Regardless of the month, throughout your senior year......
  • Check in regularly for new scholarships. These can be found in the guidance office, online, or from the financial aid department at your chosen college. Mrs. Bauer posts all scholarship information she recieves to the scholarship portion of her website.
  • Take advantage of college visit days. Reps from colleges come to our school sometime during the fall semester. If a rep is coming from a college you are interested in, make time to come talk to them. It is a good time to ask questions to a knowledgable person.
  • Start to determine which school or career choice is the best fit for you.
  • Go to the UNI College Fair. This occurs on September 15, 2015. Over 85 Colleges and Institutions will be in attendance.
  • Attend the Golden Circle College Fair on September 27, 2015. Over 150 college and career experts are expected to be there. This takes place on a Sunday from 12:30-3:00 pm at the Iowa Events Center- Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines, IA. Visit for more information.
  • Start applying to schools you are interested in. Be aware of deadlines.
  • Update your resume and obtain letters of recommendation. If you don't already have one, make a list of the activities you've been involved in throughout high school.
  • Attend Financial Aid Planning Night. It will be held on November 10, 2015 in the HS Library from 6:15-7:15 pm.
  • After January 1st, 2016, get FAFSA filled out and sent in.
  • Keep your grades up. Colleges look at your overall GPA and this can be affected your senior year. Fight off senioritis!
  • Always follow up after sending in applications for school admission or employment.
  • Enjoy your senior year! You should be proud of your accomplishments.

Below is a table of guidelines for your senior year. Involve your parents in your college planning and talk to them or the school counselor if you have any questions. The links mentioned can be found below this table.


  • Determine your career interests and decide which type of college best suits you
  • Obtain information on admission, scholarships and financial aid for the top schools you're considering
  • Attend a college fair in your area. Go to for a list of fairs.
  • Download the College Checklist on Keep a folder for each college to keep track of the information.
  • Research military education benefits, if interested


  • If you're in the top 15% of your class, check with your school counselor about the State of Iowa Scholar Program.
  • Visit with your school counselor about application deadlines, local-or state-sponsored scholarships, and grants.
  • Register now to take the SAT and/or ACT if you haven't already done so.
  • Meet with college admissions counselors when they visit your high school.
  • Ask teachers, employers, or other adults to write letters of recommendation for your admission and scholarship applications.
  • Narrow down your college choices.


  • Talk to your admission counselors at the colleges to which you're applying to find out whether retaking the ACT or SAT would be advantageous.
  • Begin writing essays for your admission applications, if required.
  • Select at least three colleges to visit, if you haven't already done so. Download a Make The Most of Your College Visits work sheet at
  • Be wary of scholarship search and finanicial aid companies that charge a fee. Search for free at


  • Begin submitting your admission applications to the colleges you're most interested in. Be aware of deadlines.
  • Obtain financial aid forms from the colleges, if different from the FAFSA.
  • Start learning how campus life will compare to living at home.
  • Attend a financial aid presentation with your parents. As your school counselor when they are taking place. FYI: This year it will take place from 6:15-7:15 PM on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.


  • Finalize your grant and scholarship applications.
  • Stay focused! Grades in your senior year can impact admittance to college.
  • Print a FAFSA pre-application work sheet from
  • Parents: Save your year-end payroll stubs if they show your earnings for the year. You may need them for the FAFSA.
  • Know the priority dates for filing the FAFSA at the colleges you're applying to.


  • Submit your completed FAFSA to the processor as soon after January 1 as possible. File electronically at
  • Remember to keep copies of all forms you submit to colleges and agencies.
  • Ask your school counselor to sent your first semester transcripts to your top colleges.
  • Parents: Get your federal income tax returns prepared early. Colleges may request copies.
  • Need help filing a FAFSA? The ICAN College Planning Centers can help. Call (877) CPC-IOWA to schedule an appointment.


  • Confirm that the colleges to which you've applied have received your first semester transcripts.
  • Submit your FAFSA, if you haven't already done so.
  • Begin making plans for a summer job.
  • Watch the mail for letters of acceptance.
  • Keep your grades up- second semester grades are important and can affect scholarship eligibility and college admittance


  • Watch for your Student Aid Report (SAR). Check that it lists all the colleges requiring receipt of your FAFSA.
  • Be prepared to submit a copy of your federal tax reforms to the college(s) of your choice.
  • Find out whether you need to submit any additional financial aid verification forms.
  • Ask your school counselor about local scholarships.


  • Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges to which you've been accepted.
  • Decide which college you'll attend. Send the required deposit, and sign and return the financial aid award letter, if required. Note other important deadlines (financial aid, student housing, etc.).
  • Notify the other colleges where you applied that you will not be attending.
  • If you're securing a student loan, complete the required promissory note.


  • Take any AP/CLEP exams for which you qualify.
  • Finalize your summer job plans.
  • Ask your school counselor to send your final transcript to the college you'll be attending.
  • Return all necessary documents, including financial aid forms, to your college.


  • Notify the college about any outside scholarships you've received.
  • Save money from your summer job. Your savings will help with college expenses.
  • Attend any orientation sessions your college offers. These are great opportunities to meet people and get familiar with the campus.
  • Prepare a budget for college and review it with your parents.


  • Contact your roommate and get to know them. Decide who's bringing what to your dorm/apartment so you don't pack the same items.
  • Thank your family and friends for their support.
  • Beward of credit card offers!!! Talk with your parents to consider your options.
  • Continues your success in college, sign up for the ICAN e-newsletter at
These guidelines were taken from a form given out by the Iowa College Access Network. If you would like a hard copy, stop by the guidance counselor's office.