Senior year can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to do to prepare for and apply to college. Let us break it down for you and give you some tips along the way!




  • Organize and plan! Write down all deadlines.
  • Begin your personal statement for college and scholarship applications.
  • Research scholarships.
  • Study for the ACT/SAT.
  • Any Day: Register for the ACT/SAT.
  • Fee waivers for the exams available at the College Center
  • Attend Back to School Night/Parent College Presentation
  • Registration deadlines for October ACT/SAT tests. Check online for specific test days.

  • Find a counselor or teachers who can write you a strong recommendation.
  • Keep working on your personal statement.
  • Make sure you have met with your college counseling team to come up with a Senior Plan.
  • Oct. 1: Cal State Application Filing Period begins (you can submit your application).
  • Registration deadlines for November ACT/SAT tests.

  • Check private university deadlines.
  • Visit the College Center for help on college applications.
  • Study for the ACT/SAT.
  • Nov. 1: UC Application Filing Period begins.
  • Registration deadlines for December ACT/SAT tests.
  • Nov. 30: LAST DAY TO APPLY TO CSU and UC. (Have applications completed before Thanksgiving Break!)

  • Last month to take SAT or ACT!
  • Make sure your ACT/SAT scores have been sent to your colleges.
  • Apply for PIN for use with FAFSA.
  • Begin to send private university applications.

  • Keep your grades up and continue to sign up for rigorous classes. Final acceptance depends on your final transcript.
  • Jan. 1: Usual deadline for applying to many selective private colleges.
  • Remind your parents to prepare their income tax statements early. You’ll need it for financial aid.

  • Check your portal or email to see if colleges are requesting transcript, financial aid documents, dependent verification form, etc. VERY IMPORTANT TO CHECK WEEKLY!
  • Begin to apply for as many scholarships as you can.
  • Begin completing FAFSA, Dream Act, CSS profile, and other financial aid forms.

  • FAFSA Deadline is March, 2!
  • Decide which AP Exams you will be taking.
  • Begin looking into housing options and deadlines!
  • Apply to campus scholarships (even at the community college level).
  • Community College Students: apply to at least two community colleges to see where you can register for the most classes. Take placement exams.

  • Most colleges announce admission decisions in April! Make sure to reply by May 1!
  • Carefully review financial aid award letters from colleges. Compare the amount of money you will have left to pay at each college before making your final decision.
  • Plan for a productive summer-freshman orientation, summer job, or enroll for your college’s summer term.
  • Check the status of your Cal Grant (

  • May 1: Intent to Register due (Notify school of your intent to accept any offer you have received).
  • May 2-13: AP Exams
  • CSU Students: Register for the ELM/EPT placement exams.
  • UC Students: You will need to take the Analytical Placement Exam.

  • Complete request to send final transcript.
  • Finish High School FOREVER!




Academic Environment:

  • Will I be taught by professors or teaching assistants?
  • What types of support services are available?
  • How strong is the advising program?
  • What opportunities are there for undergraduate research?
  • What is the classroom size of a typical freshman course?
  • What is the faculty/student ratio?
People Distribution:

  • From what parts of the country/world do students come from?
  • Cultural or ethnic composition?
  • Female/Male ratio?
  • Conservative, liberal, or moderate student body?
Social Environment:

  • Do they have extracurricular activities that match my interests?
  • How important is the athletic program? Do they have fine or performing arts?
  • Where are the students on the weekends? Home or on campus?
  • Is Greek life important on campus?

  • Is my first choice major offered? Second? Third?
  • Is my major one of the most popular programs on campus? Will the school be harder to get into because it’s impacted?
  • What if I’m undecided about my major?
  • Is there an honors program?
  • Are study abroad or off-campus experiences offered?
  • Are internships available?

  • What are the admission requirements/standards?
  • Are there different requirements for my major? Does my major require a supplemental application?
  • What factors are weighed most heavily in the review process?
  • Where do I fit in the typical applicant pool? (gpa, test scores, etc)
  • Is this my top choice, middle ground, or safety school?

  • Do I prefer a large medium or a small school?
  • Rural, urban, or suburban?
  • What are the advantages of each?
  • What are the advantages of staying close to home or living far away?
  • Is it a two or four year school? What degrees are offered?

  • Is the college affordable without financial aid or scholarships?
  • Which features make the investment worth it to me/my family?
  • What is my role in this investment? What will I contribute to the cost?
  • Will I apply for financial aid?
  • Does the college offer merit-based or “no need” scholarships?
  • Does the college meet 100% of my demonstrated financial need?
  • What type of aid will my financial aid package contain?