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10 Things to do Before Fall of Senior Year in High School

Does the college application process overwhelm you? Check out this handy checklist that we have put together to help! It even includes a handy Excel template to organize the schools you are applying to.


The college application process can be daunting--but with a little planning and organization, it doesn’t have to be! Here are 10 things you should consider doing before fall of your senior year in high school. You got this!

  1. Visit campuses in person or virtually over the summer. Many schools also have fall Open House type events that are worth checking out.
  2. Research online via school websites and using social media.
  3. Start a spreadsheet with colleges applying to, deadlines, documents needed, logins and passwords.
  4. Start a folder on your computer or in your favorite cloud storage (Google Drive, or Dropbox to name a few) with drafts of personal statements, documents, resumes, etc.
  5. Put in some reminders on your calendar (physical or digital) -- application deadlines, reminders to ask teachers for letters of recommendation (try to ask at least one month in advance).
  6. Look up the essay questions and start outlining them early (Bonus tip: do a t-chart listing things you liked, participated in, etc. as a freshman versus as a senior to help brainstorm topics.) 
  7. Research financial aid requirements for each school and add deadlines to master spreadsheet/calendar mentioned above.
  8. Look up external scholarships through search engines like Fastweb to apply for free money that will follow you to any institution you end up at.
  9. Research the documents needed to fill out financial aid forms and work with your parents to get everything organized and submitted before deadlines. (Hint: You’ll need access to your parents’ tax returns.)
  10. Start a college application playlist on Spotify or other streaming service that you can look forward to listening to while filling out apps -- check out this SCU curated one.
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