Senior Year

Senior year in high school is all about taking action. It is critical that you plan ahead to balance the workload of going to school and preparing for college.

Here are tips and a timeline to help you get organized for college matriculation during senior year.
  • Always use ONE personal email address for college applications, FAFSA, and scholarships. Keep in mind that your high school email address expires when you graduate.
  • Always check your email regularly – this is how colleges and scholarship organizations will communicate with you and let you know if you are missing any information. 
  • Always make note of scholarship and application deadlines. Don’t miss out on an opportunity because you missed a deadline! 
  • Always ask your FFLV college counselor or guidance counselor if you are unsure of a requirement or process. 
  • Always add every school that you apply to on your FAFSA. If you add new schools after submitting the FAFSA, you’ll need to hit “submit” again to send the information to the new schools.  You can list up to 10 schools on the FAFSA, if you want to add more schools, wait until one of the schools has received your information and then replace them with the new school.  
  • Always check your college portal (at least once a week after you are accepted) for updates, housing, orientation and registration information. 


Start your high school senior year strong by identifying important dates such as deadlines for priority admission, regular decision, scholarships, and college entrance exams.

If you are applying through the Common App, create your account and add the schools you are applying to. Pick the Common App essay prompt that resonates with you and that reflects what is most important to you.


Most admission and scholarship applications require similar documents. These documents include a personal statement, resume and letters of recommendation.

Work on developing a personal statement and resume as early on as possible. We recommend starting summer of junior year. Depending on the institution, you may need to adjust your personal statement for each application. Therefore, it helps to have a solid draft that you can tweak during fall of senior year.

Ask for letters of recommendation from individuals outside of your family and friends that know you well. This may be a teacher, counselor, or coach. Make sure to request the letter at least four weeks in advance.


The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help students pay for college or career school each year.

To apply for federal financial aid, students will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens each year on October 1st. But FIRST, students must create an FSA ID to access the government’s online systems for Federal Student Aid.

Students will need to gather their parent(s)/guardian(s) tax returns from the previous two years to complete the FAFSA. Students who work and file taxes will also need to present their tax returns.  

Visit to get started.



Many colleges and universities open their admissions application in early fall while establishing early decision deadlines before the end of the year. Students may begin applying as soon as possible. Come October of senior year, students should complete and submit the applications for institutions they are most interested in attending.

Students will also want to complete and submit scholarship applications as many are due in the fall. Here are some scholarship databases to get the search process started:

The Public Education Foundation | Unigo | Fastweb


Some students may want to retake the ACT or SAT during senior year. Remember, institutions award scholarships based on ACT/SAT test scores.
If you want to increase your chances of earning a scholarship, consider retaking the ACT/SAT before high school graduation.

If you need a fee waiver, reach out to your school or college counselor.



Some students may be selected for FAFSA verification. Institutions will request verification to confirm the data that was submitted on your FAFSA. If you are selected, read through the institution’s directions carefully.
If you are required to provide a tax transcript, visit the IRS Get Transcript tool.


After students apply to an institution that is listed on their FAFSA, they can expect to receive a Financial Aid Award Letter that lists grants, scholarships, and loans offered to the student. Each institution will offer different forms of aid based on the student’s profile and the institution’s resources.
Students will need to compare award letters to assess their cost for attending an institution. A great resource for comparing award letters is on CollegeBoard



Starting in May, students should begin preparing for freshman year in college by completing a few steps needed for successful matriculation. This includes setting up their student email, submitting their housing application, signing up for early start/summer bridge programs and attending orientation.  
Here are enrollment checklists to help students through this process.  

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