Senior Year

Want more information, suggestions, tips and advice?  Check out the MEFA (Massachusetts Education Financing Authority) web page exclusively for seniors:

  • Meet with your counselor to make sure you have registered for courses that still align with your college goals, and discuss the senior year timeline for applying to colleges.
  • Most health insurance companies will pay for only one physical examination per year. You're wise to wait until April for your required college physical, or for a physical to play intercollegiate athletics.  The NCAA requires college athletes to get a physical within six months of the first day of classes.
  • Students interested in initiating relationships with colleges that offer athletic scholarships should talk to their guidance counselor to understand the process and opportunities.
  • Review college materials, college guidebooks, and other resources to narrow your college list. Use the Naviance tool to help you refine your search and choose the schools that are the best fit for you.
  • Begin to finalize your list of colleges with your family and guidance counselor.
  • Make sure you have completed or are in the process of completing the required community service hours.
  • Consider visits, overnight stays, and interviews at your top college choices. Visit (personally or virtually) any colleges you have not already seen. Try to stay overnight with a current student to get the best feel for student life at the prospective college.
  • Register for one last shot at the SAT or ACT if you haven't taken one of them yet -- or if you aren't happy with earlier scores. Be sure to take the SAT Subject Tests, if required.
  • Begin thinking about teachers who would be willing to write strong letters of recommendation on your behalf.
  • Begin brainstorming ideas for your college essays.
  • Request (or download from college's website) any applications you do not have. Be sure to review each college's application requirements carefully.
  • Attend college fairs for one final review of college choices.
  • Be sure your senior year mix of classes still includes challenging, college-prep courses.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • Finalize your list of college choices to a reasonable number, ideally with one or more "stretch" schools and one "safety" school.
  • Create a file for each of your college choices - and keep all materials organized.
  • Consider creating a master schedule of all your application deadlines.
  • Begin working on drafts of your college essays.
  • Start working on college applications.
  • If you have a clear "first choice" college, consider applying for early decision.
  • Have the standardized testing service send your scores to your list of colleges.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • Finalize drafts of your college essays, but only after numerous edits, rewrites, and reviews by people you trust (family, friends, teachers).
  • Complete college applications and put packets in the mail.
  • Be sure your guidance counselor knows your list of colleges, as well as your preferences.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • If you applied for early decision to a college, expect notification this month.
  • If not completed, finish and mail remainder of college applications.
  • Start detailed financial aid search, including outside sources for scholarships and loans.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • Stay focused on grades.


  • Complete the FAFSA, if possible. (You'll need your family's/guardian's tax records.)
  • Keep track of your college applications; be sure all schools have received all your materials.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • College decision letters begin arriving.
  • Celebrate your acceptances, decide about your wait lists, and deal positively with your rejections.


  • Make a decision about your college choice from among the colleges that accepted you.
  • Notify all colleges (that accepted you) of your final decision. Submit tuition deposit to your college of choice.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • Be sure to submit paperwork for room and board.
  • Stay focused on grades.


  • Celebrate your high school success!
  • Send thank you notes (if you haven't already) to everyone who helped you this year.
  • Start planning for college.
  • If you will be working over the summer, see the work permit guidelines to understand how many hours you can legally work at your age.
  • Watch college's summer deadlines (orientations, housing options, registration, etc.) closely.


  • Register for fall courses at your college.
  • Begin preparing for your new adventure!