12th Grade – Senior Year

Finally it’s here!  Entering your last year of high school, Senior Year, can be as exciting as it is nerve racking.  This will be the year you are completing your college applications, finalizing your GPA and Class Rank, and finishing up a few required courses for college.  Also, you will hopefully getting some acceptance letters and choosing one of the schools that applied to!  Before you get to excited, let’s take a quick look at a few items to keep in mind during Senior Year…

Senior Year Planning

  • First and foremost, don’t “blow off” your classes during senior year.  Colleges have the right to rescind your acceptance if you don’t perform up to your potential.  And, it does happen!
  • Stay involved, and try to take on more of a leadership role in a club, activity or organization.  Also, participate in community service activities.
  • Finalize your personal statement and have it proofread by your counselor, teachers and other college-bound peers.
  • Collect your recommendation letters and include your counselor on this because he/she has seen a lot of recommendations and knows what college admissions reps like to see!
  • Organize your final college selections and apply by their priority-filing deadline.  If you make the deadline, you will find out if you are accepted sooner than if you don’t meet the deadline.  Also, make sure you get your official high school transcript sent to each school.  They will need it before they can make a formal decision, and won’t process your application without it.
  • If you aren’t happy with your ACT composite score and wish to give it another shot, register for the ACT again.  Remember, colleges only count the highest score, so you can take it as many times as you want!
  • Visit your prospective colleges while school is in session to see what classes are like on a “normal” day.
  • Continue to look at financial aid options and apply for the FAFSA. (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Look into scholarships and grants that are offered by your college choice. 
  • Then, look into other scholarship and grant options offered by your high school, community and on the Internet.
  • Once you are accepted and committed to a college, make arrangements for housing as soon as possible.  Lately, some colleges have been having a hard time finding room to put freshman.  The earlier you accept and apply for housing, the better your chances of getting a decent place!
  • Plan on attending your college’s open house/orientation once they send you the information.  It is important to be in attendance for this because there is a wealth of information given out, as well as registering for courses at some schools!
  • Talk to your counselor well in advance about necessary documents that need to be submitted, such as transcripts.
  • Apply to colleges and pay attention to deadlines if you want early admission or early action.
  • Make sure your FAFSA Financial Aid forms are submitted by February.

For a more complete “to-do” list that covers Freshman through Senior year, take a look at Plan, Prepare, Succeed!  Getting Accepted to College.  We provide you with a College Preparation Timeline that shows you what you should be doing, and at what time during the schoolyear.