Below is a general timeline for high school seniors. We recognize that many factors can impact this schedule, such as athletics and other special programs.
Senior year is a big year! Students will submit applications, hear back from colleges and make their final decision about which college they will attend.
If this timeline seems overwhelming, let Campus Bound help your family manage the process. We will keep you on track and make sure that all of your questions are answered. We also hope you’ll have some fun along the way!
Summer before senior year: hit the ground running!
This is a great time to get the bulk of the work on your college applications done. The more you can do over the summer, the more time you can spend focusing on academics and enjoying the school year.
- Visit remaining colleges on your list
- Finalize the college list
- Interview where available/appropriate (we offer mock interviews to ensure students are prepared)
- Write and revise the Common Application essay
- Finalize and update your résumé/activities list
- Begin preparing for fall SAT/ACT/Subject Tests (if applicable)
August prior to senior year:
- August 1 – the Common Application is released for the application year; create an account and complete your application
- Create applications at all non-Common Application schools
- Review and begin to work on required supplemental essays
Fall of senior year:
- Take the SAT/ACT/Subject Tests (if applicable)
- Schedule return visits and/or interviews with colleges
- Pay close attention to deadlines within your high school guidance office for transcript and application material requests
- Write thank you notes to the teachers who wrote recommendations on your behalf
- Complete the CSS Profile (if required)
- Submit applications at least two weeks before deadlines to avoid technical problems
- Keep your grades up! Senior grades are important piece; admissions counselors will look at them closely
Winter of senior year:
- If deferred from early decision or early action, continue to show interest in your top schools
- The FAFSA is available beginning January 1; complete for financial aid and scholarship consideration
- Ask your guidance counselor to send mid-year reports
- Finalize and submit regular decision applications
- Be sure to check your email frequently for important correspondence from colleges
Spring of senior year:
- If wait listed (and still interested), secure a spot on the wait list and follow up with the admission counselor for your high school stating your continued interest
- Prepare for AP exams (if applicable)
- Receive and compare financial aid packages from colleges
- Make your final college decision by May 1 and submit an enrollment deposit to only one school
- Notify colleges to which you were accepted but will not enroll that you have decided to attend a different institution
- Enjoy the rest of your senior year! Congratulations!