12th Grade Timeline!

Here you will find a list of grade-specific activities that you should be doing based on your grade level.

Also included are resources to help you complete the process, (videos, handouts, presentations, links)

To find out more information and get specific dates/deadlines for these activities, just click on each activity below.

College applications & career planning: U are on your way! 

Want to know if you’re on track in the college application process? This checklist shows you what you should be doing, and when. 

Top Must Do's for Seniors:


  • You're finally here! College applications and career planning are now in full swing. Now is the time to stay focused and work hard as this is what will get you across the finish line. Up to this point you have followed all of the         9th Grade, 10th Grade, and 11th Grade Must Do's and are now ready for your senior year list, so here we go. Following the list below will help get U on your way!

  • Strengthen Your College List. Meet with your school counselor about your college choices and, if you’ve not yet done so, download college applications and financial aid forms. Make sure you have a balanced list of academic safety, fit, and reach schools. Plan to visit as many of these colleges as possible. 


  • Create a master list or calendar that includes:

    • Tests you’ll take and their fees, dates, & registration deadlines.

    • College application due dates.

    • Required financial aid application forms and their deadlines. (aid applications may be due before college applications) 

    • Other materials you’ll need (recommendations, transcripts, etc.)

    • Your high school’s application processing deadlines.


  • Ask your school counselor to help you request a fee waiver if you can’t afford application or test fees.


  • Improve Your Score. Many seniors retake the SAT in the fall. Additional coursework and practice with Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy® since your last test could help you boost your performance. Plus you already know what to expect on test day. 


  • Be sure to have your SAT scores sent to the colleges to which you are applying.


  • Complete the FAFSA. To apply for most financial aid, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. Oct. 1 is the first day you can file the FAFSA.


  • Complete the CSS Profile: CSS Profile™ is an online application used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to determine eligibility for their aid dollars.


  • Prepare early decision/early action or rolling admission applications as soon as possible. Nov. 1–15. Colleges may require test scores and applications between these dates for early decision admission.


  • Ask your school counselor or teacher for recommendations if you need them. Give each teacher or school counselor an outline of your academic record and your extracurricular activities. For each recommendation, provide a stamped, addressed envelope and any college forms required.


  • Write first drafts and ask teachers and others to read them if you’re submitting essays. If you’re applying for early decision, finish the essays for that application now.


  • Apply to College. Submit your applications to the schools that you want to attend.


  • Ask your school counselor to send your transcripts to colleges. Give counselors the proper forms at least two weeks before the colleges require them.

  • As soon as possible after its Oct. 1 release, complete and submit your FAFSA® form, along with any other financial aid applications your chosen school(s) may require. You should submit your FAFSA form by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying, usually by early February.


  • After you submit the FAFSA form, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three days to three weeks. This document lists your answers to the questions on your FAFSA form and gives you some basic information about your aid eligibility. Quickly make any necessary corrections and submit them to the FAFSA processor.


  • If you haven’t done so already, register for and take the standardized tests required for college admission. Check with the colleges you are interested in to see what tests they require.


  • Apply to the colleges you have chosen. Prepare your applications carefully. Follow the instructions, and PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DEADLINES!


  • Well before your college application deadlines, ask your counselor and teachers to submit the required documents (e.g., transcript, letters of recommendation) to the colleges to which you’re applying.


  • Complete any last scholarship applications.




  • Keep photocopies as you finish and send your applications and essays.


  • Have your high school send a transcript — it is sent separately by mail to colleges if you apply online to colleges.


  • Give the correct form to your counselor if the college wants to see second-semester grades.



  • Visit colleges that have invited you to enroll.



  • Contact a school’s financial aid office if you have questions about the aid that school has offered you. In fact, getting to know your financial aid staff early is a good idea no matter what—they can tell you about deadlines, other aid for which you might wish to apply, and important paperwork you might need to submit.


  • When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.


  • Make informed decisions about student loans; the following resources are important at this point:









  • Keep active in school. If you are waitlisted, the college will want to know what you have accomplished between the time you applied and the time you learned of its decision.


  • Visit your final college before accepting. You should receive acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April. Notify your counselor of your choice. If you have questions about housing offers, talk to your counselor or call the college.


  • Inform every college of your acceptance or rejection of the offer of admission and/or financial aid by May 1. Colleges cannot require your deposit or your commitment to attend before May 1. Talk to your counselor or adviser if you have questions.


  • Send your deposit to one college only.


  • Take any AP® Exams. Show what you’ve learned in your AP classes. A successful score could even earn you credit, advanced placement, or both in college.


  • Waitlisted by a college? If you intend to enroll if you are accepted, tell the admission director your intent and ask how to strengthen your application. Need financial aid? Ask whether funds will be available if you’re accepted.


  • Work with a counselor to resolve any admission or financial aid problems.


  • Ask your high school to send a final transcript to your college.


  • Review your financial aid awards: Not all financial aid awards are the same, so it’s important to choose the aid package that’s best for you and your family. Be sure to note what you have to do to continue receiving financial aid from year to year, and how your aid might change in future years.


  • Deposit deadline – Typically, colleges will have a deposit deadline of May 1st. You may have already signaled your intent to enroll, but now it's time to commit financially. Your acceptance letter should include all the details.


  • Final transcripts – Once you've graduated, send your final high school transcript to your new college. This may help you secure a scholarship or qualify for other competitive academic programs.


  • AP exams – If you've been taking AP classes in high school, you'll be taking your national exams at the end of the school year. This is a huge opportunity that you shouldn't let go to waste. A high score or 4 or 5 on your AP exam will translate to college credit. Some students begin college with much of their freshman requirements fulfilled through AP credits.


  • Thank you letters – You didn't get here by yourself. Chances are there were many people who helped with your college applications. Take the time to write personalized thank you letters, especially to guidance counselors and teachers who wrote letters of recommendation. They will appreciate the gratitude and will be happy to know where you enrolled.


  • Housing – Now you know where you'll be going in the fall! If you're planning on living in student housing, you will start receiving information about this, including meal plans. If you're planning to live off-campus, start researching neighborhoods so you can find a decent place to live that is reasonably close to campus.


  • Roommate – If you've already received your dorm assignment, you will also have the opportunity to make contact with your future roommate, including by phone, email or social media. We've all seen the uncomfortable scenes in movies where dorm mates meet on move-in day. Use the summer to avoid this awkward introduction.


  • Register for classes – As soon as you can, start registering for classes. As a freshman, you will probably feel like you're flooded with options, but classes almost always fill up fast! Take your time to review the schedule and find classes that are right for you.


  • Go to college – Congratulations! You're going to college. Time to start packing.





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