The Summer Before Your Senior Year

  • Visit as many college campuses as you can.
  • Work to save money for college. 
  • Prepare a resume to help you complete your college admissions applications. 

college planning timeline

September

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to review your college plans. Ask your counselor about guidelines your guidance office has for applying to colleges. 
  • Create a schedule of college admission and financial aid deadlines.
  • Begin writing your college essay.
  • Take the  ACT if you haven't already. 
  • Ask for letters of recommendation from your teachers, employers or coaches. 
  • Search and apply for outside scholarships. However, most local scholarships become available the beginning of November.
  • Apply for RISLA's Knowledge For College scholarship each month.
  • Decide if you are going to apply early decision or early action at any schools.

October

  • Register for a Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN). You will need this to complete the FAFSA.
  • Apply early for financial aid. Complete all financial aid forms (FAFSACSS Profile, etc – check with your school on their requirements). Many early action schools have early financial aid deadlines.
  • Ask your high school to send a copy of your first semester transcript to the colleges you have applied to.
  • Have someone proofread your college essay
  • Request that your ACT, SAT and SAT II scores to be submitted to your colleges of interest. 
  • Work on your college applications and submit early decision/early action applications with upcoming deadlines. 
  • Attend a financial aid workshop.

November

  • Spend time exploring scholarships available in your guidance office.
  • Request that your ACT, SAT and SAT II scores to be submitted to your colleges of interest. 
  • Obtain financial aid information from each of your prospective colleges.
  • Complete and submit college essays and applications. Make a copy of everything you send. 
  • Confirm with guidance that your transcript will be sent to your colleges of choice.

December

  • Continue to search for local scholarships.
  • If you haven't done so already, fill out your FAFSA and CSS Profile (if needed).

January

  • Continue to monitor the status of your college applications.
  • Your financial aid award letters and your college admission acceptance letters should start arriving soon! Determine which package best meets your financial and personal needs.
  • Make enrollment decisions at the schools to which you were accepted. 

February

  • Follow up with colleges to make sure they received all necessary application materials from you and your high school.
  • Your financial aid award letters and your college admission acceptance letters should start arriving soon! Determine which package best meets your financial and personal needs.
  • Make enrollment decisions at the schools to which you were accepted. 

March

  • Look into Advanced Placement (AP) exams, if applicable. 
  • Apply for more scholarship opportunities
  • Your financial aid award letters and your college admission acceptance letters should start arriving soon! Determine which package best meets your financial and personal needs.
  • Make enrollment decisions at the schools to which you were accepted. 

April

  • For regular decision applications, your financial aid award letters and your college admission acceptance letters should start arriving soon! Determine which package best meets your financial and personal needs.
  • Make enrollment decisions at the schools to which you were accepted. 

May

  • Look into low cost financing options that can help cover college costs.
  • Take Advanced Placement tests, if applicable.
  • Follow up on pending scholarship applications.

June

  • Ask your high school to send a final transcript to the college you will attend.
  • Find out when your tuition payments are due. 
  • Work to help save for college. 
  • If you need to borrow to pay for school, make sure you understand your education financing options
  • Start planning for college orientation!