A plan for your senior year
You’ve spent three solid years building your high school resume. But you’re not in yet! The following is a list of “must dos” for your senior year to help ensure acceptance into your top-choice schools.
First and foremost, your first semester grades must be strong. College admissions officers like to see upward trends. Show them you plan to take your senior year seriously. Be sure to push AP classes where applicable and appropriate.
If you haven’t reached your target SAT or ACT score yet, retake the SAT again in October, November or December, or the ACT again in September, October or December. The SAT or ACT score is the component of your application that you have the most control over at this point In 10 weeks you could increase your SAT score by 200 points or ACT score by 3 points with practice and perseverance—a score increase that could mean the difference between getting a fat letter or a skinny letter come March or April.
Application deadlines for your schools of choice can be found on the schools’ websites. Meet with your guidance counselor for application advice. Your guidance counselor has been through this drill once or twice. Use him or her as a resource.
Deadlines are important—be mindful of early decision and regular decision deadlines. If you’re applying rolling admission, don’t wait too late. Don’t forget about financial aid and scholarship deadlines–you’ll have to pay for college once you get in!
If you are vacillating between a few schools, make final visits to those schools and do a thorough evaluation of each one.
In late March or early April, your acceptance letters will start to roll in. Compare offers, and choose the school that is the best fit for you. Be sure that you compare both academic and financial packages when you are making your decision, and pick the school that is best for you and your unique situation.
Graduate in May and send your final transcript to your school of choice!