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college countdown: your college success starts here


Senior Year

Senior: October, November

Jump to Parent Timeline.


students laptop
Should have done by now
  • Sign up for a challenging but manageable senior year.
  • Decide if you will apply early admission to any schools.


  • Take the SAT or ACT at least once before the end of the semester.
  • Update your final list of colleges if necessary.
  • Locate applications for the colleges to which you will apply.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation in advance.
  • Write essays for applications that require it.
  • Work on filling out applications.
  • File early admission applications.


Helpful, But Not Required
  • Give additional materials (i.e. resume, a couple examples of your best work, etc.) to those who will write your letters of recommendation.
  • Ask someone you trust to read and help edit your essays.




For you to do
  • Don't forget about application fees.
  • Work on the FAFSA—file it as soon as possible after January 1.
  • Work on the CSS Profile if any of your child's colleges require it.
  • Research the financial aid process.
  • Research loan options.
  • Think about how your child's college education will be paid for.
  • Determine your family's affordability threshold.
  • Talk with your child about how his or her college education will be paid for and your family's affordability threshold.
  • Go to any college nights or events your child's school offers.
For you to help your student
  • Make a master calendar of deadlines and due dates.
  • Research colleges that interest your child.
  • Schedule and go on college visits with your child.
  • Talk with your child about SAT or ACT test prep.
  • Make sure your child registers and takes the SAT or ACT at least once before the end of the semester.
  • Offer to proofread your child's essays.
  • Help your child with time management and organization.
  • Make sure your chile has a quiet place to study without distraction.
Ongoing Tasks
- Review and update your academic plan; take challenging courses.
- Work hard to get good grades.
- Keep an updated resume.
- Stay involved in extracurricular activities.
- Explore potential career options: talk to people, check the Internet, job shadow, etc.
- Prepare for standardized tests.
- Search for scholarships.
- Visit colleges of interest.
- Continue to evaluate and collect information about colleges to which you apply.
- Maintain relationships with your teachers and counselor.
- Talk with college students about their experiences.