So much to do, so little time!

Lesley Goodaker

With summer in full swing it may seem like your graduation date is ages away; however, for those of you who are upcoming seniors, it’s only a matter of months before you walk across that stage. With your time as a high school student quickly dwindling, each day that passes puts you closer to your first year as a college student; nonetheless, there is still much to do and consider!

Leading into your senior year:

  • Save money from your summer job for all of your college necessities.
  • List your top college choices.
  • Request admissions information and school catalogs.
  • Consider what classes will benefit you most during your senior year.

Early Fall:

  • Stay focused on your GPA (don’t fall victim to “senioritis”).
  • Begin researching prospective colleges.
  • Determine what standardized test scores your prospective colleges are looking for and register to take the tests.
  • Mark your calendar with registration, admissions, and financial aid deadlines for all of your prospective colleges.
  • Begin visiting colleges.
    • Take advantage of overnight visits (which Transy offers!) to get a better feel for campus life.
  • Begin working on all of your college applications (don’t forget to check out the Common Application).
    • Contact the schools’ financial aid offices to determine if you must complete additional applications for financial aid.

Late Fall

  • Complete admissions applications by their deadlines.
  • If necessary, register to retake the SAT and/or ACT.
  • Complete financial aid forms and applications.
  • Research Advanced Placement (AP) exams and determine which (if any) you will take.


  • Remember to keep those grades up (Remember: winter break is just around the corner)!
  • Obtain pins for both you and your parents/guardians to complete your FAFSA online.
  • Finalize all of your admission applications.
  • Begin to discuss filing taxes with your parents. Remember, the sooner the better!
  • Continue to research and apply for financial aid, including grants and scholarships.


  • January 1st complete your FAFSA online.
    • Keep copies of all documents, including your PIN, in a file.
  • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for errors and make any corrections to your FAFSA as needed.
  • Begin to more closely evaluate your top school choices.

Early Spring:

  • Check with the financial aid offices of your prospective colleges to ensure all of the necessary paperwork is complete.
  • Narrow your school choices and make additional campus visits as needed.
  • Keep an eye out for acceptance letters!
  • Compare your financial aid award letters and begin to seriously evaluate your choices.

Late Spring:

  • Make your final school decision and prepare to make your enrollment mail deposit.
  • Check with the school you’ve chosen to ensure that all of your paperwork is in order.
  • Notify the schools you have chosen NOT to attend of your decision.
  • Make the most of your last few months as a senior!

Leading into your first-year of college:

  • Plan for registration, orientation, and mark your calendar with important dates.
  • Finalize your summer job plans, and make a plan for saving a portion of your summer earnings.
  • Follow up with the financial aid office to ensure all paperwork is complete.
  • Look for a letter informing you about your housing in the upcoming fall.
    • Correspond with your roommate to determine who will bring what (e.g. microwave, fridge, etc.).

Preparing for college is no small task, and while it may seem like a lot, your first day of college will be here before you know it!