Senior Class


    Congratulations on making it to your final year of high school!    This year may appear to be daunting as there are many dates and deadlines to remember and so many things to do.  Your counselor is available to help you manage the various tasks you will encounter.

    Below is a breakdown of what you should be doing this year.  


    • Take (or re-take) the SAT and/or ACT College Entrance Exams. Standardized exams may be required at certain schools and you can register online at or

    • Senior Conference.  Each senior meets individually with his or her counselor to review graduation and course requirements and post-graduation plans.  Additionally, counselors will visit each senior English class during September to discuss senior year plans, post-secondary plans, and financial aid.   

    • Start checking for scholarships. 

    • Visit college campuses. 

    • You will be able to apply to colleges online through the Common Application or the individual school's application.

    • Start your college application essay(s) early.  Most schools require essays as part of their application materials.  

    • Finalize your college choices.  Decide on at least six potential colleges.  You should be thinking about some "reach" schools, "target" schools and "safety" schools.  This pertains to academic, as well as financial considerations.

    • Make a list; check it twice.  Make a checklist for each college you are going to apply to.  Include all the pieces of information that need to be assembled (i.e., forms, recommendations, essays, transcripts, etc.) and all deadlines. This will help you manage the application process and help you remain organized, calm, and on track. 

    • Request recommendation letters.  NOW is the time to ask teachers,  coaches, and employers for letters of recommendation related to your activities and employment.  These will be required for college applications.  Ask for the recommendations in person.  

    • Request your transcript from your counselor.   Complete the transcript request in Naviance.

    • Plan now for a smoother financial aid application process --- Apply for your FAFSA pin number in October and start gathering financial information. Virtually all colleges require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for financial aid.  Visit FAFSA on the Web at and sign up for your personal pin number. This is also a good time to print out the worksheets for filling out the FAFSA so you'll know what's involved and can begin gathering the financial records. 

    • Complete the FAFSA form. Submit the form as soon as possible after October 1. Some schools require it as early as January 1, but be sure to submit it no later than March 1. You improve your chances of receiving financial aid if you submit your forms early. Colleges are handing out aid as the applications come in and there IS a limit to how much they have to give. Get your application in late and all their available money may be gone.

    • Find out if colleges require the CSS/Financial Aid Profile. Some colleges (mostly private schools) require this special form, which is essentially a supplement to the FAFSA. The College Board website has a list of the schools that require it, but it's always better to check with the college directly.  

    • Call the financial aid offices to find out if they require any other special financial forms of their own. This is most common at private colleges. If they require specialized forms, ask them to email them to you. Find out the deadlines for all financial aid forms. 


    • Complete your college applications.  


    • Try to finish your college applications by December 1.  Even if the college's official deadline is March 1, it's better to get your application complete to be prepared to be sent out before the deadline.  You'll be ahead of the game and able to shift your focus to financial aid applications, scholarships and simply enjoying your senior year. 


    • January and February are financial aid months.  Look for notification of financial aid seminars and other similar programs throughout the county and state. 

    • Apply for financial aid through the state of New York at the Higher Education Services Corporation.  Students can apply for grants and other scholarships through this site. 

    • Apply for outside funding and scholarships.  Keep checking for scholarship applications in the Career Center every week and explore other sources.  For example, parents might belong to organizations or work in businesses that award scholarships.  Ask around. Visit Fastweb, the Internet's largest free scholarship search.  

    • Remember to keep copies of all financial aid forms you submit.


    • Make sure your FAFSA has been completed and submitted by March 1.
    • Check on mid-year transcripts.  They will be sent automatically to all of the schools you applied to. 

    • Watch for your Student Aid Report (SAR).  This is a one-page summary of the FAFSA information you submitted.  It is sent to you to confirm the accuracy of all data one last time before it is forwarded to your colleges.  Occasionally, the SAR will note that information is missing or incomplete.  In all cases, follow directions on the SAR and return it as quickly as possible.  If you have not received your Student Aid Report within five weeks after sending in your FAFSA, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center. The report arrives by mail or by email if you filed the FAFSA electronically. 

    • Rank your college choices while you wait for responses to your applications.


    • Check for updates on college acceptance notifications. They typically start arriving in April.

    • Compare financial aid packages from each college. If a financial aid offer is not what you expected, do not hesitate to contact the college's financial aid office to discuss your concerns.  They may have the ability to adjust the offer.

    • Make a decision on which college you will attend and send them your formal acceptance.

    May 1st – National Decision Day (and beyond)

    • Submit your deposit and corresponding forms to the college you will be attending. Be sure to notify the admissions and financial aid office of the colleges that you will not be attending.

    • Watch for important deadlines at your college of choice.  These may include housing deposits, financial aid and more.

    • Request your final transcript to be sent to your college.  

    Have a fun, relaxing, and safe summer and good luck in college, your apprenticeship, or career!