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Juniors

August 

  • Review your high school courses and activities. Colleges look for challenging course work, strong grades, and extracurricular activities.

September

  • Browse college catalogs and guidebooks, and surf the web for information.
  • List 10 colleges you would like to attend.
  • Talk to your parents and high school guidance counselor about that list to narrow it down.
  • Register and study for the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT).
  • Plan to attend college fairs and parents’ nights in your area.

October

  • Take the PSAT.
  • Research Advanced Placement (AP) or college courses you might take.
  • Continue researching organizations that award scholarships to graduating seniors. You may need to apply for them the summer after your junior year.

November

  • Learn about eligibility requirements for federal and private student loans.
  • Talk as a family about how much you can afford to spend for your education.

January

  • Plan for the next round of tests: the SAT and the ACT.
  • Attend financial aid nights in your area.

February

  • Investigated private scholarships and other aid programs. Check with your parents’ employers, local membership organizations, or programs related to your intended course of study.
  • Make the most of spring break with a weeklong college tour.
  • Register for the SAT and ACT. Take an exam prep courses to help you succeed.

March

  • Visit three to six schools on your final list. Schedule and admissions interview and an overnight stay. Take time at each school’s financial aid office to collect information.
  • Begin preparing essays for admissions and scholarship applications.
  • Take the SAT and/or the ACT.
  • Mark your calendar with dates for future tests.

May

  • Take the SAT and/or the ACT.
  • Mark your calendar with the dates for future tests.

June

  • Continue researching organizations that award scholarships to graduating seniors. You may need to apply for them the summer after your junior year.

Seniors!

September

  • Meet with college admissions representatives visiting your school.
  • Make a calendar of key application and financial aid deadlines.
  • Ask teachers, guidance counselors and other adults who know you for letters of recommendation for scholarship and admissions applications.

October

  • Take the SAT or ACT if necessary.
  • Work on admissions application essays.
  • Revisit your top school choices. Talk face to face with current students and faculty members at those schools.
  • Continue to seek and apply for scholarship awards from a variety of sources.

November

  • Take the SAT or ACT if necessary.
  • Obtain financial aid applications from your colleges of choice.
  • Prepare your college applications.

December

  • Gather the data needed for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

January

  • Submit your completed FAFSA as soon after January 1st as possible.

February

  • Check to see if your mid-year transcripts have been sent to the schools to which you have applied.
  • Plan for AP exams.

March

  • Look for your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail. Pay particular attention to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and discuss it with your parents and family.

April

  • Watch the mail for acceptance letters and financial aid award letters. Compare the financial aid packages.
  • Choose a school and send in a deposit by the deadline.
  • Contact the financial aid office at your chosen school to make certain your application is complete.

May

  • Take AP examinations.
  • Write thank yous to the people who wrote you letters of recommendation.
  • Celebrate your high school graduation!
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