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College Countdown (Seniors)

College Countdown for Seniors

SEPTEMBER
  • Begin your Senior Year with a good attitude, determined to get the best grades you can. Even if you haven’t always worked your hardest previously, colleges like to see improvement senior year.
  • Review college websites and take note of admissions requirements (e.g. Do the schools you are interested in require SAT 2s?). Make a list of colleges you will apply to. You can apply to as many “reach” schools as you want, as long as you apply to at least one “safe” school (a school you wouldn’t mind going to and that you are confident you will get into). Try to keep your list small as application fees add up quickly.
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your plans. Some colleges have free applications or provide counselors with fee waivers. So, if your counselor knows where you plan to apply, he/she can pass these waivers on to you.
  • Begin to fill out your college applications and submit them as soon as possible (preferably before you sit down for your Thanksgiving turkey!).
  • Make college visits.
  • Pay attention to announcements and listen for visits from college representatives. Make arrangements with the counseling office to meet with representatives.
  • Research scholarships and apply for any you are eligible for. Be aware of the monthly updates posted in the senior Google Classroom and on the Counseling Office website.
  • Compare overall college costs and find out the percent of students who receive financial aid. Keep a record of these comparisons on charts.
  • If you are applying to private colleges, find out if the PROFILE financial aid form is required. If so, you need to be aware of and comply with deadlines. A list of schools that require the profile can be found at: https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet.srv
  • If you plan to retake a college admission exam or need to take SAT 2 subject tests, be aware of SAT and ACT registration deadlines and test dates.
  • If you are planning on playing a sport at a division one or two college, you must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse online at www.ncaa.org.
  • Consider ideas for your college application essay and outline your approach.      
  • Pull together family financial papers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and apply for a Federal Student Aid ID for you and a parent. This FSA ID will serve as your electronic signature when you submit your FAFSA form.
  • Attend, with your parents, the District’s Financial Aid Night (time and date TBA).
 
OCTOBER
  • Investigate what other financial-aid forms are required by colleges you are applying to.
  • Work with your counselor on completion of college applications. Keep in mind that most Early Decision deadlines fall in early- to mid-November.
  • Decide who you would like to write your recommendation letters (teachers, employers, coaches) and get the information to the people you choose in a timely manner.
  • Write thank you notes to the people who write letters for you.
  • Fill out the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Some funds deplete, so the earlier you apply, the better. Use information from your most recent tax returns. Be accurate as mistakes cause delays.
  • If you are applying to New York State schools, you also must submit a TAP application. This can be accessed immediately after you submit your FAFSA form online or by visiting https://www.hesc.ny.gov/ online. (Note: Some of the TAP application will be completed based on information you provided on your FAFSA form. Double check all answers and fill in any blanks).
  • Within a few days of submitting your FAFSA form, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating your eligibility for aid via email. Review this for accuracy and make any necessary corrections.
  • Continue to research and apply for scholarships.
  • If you are applying to schools that require SAT 2s, register to take them ASAP (no later than the December test date).
 
NOVEMBER
  • Continue to work with your counselor on application completions.
  • Submit Early Decision applications. Even if you are not applying Early Decision, colleges prefer to get applications before Thanksgiving.
  • Talk with college friends who are home for the holiday.
  • Have you made your campus visit yet?
  • Be aware of SAT and ACT registration deadlines and test dates.
           
DECEMBER
  • If you have not already done so, finish filling out your college applications. BE AWARE OF APPLICATION DEADLINES!
  • Continue to investigate scholarships.    
  • Attend the College Panel (date TBA) to hear about the freshmen year experience of S-E graduates and ask transition questions.
 
JANUARY
  • Comply with college deadlines.
  • Do not forget to apply for every scholarship you can.
 
FEBRUARY
  • Check if colleges have their own financial-aid forms. BE AWARE OF DEADLINES!
  • Continue to research and apply for scholarships.
 
MARCH
  • Complete all campus financial aid applications.
  • Local scholarship forms are available in the counseling office. Apply for all you are eligible for. Be aware of deadlines.
  • Make sure your Student Aid Report (SAR) reaches the financial aid office of the college you choose to attend as soon as your decision is made.
  • If you are applying to a college with limited housing, be sure to get your housing deposit in as soon as possible to avoid getting closed out.
 
APRIL
  • Be on the lookout for college notification letters. Make a list of the schools you have been accepted to and begin to compare costs.
  • Many colleges send out financial-aid offers with acceptance letters. You must sign and return a copy of your chosen school award letter in order to receive financial aid.
  • Continue to investigate all local, private and college scholarships. Be aware of deadlines.
 
MAY
  • Notify the counseling office of your final college choice so that we can send final grades and proof of graduation.
  • In most cases, acceptance letters must be sent to colleges by May 1, along with tuition and housing deposits when applicable (usually between $100-$500, depending on the school).
  • Deadline date for most local scholarships is May 1.
  • Compare financial-aid packages of the colleges where you have been accepted. It never hurts to call the financial aid office to ask if more money is available. Speak with the financial aid office of the college you will be attending. Will you need to fill out loan applications?
  • If you have an IEP, be sure to contact the Office of Students With Disabilities at the college you plan to attend to find out what services are available to you. You also will need to forward a copy of your IEP to this office.
  • Apply for summer job. Save money!
 
JUNE
  • Answer all requests from your college promptly.
  • GRADUATE!!
 
JULY & AUGUST 
  • If you are planning to live on campus, check that housing arrangements are in order.
  • Decide what to pack for school. If you can, contact your roommate(s) in advance to coordinate who’s bringing what.
  • Be aware of and attend orientation programs.
  • Read all academic information sent to you.
  • Get an idea of fall courses you will be taking.
  • Select fall courses.
  • Be aware of upcoming registration deadlines and fees.
 
GOOD LUCK!
Updated 10/7/2020
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