Senior year is the time for planning and staying organized. College applications are just some of the things you have to keep track of during your senior year.
Your Senior Year Course Work
Your senior year is the crowning glory of your high school career, you can’t drop the ball now. Continue taking courses, especially those that will help you in your college studies.
College Application Packages
Colleges have different deadlines and requirements for applicants, and some colleges may come up with a shortlist right after a certain number of applications has been received. Most colleges have online sites where they post their schedules, including the tests for incoming freshmen and deadlines. Make sure you know what these deadlines are and prepare the necessary papers for applying to your college of choice. Organize the papers in folders, labelled and dated accordingly. Arrange the folders according to the deadlines so that you don’t forget about them.
Have back up plans just in case your first choice rejects your application. If you’ve made your decision and the college you want has accepted your application, it’s considered good etiquette to call the other colleges and give up your slot. There may be a long waiting list of students that want the same slot, which you don’t intend to take anyway.
Financial Aid Information and Application
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications start as early as January but don’t take too long before you apply. Remember that there are millions of students applying for student aid, which means the paperwork required for your application to be processed could take time to be completed. You will also need your parents’ tax statements, so include your FAFSA application in your high-priority folder.
Recommendation Forms and Transcript Requests
While your teachers would be expected to write recommendation letters for most of the students in the graduating class, asking early will ensure that your request will be the among the first batch. Be patient when asking teachers to complete the recommendation forms. Give them a month or so before asking again. Teachers are busiest when the seniors start applying for college.
The same goes for your guidance counselor who’s in charge of receiving transcript requests from students. Some colleges may require mid-year transcripts for seniors to monitor the progress of the student until his senior year. If there are many of you requesting for transcripts, the school’s GC may not be able to accommodate everyone at the same time. Again, the sooner you file your request, the sooner you can get it.
Visit the schools where you have been accepted and look for affordable housing options. While you’re there, ask all the questions you want, especially about deadlines and dates of If you intend to live on campus, file your application for the dorm as soon as you can. Always ask the resident manager if you can call to follow up the housing application. Some residences may prefer you to wait for their call instead of the other way around.