Class of 2019

What You Should Do NOW:

Prepare for Your Last Year with this Senior Year Checklist

Get ready for a whole new level of opportunities, future planning …. and, yeah, some stress. It can be an exciting and exhausting time.

But don’t worry!

Everything will turn out fine as long as you remember to prioritize what you need to do before graduation and “think big” about your life after high school. This senior year checklist will help you do these things while also making sure you have all your future-planning bases covered.

Activities Lead to Better Grades and More Money

Many colleges and businesses take your activities into consideration when deciding which students to accept or hire. Most colleges, universities, and businesses look for well-rounded students who can juggle a busy life with their education and/or work.

Adding sports, arts, volunteering, and other activities to your college or work application shows that you’re more than a test score or your GPA. Students who participate in activities:

  • Develop new skills
  • Broaden their experiences
  • Practice social skills
  • Increase their appeal to college admissions personnel

ACT research also indicates that, regardless of a student’s high school GPA, involvement in high school activities is often associated with higher ACT scores.

Plus, activities can open the doors to financial aid opportunities, such as sports or arts scholarships.

The 3 Most Overlooked Parts of College Application

The essay, resume, and letters of recommendation are all vital parts of your college application, but of equal importance are these three additional components that are often without much thought.

With attention to detail and focus on these often overlooked parts, they can turn into strengths – something that catches a college’s eye.

1. Application Form

These are usually the first forms you fill out online. They typically require information like your full name, Social Security number, address, etc. Sometimes a college will not let you attach the rest of your application materials until you've completed the general application form.

PLAN 2-3 DAYS: After you submit this form, it may take a couple of days for the college to process it and send you a link to attach the rest of your materials.


This part of the application process requires a lot of attention to detail and focus. These tips will help with the general application form:

  • CHECK for grammatical errors or misspelled words
  • READ all the fields and requirements carefully
  • LIST the needed information accurately
  • KEEP TRACK of the deadline and complete this section well in advance
  • USE an appropriate email address when applying (no words or phrases you wouldn’t use in the classroom)
  • WRITE the application yourself but ask your parent, mentor, or counselor to give it a review
  • CLICK “submit” once you complete the form
  • CHECK your email after you submit for a confirmation that the college received your application form

2. Application Fee

Some colleges will require you to pay a fee after you submit your application, while others will only require it once you are accepted. Application fees can range from free to around $100. When you’re researching schools, take note of the total amount in application fees and factor them into your budget. If you can only afford a certain amount, this may help you narrow your college list to fit that total cost.

Some colleges offer application fee waivers. You can qualify for a waiver when you apply for financial aid at that college or the college might have a separate application portal just for fee waivers. 


AND, if you take the ACT test using a test fee waiver, you can request to apply to college for FREE!

3. Transcripts

Your official transcript is your high school’s certified statement of your academic record. Colleges will ask that it be mailed or emailed to them, so read the requirements carefully.

Before your transcript is sent, read through the classes, grades, credits, and scores to make sure they’re correct. Your counselor will be the one to send your transcript to your applied colleges.