October tasks for high school seniors

By Beth Ziehmer

October 01, 2017

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice. This year is filled with admission applications, scholarship essays, financial aid information, and the need to meet deadlines. Throughout your senior year, continue to build your resume by achieving academic success, as well as participating in extracurricular activities. Colleges are interested in well-rounded students.

The college preparation that takes place during your senior year is filled with a lot of details and paperwork. It is very important that you involve your parents with this process.

Below are the tasks you should complete during the month of October:

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT.
  • Continue working on your admissions essays.
  • If you haven't already done so, sign up for an FSA ID, to complete your FAFSA online. (Also let your parents know that they will need an FSA ID.) Make sure to protect your FSA ID and keep it in a secure place so that you will have it later when you need it. Keep copies of all financial aid and enrollment documents in a file.
  • Contact the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4FED-AID or 1-800-433-3243 for assistance completing the FAFSA and/or plan to attend a FAFSA preparation event (free FAFSA advice) near you.
  • Complete your FAFSA online to determine your financial aid eligibility.
  • Watch for the e-mail notice indicating your Student Aid Report (SAR) is ready.
  • Review your SAR for errors and make any corrections as indicated.
  • Attend college planning and/or financial aid information nights and college fairs. If you cannot attend, ask if you and your parents can borrow a video of the presentation from your counselor.
  • Visit your top school choices. If possible, make appointments with faculty, staff, and students.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to develop a college admission and financial aid application plan.
  • Contact the schools' financial aid offices to determine which forms they require. Some schools may require special forms.
  • Finalize portfolios, audition tapes, writing samples, or other evidence of talent if required for admission.