On the cusp of college, 12th graders have a busy year ahead of them:
- At the beginning of the year, meet with your guidance counselor again to ensure everything is still on track. Make sure you are on track to graduate and fulfill college admission requirements. Review any new information, like your standardized test scores. If able, review your application materials with them or with one of your teachers.
- Review your application schedule and double check all the information.
- Take any other standardized tests, if you haven’t yet or if you want to retake them.
- Talk to your parents, guardian, or counselor about whether you want to pursue an early decision or early action option with any one school.
- Submit your college applications! Make sure to note the different deadlines from each school, as well as the different deadlines for different parts of the application. Plan ahead for anything that takes time, like getting teacher recommendations and sending official test scores or transcripts.
- Apply for any scholarships that have deadlines around this time.
- Have your parents complete their income taxes for the current year, if possible, or gather their tax return information for the prior year. You’ll need the information for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- As soon as possible after January 1, complete the FAFSA. The earlier you apply, the more financial aid options will still be available.
- If the colleges you applied to require any additional information, like grades from the first semester of your senior year, financial aid information, or additional test scores you took, make sure to send them in by the required deadlines.
- Complete any remaining scholarship applications.
- Maintain your grades—admission offers can be revoked based on final senior grades.
- Excitedly open all of your acceptance materials!
- Visit or re-visit colleges where you’ve been admitted, if you haven’t already, to help you decide.
- Talk to your parents, guidance counselor, and mentors about your college options to help you narrow down which school is the best fit for you. See our Choosing the Right College for You section for more guidance on what to consider.
- Talk to your parents and college financial aid officers about the costs of attending the colleges you’ve been admitted to, and make sure you understand what that means for you in the future.
- Decide what college you’ll attend. Then make sure you respond with your official acceptance to them by the required deadline.
- Enjoy every moment of your graduation from high school. You’ve earned it!