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College Checklist

Senior Year Checklist


?       Be sure that you are continuing a schedule with courses of rigor and do not become overcommitted (i.e., too many clubs, sports, jobs, etc.).

?       Continue researching your Top 10 colleges with the purpose of narrowing down to a Top 3–5.

?       Visit colleges of interest and attend college fairs.

?       Determine if you are applying for an “impacted major,” which may require higher admission standards.

?       Fill out college applications early! Some colleges need applications in by October 1st for certain housing and scholarship options.

?       Narrow your list of potential colleges to 1–2 “stretch schools” where you might be on the lower GPA and SAT®/ACT® score average, 1–2 “strong match schools” where you meet the schools’ average GPA and SAT/ACT average, and 1 “fallback school” that you are certain you will get into.

?       Examine college applications and record application deadlines in your agenda/planner.

?       Determine application options (early decision, early action, or regular decision).

?       Update résumé.

?       Ask for an unofficial transcript.

?       Compute final GPA to be submitted on applications.

?       Ask select teachers/counselors/others to write letters of recommendation.

?       Keep your grades up and stay in challenging courses! 75% of revoked acceptances are because seniors do poorly in classes or take too light of a load!


?       Revise college essays for submission.

?       Request fee waivers from your counselor (if applicable).

?       Submit public college applications online.

?       Submit applications if applying “early decision.”

?       Be sure you include courses you’ve taken at a community college on your applications.

?       Continue filling out scholarships, with a minimum of 1 scholarship for the month of October.

?       Study for the final SAT/ACT test.


?       Submit applications for private colleges/universities.

?       Research financial aid requirements and deadlines.

?       Continue filling out scholarships, with a minimum of 3 scholarships in November and December.

?       Keep those grades up! Reach out for help if you feel like you are falling behind.


?       Apply for your FAFSA pin.

?       Complete the FAFSA application and worksheet.

?       Make sure all test scores (SAT, ACT, AP®) have been submitted to colleges/universities where you have applied.

?       Submit your FAFSA as close to January 1st as possible.

?       Continue filling out scholarships, with a minimum of 2 scholarships for the month of January.

?       Be sure to contact colleges early if there were unexpected changes to your class schedule.


?       Enroll and take English and Math Placement Tests for colleges. (Tests are generally given Feb. through May.)

?       Continue applying for scholarships, with a minimum of 3 scholarships for February and March.

?       Research dorm applications and deadlines.

?       At the end of March, follow up with colleges that you haven’t heard from to be sure they have everything they need (transcript, SAT/ACT scores, essays, fee waiver, etc.).


?       Study for upcoming AP exams.

?       Continue applying for scholarships, with a minimum of 2 scholarships for April. (Look into scholarships at the college/university that you plan to attend.)

?       Be sure to submit your housing application to the school that you plan to attend.

?       Research the placement tests that you will need to take (and pass) at the college that you plan to attend.

?       Were you denied admission? Don’t give up, contact the admissions office, and ask if there is an appeal process.

?       Don’t slack! Finish strong. A drop in grades is the number one reason that colleges revoke admissions (over 50%).

May/Early June

?       Take AP exams. Be sure test scores are sent to the appropriate colleges.

?       Look into taking college courses at a local community college (especially courses that cover any remediation or first-year classes, if you haven’t passed).

?       Be sure you send official transcripts from courses taken at the community college to the college you will attend.

?       Continue applying for scholarships, with a minimum of 2 scholarships for May. (Look into scholarships at the college/university that you plan to attend.)

?       Complete AVID Senior Data.

?       Sign up to be an AVID tutor next year.

?       See your physician to get a meningitis shot, as you will need this to attend college.

?       Write thank-you notes to teachers and your counselor for helping you through the process.

?       Take a day to celebrate the fact that you graduated and are one step closer to your dreams of college.

Early Summer

?       Make a decision about which college you will attend and notify the college that you will attend.

?       Notify schools that you are not attending.

?       Send deposits for housing (if you haven’t already).

?       Sign up for orientation.

?       Enroll in classes (refer back to 14.12 The 4-Year College Plan).

?       Be sure you have completed and passed placement tests for English and math.

?       Send official score reports to college from ACT/SAT.

?       Continue to apply for scholarships.

?       Talk to counselor about sending final transcript to college.

?       Contact your roommate:

  • Name: ___________________ Phone Number: ___________________ Email: _________________

?       Contact financial aid office at the college that you plan to attend to be sure they have everything they need:

  • Phone Number: __________________________

?       Sign up for work study (contact career services at the campus):

  • Phone Number: __________________ Website: ___________________________

?       Search campus job opportunities.

?       Accept financial aid and determine if you need to accept student loans (tuition, housing, books).

?       Examine your chosen school using Websites for the AVID Elective Teacher and Student Worksheet (Preparing for College, pp. 285–288).

?       FIND OUT HOW TO LOG IN TO CAMPUS WEBSITE AND YOUR STUDENT EMAIL. A lot of important emails may come to the new college email, and you will miss it if you aren’t checking.

Late Summer

?       Check out campus organization, clubs, etc.

?       Be sure that AP scores are sent to college and adjust first semester schedule accordingly.

?       Attend orientation:

  • Date: ____________________  Location: ______________________

?       Continue to apply for scholarships.

?       Set up appointment with academic advisor.

?       Get student ID card.


?       Pack. (Coordinate larger items with roommate.)

?       Obtain parking permits.

?       Determine if professors have posted syllabi and look into purchasing books.

Early First Semester (Freshman Year of College)

?       Check out tutoring opportunities.

?       Study, study, study. (Remember that studying in college is not just doing homework; it is reading the book and reviewing your notes every day.)

?       Visit the Financial Aid Office and find out about scholarship opportunities.

?       Look into extracurricular activities.

?       Go to the Tutoring Center on campus and find out about resources.

?       Introduce yourself to your professor.

?       Follow Study Group Plan.

?       Calendar dates of homework and tests.

?       Critically read the syllabi to examine grading expectations and midterm/final projects or tests.

?       Attend at least one set of professor office hours during the first two weeks.

?       Talk with other students from your classes and share contact info (for study groups, missed classes).

?       Continue to apply for scholarships.

?       Set up a study group with students from your class (friends from dorm).

?       Check grades.

?       Set up regular study hours (5.3.2b).

?       Reserve study group locations.

Late First Semester (Freshman Year of College)

?       Continue to apply for scholarships.

?       Prepare to re-apply for financial aid in January. (This is a yearly process!)

?       If attending a community college: Check if the classes that you are taking will transfer to your destination four-year college in your intended major (not the community college that you are attending). Talk with an admissions counselor at the destination school to determine a transfer timeline.

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