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Regardless of the month, throughout your senior year......

  • Check in regularly for new scholarships. These can be found in the guidance office, online, or from the financial aid department at your chosen college.
  • Take advantage of college visit days. Reps from colleges come to our school sometime during the fall semester. If a rep is coming from a college you are interested in, make time to come talk to them. It is a good time to ask questions to a knowledgeable person.
  • Start to determine which school or career choice is the best fit for you.
  • Start applying to schools you are interested in. Be aware of deadlines.
  • Update your resume and obtain letters of recommendation. If you don't already have one, make a list of the activities you've been involved in throughout high school.
  • After January 1st, 2009, get FAFSA filled out and sent in.
  • Keep your grades up. Colleges look at your overall GPA and this can be affected your senior year. Fight off senioritis!
  • Always follow up after sending in applications for school admission or employment.
  • Enjoy your senior year! You should be proud of your accomplishments.

Below is a table of guidelines for your senior year. Involve your parents in your college planning and talk to them or the school counselor if you have any questions.


  • Determine your career interests & decide which type of college best suits you.
  • Obtain information on admission, scholarships and financial aid for the top schools you're considering.
  • Attend a college fair in your area. Go to for a list of fairs.
  • Download the College checklist on Keep a folder for each college to keep track of the information.
  • Research military education benefits, if interested.


  • If you're in the top 15% of your class, check with your school counselor about the State of Iowa Scholar Program.
  • Visit with your school counselor about application deadlines, local-or state-sponsored scholarships and grants.
  • Register now to take the SAT and/or ACT if you havent' already done so.
  • Meet with college admission counselors when they visit your high school.
  • Ask teachers, employers or other adults to write letters of recommendation for your admission and scholarship applications.
  • Narrow down your college choices.


  • Talk to your admission counselors at the colleges to which you're applying to find out whether retaking the ACT or SAT would be advantageous.
  • Begin writing essays for your admission applications, if required.
  • Select at least three colleges to visit, if you haven't already done so. Download a Make The Most of Your College Visitswork sheet at
  • Be wary of scholarship search and financial aid companies that charge a fee. Search for free


  • Begin submitting your admission applications to the colleges you're most interested in. Be aware of deadlines.
  • Obtain financial aid forms from the colleges, if different from the FAFSA.
  • Start learning how campus life will compare to living at home.
  • Attend a financial aid presentation with your parents. (December 1, 2008@ 6:30 p.m.)


  • Finalize grant & scholarship applications.
  • Stay focused! Grades in your senior year can impact admittance to college.
  • Print a FAFSA pre-application work sheet from
  • Parents: Save your year-end payroll stubs if they show your earnings for the year. You may need them for FAFSA.
  • Know the priority dates for filing the FAFSA at the colleges you're applying to.


  • Submit your completed FAFSA to the processor as soon after Jan. 1 as possible. File electronically
  • Remember to keep copies of all forms you submit to colleges and agencies.
  • Ask your school counselor to send your first semester transcripts to your top colleges.
  • Parents: Get your federal income tax returns prepared early. Colleges may request copies.
  • Need help filing a FAFSA? The ICAN College Planning Centers can help. Call (877) CPC-IOWA to schedule an appointment.


  • Confirm that the colleges to which you've applied have received your first semester transcripts.
  • Submit your FAFSA, if you haven't already done so.
  • Begin making plans for a summer job
  • Watch the mail for letters of acceptance.
  • Keep your grades up--second semester grades are important and can affect scholarship eligibility and college admittance.


  • Watch for your Student Aid Report (SAR).Check that it lists all the colleges requiring receipt of your FAFSA.
  • Be prepared to submit a copy of your federal tax forms to the college(s) of your choice.
  • Find out whether you need to submit any additional financial aid verification forms.
  • Ask your school counselor about local scholarships.


  • Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges to which you've been accepted.
  • Decide which college you'll attend. Send the required deposit, and sign and return the financial aid award letter, if required.
  • Notify the other colleges where you applied that you will not be attending.
  • If you're securing a student loan, complete the required promissory note.


  • Take any AP/CLEP exams for which you qualify.
  • Finalize your summer job plans.
  • Ask your school counselor to send your final transcript to the college you'll be attending.
  • Return all necessary documents, including financial aid forms, to your college.


  • Notify the college about any outside scholarships you've received.
  • Save money from your summer job.Your savings will help with college expenses.
  • Attend any orientation sessions your college offers.These are great opportunities to meet people and get familiar with the campus.
  • Prepare a budget for college and review it with your parents.


  • Contact your roommate and get to know them.Decide who's bringing the TV, stereo, refrigeerator, etc. so you don't pack the same items.
  • Thank your family and friends for their support.
  • Beware of credit card offers! Talk with your parents to consider your options.
  • Continue your success in college, sign up for the ICAN e-newsletter at

These guidelines were taken from a form given out by the Iowa College Access Network. If you would like a hard copy, stop by the guidance counselor's office.