- Ensure you have taken all necessary courses to graduate on time.
- Sign up to take college placement exams, if necessary.
- Take ACT/SAT; seek waiver if eligible via your high school and/or through ACT or SAT websites.
- Set up appointments with your guidance counselor to discuss college choices and potential majors.
- Research colleges and majors. Set up tours and visits if you able to do so.
- Complete the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) as soon as possible. The form is posted annually starting Oct. 1. Many states and colleges have specific deadlines for applying for state and institutional aid. You can find your state’s deadline at fafsa.ed.gov/deadlines and check with your college about other deadlines.
- Search for scholarships and financial aid.
- Request high school transcripts to be sent to colleges.
- Request letters of recommendation for scholarships and college applications that require them. Try to do this at least one month in advance.
- Draft college essays. Have at least one person review the draft.
- Complete and send off applications. Start early in the process and submit before the deadline. Apply by the fall of your senior year at the latest.