  • Investigate applying for financial aid using internet web sites.  In mostly all cases the online FAFSA is used to apply for financial aid. 

  • Learn which financial aid forms are required for you to complete for each college.  Visit college websites to learn about required financial aid forms. (i.e. FAFSA, CSS Profile, state forms, institutional forms)

  • Continue gathering college information and application online.  Ask teachers for positive letters of recommendation. 

  • Continue to work on college applications and ask school counselors if you qualify for application fee waivers to help pay for the application fees.  Consider using CommonApp .

  • Register for the late fall or winter SAT and/or ACT tests (or any other required admission test). [COVD 19 Impact: this schedule is subject to change. Many colleges are now test optional.  Read more about Test Optional issues Here.]

  • Choose 3 to 6 colleges to which you will send applications.  Choose these colleges in a range from likely to-be admitted to competitive; likely to be able to pay for and a stretch for which you will need more scholarships.

  • Be sure to pay close attention to the admission and financial aid application deadlines.  Keep records of all correspondence.   [COVD 19 Impact: these deadlines are subject to change]

  • If applying for early decision, begin preparing the application no later than September.  Research this issue on the CommonApp .



  • Continue to complete and send college applications for admission and financial aid (usually online).  Make sure first report card grades are included / sent.  Be sure to include the appropriate fees and print / make copies of everything before sending.  Early Decision/Early Action admission plan applications are typically due in early November for most colleges offering these early plans.  Keep records of all correspondence.

  • Make arrangements for college interviews.  Interviews are often recommended and sometimes required.   

  • Make sure to visit (virtually?) those colleges you are seriously considering and to which you have been accepted.  Talk with current students, sit in on classes, and check graduation and retention rates and support services for first year students.  If you cannot visit, research online using websites, social media, and contact colleges to speak with professors and students. Contact the college and check to see how activities are being carried out virtually]


  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for grants from the Federal Government and your state agency.  The 24-25 FAFSA application officially opens in December 2023 for the 2024-2025 school year only (Exact date not yet revealed as of September 2023).  The FAFSA is projected to return to an October 1st opening for future years.

  • Register for or re-take the SAT/ACT test offered this month (or any other required admission test). [Many colleges are now test optional.  Read more about Test Optional issues Here.]

  • Continue to apply for any private sources of scholarships or any other forms of financial aid. (Significant resources online.)  Google the word “Scholarship” then add your characteristics including your major, your ethnicity, the area in which you live, etc.  Great scholarship resources will be available on the first search page.  Use ScholarFiles® to keep scholarship information organized to maximize your awards.  Seek help with scholarships from EduDreamer Consulting.


  • Confirm with each college the priority deadline for each financial aid form for which you are required to complete.  (Some colleges may have different deadlines for the FAFSA, CSS Profile and/or the college’s own financial aid forms).  Keep copies of all correspondence.


  • Ask counselors to send second report period grades to colleges if this hasn’t already been done.

  • Develop a direct contact at the financial aid offices of those schools at which you have been accepted.  Use this contact periodically to check on the status of your financial aid applications.

  • Complete any additional scholarship applications and financial aid forms from institutions or state aid agencies.  Use ScholarFiles® to keep scholarship information organized to maximize your awards.  


  • Keep track of acceptances, wait list and denial letters as well as financial aid award notifications.

  • Reply promptly to colleges that offer admission.  Reply dates are usually up to May 1. (The May 1 standard may be changing in the next year of two as higher education responds to new ideas and strategies.  See NACAC for details)

  • After applying for federal grants you will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary.  You will have access to this Summary on your FAFSA Status page.  You can check these online forms for corrections and follow all other instructions. 

  •  Promptly respond to admission offers for summer program participation.  Summer Programs can enhance freshmen year   success.

  • Promptly submit freshmen deposits required for admission and housing to the college you will attend.

  • Pay attention to all deadlines for orientation, enrollment, medical forms and housing. 


  • Off you go to college!  Congratulations! Read emails and all other correspondence regularly and follow instructions on arrival dates and what to bring or pack. [COVID 19 Impact: Most colleges now have new protocols for vaccinations, and moving in.  Check with colleges for the latest instructions.  Be safe.  Enjoy your experience.

  • Contact EduDreamer for the “Smooth Transition to College” workshop typically held in July and August.

  • Don’t miss your orientation and registration days.  

As of September 2023

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