- Make sure your course selections are appropriate for your college/career interests, and that you are meeting graduation and college admissions requirements.
- Confer with your counselor about your current plans for post-secondary education. Evaluate those plans in light of your grades and SAT scores.
- Discuss possibilities for financial aid in a conference with your counselor and your parents.
- Request application materials for admissions and financial aid from schools to which you intend to apply. Remember that the Guidance Office has applications to many New England schools.
- If you are requesting college admission on an Early Decision or Early Action Notification basis, be sure that your application materials are submitted to your counselor at least two weeks before the deadline.
- Attend college/career fairs and meet with college representatives who visit your school.
- Visit the schools you are considering to observe the school in session and to confirm your top choices. Make arrangements in advance for a personal interview with an admission counselor, financial aid administrator, and a professor in the academic department representing your intended major.
- Take or re-take the SAT or ACT. Twice is usually enough, three times is plenty.
- Be aware of admissions and financial aid deadlines and meet them by submitting all admissions materials to your counselor at least two weeks before the deadlines.
- Be aware of application deadlines for any private scholarships you intend to seek and meet them.
- Devote time, energy and thought to writing and re-writing any required essays or short answers.
- Give recommendation forms to teachers, counselor and other persons from whom you are seeking references at least a month before they are due to be returned.
- Follow-up, politely, with your references to make sure they have remembered.
- If you are seeking appointment to one of the military academies, make sure your file is current with the persons or organizations from whom you are seeking a nomination.
- If you are seeking an athletic scholarship, send a copy of your game schedule to the appropriate coaches at schools of your interest; ask your high school coaches about contacts they might have.
- If admissions interviews are required or recommended, schedule them.
- Submit your family’s financial information on the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1.
- Confirm with your counselor that all admissions application materials have been sent on schedule.
- If the schools to which you are applying require additional financial aid information, or copies of your family income tax returns for verification, submit them promptly.
- Continue to seek and apply for private scholarships.
- Review your financial aid award letters from the various schools to which you have been accepted. Be sure that you understand the terms and conditions that accompany each kind of aid.
- Make your final decision about which college you will attend. Notify the school in writing by the appropriate deadline, usually May 1. Decline other offers of admission in writing.
- Sign your financial aid awards letter and any other items requiring your signature and return them. Schedule an appointment with the financial aid administrator at the school if you have questions or wish to discuss the contents of the award letter.
- Sign and send the Student Aid Report (SAR) that your received as a result of applying for federal financial aid to the school whose admission offer you are accepting. Do this even is the SAR says you are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant, as the school may be able to offer you other aid based on the information contained in that report.
- Make separate application for any loan funds that require such applications; understand all of your rights and responsibilities before you and/or you parents sign a promissory note.
- Arrange with the school for housing and a meal plan, if necessary.
- Find out when payment of school charges for tuition fees, room and board and so on will actually be due, and plan how you will meet those charges. Be sure you understand how financial aid will be disbursed, and whether you can defer bill payment until the funds are available. Investigate tuition payment plans that the school may offer or accept.
- Be aware of any summer orientation sessions that you must attend, and make your summer plans accordingly.
- Prepare a proposed budget for your freshman year.