September 08, 2016

Don't You Have a Checklist Yet? Here Are the Best Navigators for Seniors

Don't You Have a Checklist Yet? Here Are the Best Navigators for Seniors
Preparing for college seems like a lot of fun, but it can be a burden too. Although you haven’t decided yet on which colleges to apply, don’t worry. There is some time left in order for you to figure things out.

Do you know how to prepare for college? Sometimes things get complicated, and that’s why we made a seniors checklist of all the things you should do in your senior year.

Start your college preparation during summer

You have free time in summer, so it’s the perfect moment to organize and narrow down your list of colleges. To get an objective perspective, you can use Common Application to find more information about your preferred universities. Make sure that you have time to visit the campuses because it can be a decisive factor.


  • You can register for ACT and/or SAT from August, but also from September.

  • It’s time to go and talk to your guidance counselor. Once you’ve chosen your favorite colleges, discuss them with your counselor. He/she can provide you with more information and can answer all your questions. Also, he/she will see if you meet the college criteria.

  • You can start working on your college essays. You should know that writing a college essay takes a lot of time if you want it to be excellent. Also, you can search on the Internet for formal essay tips. Writing essays can be problematic sometimes, but don’t be discouraged. You will manage to write  an exceptional paper if you work harder.

  • Ask one of your teachers to write you a recommendation letter. It’s indicated that you ask a professor who knows you and your skills.

  • You should have on your list of colleges 8 to 10 schools. Now is the moment when you can request applications from those colleges. Don’t forget to note the deadlines in a calendar.


  • It’s time to shorten your list. Choosing a college is difficult, but you can take into consideration the following factors: safety, match, reach.

  • You can start working on your applications (it’s possible that some of the colleges will have their application deadline this month).

  • Throughout this period, the ACT and SAT exams are scheduled.

  • Check your high school transcripts to see if the information is correct or if something is missing.

  • In autumn, the universities and colleges organize college fairs. This gives you and your parents the opportunity to visit the campus and find out more information regarding a certain school. If you can’t go to each of your colleges on your list, you can look at a virtual fair online.

  • This month, register the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It’s recommended to fill out the form immediately after October 1st.  Most of the universities and colleges use this form in order to determine if you’re eligible for federal funds. You should receive an e-mail about your Student Aid Report (SAR) after four weeks since you have completed the form.


  • By this time, your list should include 5 or 6 colleges. Dedicate some time to complete the applications. Also, ask for feedback concerning your admission essay. It’s important that you receive some objective opinions.

  • If you haven’t taken, or you want to re-take the ACT or SAT exams, it’s not too late yet. If you want to take these exams in December, register now.

  • Don’t forget about your grades.  It’s important to maintain good grades or improve them if it’s possible. Good grades have significant influence on your college admission, so you don’t want to risk your future.

  • In this period, you will have to send a copy of your high school transcript to colleges.

  • Double-check if the testing companies have delivered the testing scores to the colleges you want to apply.

  • By now, you will receive the form from FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), but you can’t complete it until January 1st. By completing this form, you will find out about the financial aid that the government can give you.

December & January

  • Almost all colleges have their deadline in December, so it’s time to submit your applications.

  • Find out if your letters of recommendation have been sent. Also, check once  again if your test results have been delivered to the colleges you’re applying.

  • You could receive an acceptance letter in December if you had applied to a college through an early action or early decision. Read carefully the letter in order to understand the deadlines and the schedule.

  • If you still haven’t taken the SAT exam, register for January. This may be the last time when you can take the SAT if you want to apply to college.

  • Don’t forget to send the fall grades to the colleges that you have applied. Even though you’ve submitted your application, the senior high school transcript will be included in your file.

  • There are colleges which have their application deadline on January 1st or later on in January. Make sure you know all the deadlines.

February & March

  • You will receive confirmation letters which inform you that your application has been received and processed.

  • Check the information that is on the Student Air Report (SAR). Make sure everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be.

  • In February and March, you will receive waitlist, rejection or acceptance letters. Usually, you have time until the end of April to announce the colleges about the decision that you’ve taken. Don’t worry if you don’t get any of these letters in these months. Many colleges sent them in April.

  • Also, you will receive financial aid offers. Don’t rush into making a decision. Re-evaluate and analyze the financial aid packages and the colleges to which you’ve been accepted.


  • It’s time to make up your mind. If you have received numerous acceptance letters and you have doubts regarding which college you should choose, you can talk to your teachers, parents or the guidance counselor.

  • It’s important to inform the other colleges that sent you acceptance letters about your decision because there are many persons on the waitlist.

  • Moreover, in this period, colleges organize spring open houses for their future students. If you have some free time, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in these events. Besides, you can meet new people and even make friends.

  • You could make an appeal if you were rejected from a college. You have to know in which circumstances you can make this request and the admission policies of the particular college.

May & June

  • You need to send your deposit until May 1st. If you have received a financial aid package, respect the instructions.

  • At the end of your senior year, the AP exams will be scheduled. So, if you have been taking AP classes, don’t miss the chance to pass these exams because they have many advantages for you in college. A good score like 5 or 4 on this exam will be converted into college credit. It’s important to be one step ahead in your freshman year of college.

  • After you’ve graduated, deliver your final high school transcript to the college that you’ve chosen to attend. If you have high grades, you may receive a scholarship.

  • Don’t forget to thank those people who have helped you achieve your goals. You can write letters to your teachers who have given you the recommendation letters and to your guidance counselors.

What can you do in the summer before college?

It’s important to find a place to stay. If you want to remain on a student campus, make sure you register to receive more information about the meal plans or the campus life. If you don’t like the idea of living in a college dorm, search on the Internet for a place to rent near your college.

If you choose to stay in a college dorm, you will have the chance to meet your roommate before the semester will start. If it’s possible, try to contact your roommate on social media or via e-mail. This way, you will get to know each other better.

Additionally, take some time to analyze all the courses before you register for classes. It’s important to know what each course can offer. In some classes, you may develop practical skills while in other classes you will have more theory. Make the right choices so you won’t regret later.

If you want to have an easier life in college, use tools for students like Scribd or Dropbox . They can help you do your research, organize your tasks or keep track of your work.

Preparing for college can be challenging, and it takes a lot of time, but it’s worth the struggle. You have to work hard in order to have a better future. Besides, college is not all about learning; it’s about evolution. In college, you have the opportunity to develop new skills and become a better person. Also, you will meet new interesting people, and you will have fun.

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