(4) For High School Seniors (12th grade)

You’re almost there! Finish your high school career on a strong note as you prepare to apply for college.

Take your SAT or ACT one last time. We advise that you complete all of your standardized tests by November. Also, if you’re planning to take SAT Subject Tests, you have to schedule to take them separate from your SAT Reasoning Test.

Start on your college applications early. While filing out the application form might not take a lot of time, you will need plenty of time to write your personal statements. Also, think about the type of learning and social environment that suits the type of individual you are. Do you prefer the excitement and diversity of a large public university or do you learn better in a small classroom setting (in which case, a liberal arts college might be a better fit for you)? Do you want to go far away from home or do you prefer the comfort of familiar surroundings?

Continue to take a full load of classes in your senior year. Show colleges that you are continuing to prepare for the rigors of college next year.

Avoid senioritis—do not let you grades drop! Receiving poor grades in senior year may jeopardize your admission to the college of your dreams.


 On the School Front

 On the Testing Front

On the Extracurricular and
College Admissions Front 


Enroll in challenging classes. Colleges want to see that you are continuing to prepare well for college level coursework.

Sign up to take the SAT Reasoning Test in October and Subject Tests in November, if necessary.

Start to prepare your college applications, including the personal statement and recommendation letters.


Take the SAT Reasoning Test.


Continue to do well in your classes.

Take the SAT Subject Tests.

Be sure to submit all of your colleges admissions test scores to the colleges to which you are applying.

Submit you Early Action/Decision application to private colleges by November 1.

Submit your UC application by November 30.


Study for your midterms and finals. It is important to continue to do well in school!


Private Colleges announce their decisions on Early Action/Decision applicants by December 15.

Submit your applications to private colleges and universities by January 1. 


Complete and submit your financial aid application (FAFSA) as soon as possible. The FAFSA application is available online starting January 1. Students should try to submit their completed FAFSA as early as possible to obtain the maximum financial aid available.




You should start receiving your admission decisions from the UC's in March.


Start preparing for your AP exams.

You should start receiving your admission decisions from private colleges and universities in April.

Evaluate the financial aid offers from the colleges to which you have been accepted.


Take your AP exams at your high school during the first two weeks of May. 

Submit your Statement of Intent to Register by May 1. 


Finish your year strong by acing your finals.



  Submit your final high school transcript and test scores to the college that you will be attending in the fall.


UC application goes "live." You can create your online application account.
NOVEMBER 1 & 15:
Early action/early decision application deadline.
UC application deadline.
Regular decision deadline for private colleges. FAFSA application available. (Submit your FAFSA as early as you can.)
UC admissions decisions announced.
FAFSA deadline.
Private college admissions decisions announced.
MAY 1:
Deadline to submit Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).

JULY 10:
Deadline to submit final high school transcript and test scores.

For more recommended reading materials, search our Recommended Reading List for High School Students.