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College Bound High School Senior Calendar

College Bound High School Junior Roadmap

The College Bound High School Senior Calendar needs to be on your desk all year, so you get everything done on time and with as little stress as possible.


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August - pre-senior year

College Planning is a two-year process. Take a look at this High-school-senior-calendar - to help you organize the last year of your college admissions process. Maybe even print it and tack it up in front of your desk.

You are in the final months before your last year in high school, and you are going to be busy!

  • If you plan to take, or retake, the SATs or ACT College Entrance Exams to enhance your admission's portfolio, you need to study now, before school starts.

    • Many colleges want testing done by December 31.
      • Cal State University: October 30.
        • Check your schools of interest for test dates, SAT acceptance averages, deadlines.

        Anything you can get done before school starts will put you ahead of the game.

      • Be sure you know deadlines for your schools of interest, and especially keep track of "Early Decision" schools and "Early Action" schools to which you plan to apply.

      • If any of your target schools have applications available get started on them, paying particular attention to application essay topics.

      • Begin to make notes on essay topics and choices. Even though you may not know the exact essay questions in the summer, you can bet that the topic will be something about getting to know who you really are - seeing your soul. Think about those events which shaped your development, and about who you are, and what you will bring to a college.

      • Remember to take a full load of classes, and to keep up your grades. Most schools look at your first semester-senior grades, and they all receive a transcript at the end of your senior year.

      • If you will be required to submit videos, audio tapes, portfolios, CDs, or DVDs, now is the time to plan, and if possible, get those projects completed.



    • SEPTEMBER High-School-SENIOR-Calendar


      Note: High school students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities should also look at the four year calendar of tasks specific to college prep for students diagnosed with learning disorders.


      Overall View of Senior Year College Planning:

      • This is a guide:

        Each college has different requirements and deadlines, so check on each school's calendar and make a matrix with requirements and deadlines.

        If you have not already done so, register at the web site of each college that interests you.If you plan to apply at departments of colleges within that school, go to that site and sign up there, as well. This lets the college, and a department know that you are out there and interested.

        Plan to submit your college applications early, rather than on the due date, if possible. There has been, over the years, the occasional problem with college application servers, particularly at large colleges, as they receive the deluge of last minute applications.

      • If you have not fulfilled your SAT/ACT Exam requirements, register so all testing is completed by the deadlines for any schools of interest to you. If you were not happy with your earlier test scores, register for one last shot at the tests.

      • Be sure you have taken any SAT Subject Matter Tests required by your schools of choice.

      • Familiarize yourself with applications, requirements, dates, and other parts of the college admission process.

      • If you have not held any leadership positions while in high school, assume a leadership role one of those organizations.

      • Review college materials, guidebooks, web sites, and other resources to narrow your college list. Use our links to find all the online college web sites you'll need.

      • Consider visits, overnight stays, and interviews at your top choices. Visit (personally or virtually) any colleges you have not already seen.

      • Register for one last shot at the SAT or ACT if you haven't taken one of them. yet –-or if you aren't happy with earlier scores. And be sure to take the SAT II tests, if required.

      • Remember our "Brag Book" suggestion? If you have not been keeping up, now would be a good time to start.

      • Begin thinking about teachers who would be willing to write strong letters of recommendation on your behalf. (Brag Book notes)

      • Have at least a start on your college essays. (Brag Book notes)

      • As they are placed online, begin to print copies of the applications for the colleges to which you will apply.

      • Be sure to review each college's application requirements carefully, and plan to apply online. (Brag Book notes)

      • Attend college fairs for one final review of college choices.

      • Be sure your senior year mix of classes still includes challenging, college-prep courses

      • Fall will be intense, stay focused and work to get great grades.


      September High-School- SENIOR-Calendar

      • Begin to narrow your list of schools with your family and college admissions counselor. Make a list of "Reach", Sure-thing", and one or two "Safety" colleges. Try for no more than 10 schools after researching admissions requirements, including SAT/ACT scores, GPA averages, locations, college academic strengths.

      • Create a file for each of your college choices -- and keep all materials organized. (Accordion folders work well.)

      • Create a master schedule or MS Excel Spreadsheet containing * List of preferred schools* Test dates, fees, and deadlines * College application due dates * Required financial aid applications and their deadlines * Recommendations, transcripts, and other necessary materials * Your high school's deadlines for application requests, such as your transcript

      • If you haven’t, begin working on drafts of your college essays.

      • Start working on college applications.

      • If you have a clear “first choice” college, consider applying for early decision.

        Have standardized testing service send your scores to your list of colleges.

      • Hang in there and work on your grades.


      October - Senior Year

    • Keep calendar of events, deadlines, and requirements of to date.

    • Begin studying the Financial Aid process including the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid

      and the CSSProfile

      used by over 600 schools for non-federal student aid funds.

    • Check with your counseling office about transcripts, and their preferred procedures.

    • Depending on your high school's policies, ask preferred teachers about Academic Recommendations.

    • Stay on top of Early Decision requirements and deadlines: Use a large, wall size calendar to keep dates straight, and where you won't forget them.

    • NOVEMBER High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • Finalize drafts of any college essays, if you did not finish them in the summer, but only after numerous edits, rewrites, and reviews by people you trust (family, friends, teachers).

      • Complete college applications and put packets in the mail.

      • Be sure your guidance counselor knows your final list of colleges, as well as your preferences.

      • Request key financial aid and scholarship information from your list of colleges.

      • Even though you feel overwhelmed, keep your grades up.

      • Watch for (mostly private) schools that require the CSS Profile along with the FAFSA.


      DECEMBER High-School- SENIOR-Calendar

      • If you applied for early decision to a college, expect notification this month.

      • If not completed, finish and mail remainder of college applications.

      • Start detailed financial aid search, including outside sources for scholarships and loans.

      • Stay focused on grades. Study during Christmas break. REMEMBER: First AND second semester grades go to the schools you designate.


      JANUARY High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • If applying for financial aid, get started on preparations by obtaining a Free

        Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

      • Study hard for finals. Remember these grades go to the colleges you've applied to.

      • Continue to look for scholarships



      FEBRUARY High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • Deadlines for the FAFSA, check CSS Profile deadlines if not yet submitted.

      • Keep track of your college applications; be sure all schools have received all your materials.

      • Start out studying hard for this last semester so if you begin to feel any senior

        burnout, you can more easily recover.


      MARCH High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • College decision letters begin arriving.

      • Celebrate your acceptances, decide about your wait lists, and deal positively with your rejections.

      • Finalize financial aid applications.

      • Continue searching and applying for scholarships and grants.

      • Same old...Stay focused on grades, don't slack off second semester. Colleges check this out in the summer after graduation.


      APRIL High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • Make decision about college choice from among the colleges that accepted you.

      • Notify all colleges (that accepted you) of your final decision.

      • Submit tuition deposit, housing deposits, to your college of choice.

      • Continue searching and applying for scholarships and grants.


      MAY High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • Double check: Be sure to submit paperwork for housing and cafeteria plans.

      • Continue searching and applying for scholarships and grants.

      • Grades still count! If you took a light load, or if your grades show a noticeable drop, the school that accepted you might want to know what happened, and wonder if you slacked off after being accepted.

      • Pay close attention to snail mail or e-mail arriving from your college.


      JUNE High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • Celebrate your high school success!

      • Send thank you notes (if you haven't already) to everyone who helped you this year.
      • Start planning for college.

      • Watch your college's summer deadlines (orientations, housing options, financial, class registration).

      • Check out dorm computer requirements, such as special cables, cords, software.


      July, (End of) Your High-School-SENIOR-Calendar

      • Register for fall courses at your college.

      • Begin preparing for your new adventure.

      • Plan for:

        • Dorm Furnishings

        • Financial Arrangements with parents

        • Transportation

        • Employment

        • If you need to, continue looking for scholarships, some have rolling dates.

        • Correspond with future roommate, if you have that information.


      • AUGUST, OFF TO COLLEGE

        List of college application tasks, the road to admissions

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