Counseling Office » College Application Timeline & Senior Year Checklist

College Application Timeline & Senior Year Checklist

College Application Timeline

Below is a timeline for the college application process.  While these dates aren't set in stone, the majority of items for each month should be completed in a timely manner.



  • Parents attend college orientation night at Gananda.
  • Plan to take a challenging course load in senior year.
  • Meet with counselor about the college search process.
  • Register for April ACT (Check to see if your college(s) of interest require and/or recommend you take it).
  • Register for the May SAT.
  • Use college catalogues and handbooks in the counseling office and CHOICES in the computer lab and Choices Planner at home (
  • Investigate outside college funding sources (i.e., internet search, public libraries or your family’s place of employment).
  • Attend College Fairs.
  • Review courses for senior year and graduation requirements. Be sure to select strong college prep courses to increase your chance of admissibility.
  • Create an initial list of colleges to contact for additional information.
  • Begin visiting colleges of interest (possible during Spring recess).
  • Register for the June SAT.
  • If you are considering military academics or ROTC scholarships, be sure to contact your counselor.
  • Register for the June ACT.
  • Create your “resume” – record of your accomplishments, involvements and work experiences (in and out of school) over the past three years.
  • Request teacher recommendations using recommendation forms found in the counseling office.
  • Plan an interesting and challenging summer.
  • Take your Regents exams seriously. College admissions personnel typically look at results from Junior year first.
  • Continue the college search process. Arrange for college visits over the summer.
  • Stay focused on college.
  • Keep extra-curricular and community service activities going.
  • Visit college campuses.
  • Save money for college expenses.
  • Look for scholarship money.
  • Complete parent brag sheets.
senior era


Your Senior Year CHECKLIST!


  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT.
  • Attend local college nights at malls, etc.
  • Get letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, employers, ministers, coaches, advisors, etc.
  • Set up senior interview in the counseling office.
  • Narrow down your list of colleges (approximately 3-6 schools).
  • Meet with college representatives who visit the high school.
  • Continue making campus visits.
  • Begin working on college applications (Make a folder for each college).
  • Check for local and national scholarship opportunities. The counseling office has a scholarship box that should be checked on a regular basis.
  • Get off to a strong start academically.
  • Take the SAT/ACT.
  • Bring in completed college applications along with application fees to the counseling office (especially early decision applications). Remember to check application deadlines. If applying on-line, complete all steps and bring a copy to the counseling office. Consider applying as early as possible before funds/scholarships have been awarded to others.
  • In order for transcripts to be sent from the counseling office to a college/scholarship, etc., a transcript request form must be submitted.
  • Update your “resume” – your list of accomplishments, involvements and work experiences.
  • Continue to request letters of recommendations (forms available in the counseling office).
  • Continue checking on scholarships.
  • Work on college essays; consult with your English teacher.
  • Continue visiting colleges and scheduling interviews (remember to send follow up thank you letters). Reminder – If you are visiting a college during school hours, you must fill out a “College Visitation” form available in the counseling/main offices five days prior to your visit.
  • Take SAT.
  • Continue bringing in completed applications and fees to the counseling office.
  • Obtain financial aid information from each college’s financial aid office to which you are applying. Note the required documents and deadlines for filing.
  • Watch deadline dates for scholarships and/or college applications.
  • Continue checking on scholarships.
  • Submit at least one application by Mid-November.
  • Take SAT/ACT.
  • Give the counseling office a minimum of 10 school days to finalize processing of scholarships and college applications.
  • In order for transcript to be sent from the counseling office to a college/scholarship, etc., a transcript request form must be submitted.
  • Get financial aid forms and pin number via the internet.
  • Begin putting together all the necessary information needed to complete the financial aid forms.
  • Continue checking on scholarships.
  • Attend financial aid night at Gananda.
  • Have all applications submitted to the counseling office by early December.
  • Complete your financial aid form (FAFSA, etc.). Parents: prepare your income tax returns early and make copies – this information may be requested by colleges to prove eligibility for financial aid. Do not submit to the counseling office.
  • Submit mid-year grade requests to the counseling office.
  • Prepare for midterm exams.
  • Notify the counseling office of college acceptances.
  • Check with the counseling office to see if mid-year transcripts have been sent to the schools to which you have applied.
  • Make sure colleges have received all the materials needed to make a decision.
  • Send any supplemental information that colleges may request.
  • Continue checking on scholarships.
  • Notify the counseling office of admissions decisions.
  • Check college deposit deadlines (housing and attendance).
  • Continue checking on scholarships.
  • All final admissions decisions should have arrived.
  • If you are on a wait list, write a justification letter and send supporting materials. Ask teachers, coaches, etc. for help.
  • Review college acceptances, perhaps revisit your top choices.
  • Review financial aid packages; talk with college financial aid officers if you have specific questions.
  • Decide on a college.
  • Continue checking on scholarships.
  • Deposits due in early May.
  • Begin preparing for the AP exams.
  • Notify the college you choose of your decision to attend.
  • Notify colleges that you did not choose, so they can offer admissions to others on their waiting lists.
  • Fill out housing information.
  • Take AP exams, if applicable.
  • Ask the counseling office to send a final transcript.
  • Work to help pay for college.
  • Attend orientation.
  • Register for classes.