1. Apply to colleges and universities
Seniors should begin applying to colleges and universities as early as possible, since many schools have deadlines in early January or February. It's important to research different schools and programs, and to make sure that all the application requirements are met.
2. Research scholarships and financial aid opportunities
There are many scholarships and financial aid opportunities available, and it's important to research as many as possible. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the most common way to apply for financial aid, and can be submitted starting in January of the senior year.
3. Take the SAT and/or ACT exams
Most colleges require either the SAT or ACT exams for admission. These exams can be taken in the fall or spring of the senior year.
4. Write college essays
Many colleges require an essay as part of the application process. Essays can be about any topic, and should be well-written and thoughtful.
5. Interview with prospective colleges
Colleges often conduct interviews with prospective students to get a better sense of their personality and interests. Interviews usually take place in the fall or winter months.
6. Register for classes
Generally, seniors should register for their classes in late March or early April. It's important to meet with a guidance counselor to make sure that all degree requirements will be met.
7. Order transcripts and diploma
Transcripts must be ordered several weeks before graduation, and diplomas can take up to 8 weeks to arrive after graduation. Make sure to allow enough time for both of these items to be processed.