College Action Plan: 12th Grade

Senior year is a whirlwind of activities. This is a big year for you as he or she balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. Use the suggestions below to help you successfully navigate this important time.

Fall

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss your prepared list. You will meet the counselor to complete and submit college applications. Learn more about the counselor's role in applying to college.
  • Create a calendar. This should include application deadlines and other important dates. You can find specific colleges’ deadlines in College Search. If you save colleges to a list there, you can get a custom online calendar that shows those colleges’ deadlines.
  • Take your college admission tests. Many seniors retake college admission tests, such as the SAT and the ACT, in the fall.
  • Begin your college applications. Ask for help if you need advice and someone to proofread.
  • Find and apply for scholarships. Check out the TPS website for links and deadlines.
  • Set up college interviews. An interview is a great way for you to learn more about a college and for a college to learn more about you. Get an overview of the interview process.
  • Follow up with your college recommenders to make sure are still willing to write you a recommendation and have submitted your recommendation.

Winter

  • Apply for financial aid. Contact the financial aid offices at the colleges you are interested in to find out what forms students must submit to apply for aid. Make sure you apply for aid by or before any stated deadlines. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.
  • Fill out the FAFSA to apply for aid. The government and many colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to award aid. Now it’s easier than ever to fill out this form because you can automatically transfer your tax information online from the IRS to the FAFSA. Read How to Complete the FAFSA to learn more.
  • Learn about college loan options. Borrowing money for college can be a smart choice — especially if you can get a low-interest federal loan. Learn more about the parent's role in borrowing money.

Spring

  • Process your college responses. Once you start hearing back from colleges about admission and financial aid, you will need to decide what to do.
  • Review financial aid offers with your parent/ guardian. Figure out which package works best. Be sure you pay attention to and meets any deadlines for acceptance. Get more information on financial aid awards.
  • Complete the paperwork to accept a college’s offer of admittance. Once you have decided which college to attend, you will need to accept a college’s offer, mail a tuition deposit and submit other required paperwork. 
  • Give teachers a handwritten thank you card as a token of appreciation. An email is not acceptable.

Seniors You Made It to the Halfway Mark!

Dear Seniors:

We are sure many of you are wondering how this year went by so quickly and all the previous three went by so slowly!  You are just about halfway through your Senior year. 

You have completed/are completing applications, you have requested letters of rec, sent scores, sweat over every word in your college essay and now it’s time to take a breather. 

Here are some final tips and reminders to get you through to May 1st – DECISION DAY:

  1. SUBMIT AND PAY FOR COLLEGE APPLICATIONS Ensure all your college applications have been submitted and all fee waivers sent or payments made.
  2. AP TESTS– You self-report your AP scores on the Common App.  You DO NOT have to send scores to your colleges now via the College Board.  It is a waste of money.  The ONLY school you send scores to is the one that you are going to attend after that decision is made in May – that school will then decide if they will accept the AP score for credit or in lieu of a class.
  3. CHECK YOUR EMAIL/MAIL FOR COLLEGE REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION Be sure to monitor your email and regular mail for any items that may be missing from your application or payment that has not been received.  Check the date on all communications and call them directly to confirm that they status and request in the letter is still valid.  Most times they will have gotten the missing item and it is no longer an issue. 
  4. THANK THOSE WHO WROTE RECS FOR YOU! Be sure to THANK all teachers who wrote letters of recommendations for you – and your counselors too! They have worked hard writing many letters for MANY students and a small note saying THANKS is always a good idea.
  5. KEEP US IN THE LOOP Be sure to let us know the final decision for each college on your list – ACCEPTED, DEFERRED and DENIED.  This will help us target specific schools for the next Senior class as well as identify potential schools for the College Fair in April 2018.
  6. LET RECOMMENDERS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO COLLEGE (MAY 2018) When you make your final decision for college be sure to let your recommenders know. Their letter may have been the letter to push that admissions committee to say YES!
  7. Early Action/Early Decision If you have information back on EA/ED schools please let your counselors know.
  8. POSSE/QUESTBRIDGE If you got it – please let your counselor know.