- Decide which factors are most important to you when choosing a direction in life. Your guidance counselor can help you in this search. Research your options to determine which colleges fit your needs and interests. Pick up recruitment materials in the guidance office and visit college websites to learn more about each school. Also, talking with friends, family members, and alumni can help narrow your choices.
- Begin to check your email regularly for info regarding college visits and scholarships.
- Meet with college representatives in the MultiPurpose Room during lunch. Dates and times are in the announcements and are posted in the guidance office and the senior bulletin board in the MultiPurpose Room.
- Visit college campuses if possible.
- Acquire college applications directly from the college website, from The Common Ap(commonapp.org) or from the guidance office.
- Draft your essays and personal statement for applications.
- Begin to research financial aid possibilities.
- Organize all of your research materials in a “College” folder.
- Meet with your guidance counselor if you need help with your college or scholarship search.
- Consider asking now for recommendation letters from teachers, counselors, coaches, and/or employers. Remember to give at least a two week notice to write the letter. A recommendation form is in the guidance office.
- Retake the ACT/SAT if necessary. Pick up registration materials in the guidance office.
- See your guidance counselor to discuss opportunities if you are considering alternatives to college like the Military or employment.
- Complete the NCAA or NAIA forms if you are planning to be an athlete in college. See your guidance counselor for help.
- Maintain a challenging senior year schedule.
- Continue to visit college campuses.
- Attend College and career fairs or college open houses. Mt. Zion on October 2(6-7:30) and College Fair on October 13 at the DISC (see permission form).
- Narrow down college choices as much as possible to 3-4 choices.
- Decide if you are applying Early Decision (binding) or Early Action (not binding). Remember, these deadlines will usually be this month.
- Review application deadlines. Some schools have a priority filing date of Nov. 1 (UIUC) for Honors programs or Nov. 15 (Bradley University). Other schools have rolling admissions, which means they accept applications year-round.
- Submit applications to your selected colleges.
- Request transcripts from the guidance office.
- Keep your grades up! Keep your spirits up!
- If you are looking for scholarships, register yourself at www.fastweb.com and ISAC PORTAL www.studentportal.isac.org
- Complete and submit admission applications. Aim to have them completed by Thanksgiving break!
- Send official ACT scores to colleges that require the official copy.
- Continue your scholarship search. Visit the guidance office for scholarship opportunities.
- Meet with a recruiter if you are considering the military. The guidance office has business cards for each branch.
- Withdraw other college applications immediately if you are accepted by Early Decision.
- Investigate college websites for housing information. Apply where specified.
- Plan ahead for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAQFSA) –the mandatory federal application that measures your eligibility for financial aid. (www.fafsa.ed.gov)
- Apply for a PIN number at the FAFSA website. The PIN acts as your electronic signature. You and one of your parents or guardian will need to apply for a PIN.
- If applying for financial aid, attend financial aid seminar. Date and time TBA.
- Submit the FAFSA as soon after January 1st. Schools typically will award all federal money by March 15 or earlier.
- Maintain a rigorous academic schedule and involvement in your eighth semester. Schools can and will withdraw their admission decision if your grades take a drastic drop.
- Send “thank you” notes to those who have written your letters of recommendation (if you have not already).
- Investigate thoroughly your choices by carefully considering major, costs, living arrangements, etc. It is time to begin answering, which college will I attend this fall? If needed, visit campuses.
- Continue scholarship search. The guidance office will post scholarship criteria and deadlines every month thru May.
- Make sure your FAFSA has been submitted by March 1st, when most schools set their scholarship deadline.
- Expect to be notified by all colleges by mid-April.
- See your guidance counselor to help analyze your options if necessary.
- Send only one deposit to your selected college and make the necessary housing arrangements.
- As soon as possible, inform all colleges that accept you whether you plan to attend or cancel your application.
- Fill out the final transcript form in the guidance office so that your transcript can be sent.
- If you have been placed on a “wait list” for a school (or schools) you would like to attend, accept that opportunity if you like, but be sure to accept and deposit at a school that accepted you.
- May 1st is Decision Day! Notify your college of your intent to enroll by this date.
- Finish your school year strong.