Senior College-Bound Checklist

Last Updated: 3/9/2021 10:32 PM

Important college deadlines seem to dominate the senior year of high school, and with good reason; this year can heavily affect a student’s future.  In addition, many of these deadlines are inflexible; colleges will rarely make exceptions to their deadlines. 

  • Continue taking rigorous courses.  Senior year grades matter.  If you are applying regular decision, colleges will consider your first semester grades. Please make sure you do well in all your classes your senior year, no D’s!  Think together after school Program will be having STUDY HALL in the library from 2:45 to 5:45, AVID TUTORS Available!



  • Narrow your list of preferred colleges down to a manageable number. Include at least one or two safety schools (almost certain of acceptance), two likely schools (a good chance of acceptance), and one or two reach schools (unpredictable chance of acceptance).  Aim for around eight schools to include on your list.
  • Request applications from each college to which you intend to apply and/or open online applications. Check deadlines and application costs, and preview the essay questions and general formats of the applications.
  • Research scholarship opportunities available to you. (Visit Career Center and see Audrey Smith)
  • Draft your application essays and begin revisions. You should continue working on your essay throughout the admissions process, and finalize around November or early December. Determine the extent to which you can use the same, or slightly modified, essays for different applications.
  • Re-take standardized tests (SAT/SAT Subject Tests/ACT) as needed.


  • Start submitting college applications for CSU’s! (Deadline is November 30th)
  • Heritage High School College Fair is in October. 
  • Request recommendation letters
  • Turn in your Early Decision or Early Action application if applicable.  Most are due by November 1.


  • Start submitting college applications for UC’s! (Deadline is November 30th) Counselors will be available everyday after school in the Career Center for the whole month of November to help students with all college applications.  
  • Request that your high school send official copies of your transcript to the colleges only if they request you to. Go to Counseling Office and fill out clipboard outside Cinda Sarian, registrar to request transcript.
  • Order test score reports and have them sent to the schools to which you are applying.  For CSU’s you can send SAT score to CSU Mentor code 3594 and it will send to all CSU’s.  For UC’s as long as your college application matches your College Board account you can send SAT scores to one UC and they will send to the rest.  ACT’s scores need to be sent to each individual school for both CSU’s and UC’s.


  • Remind/confirm with your counselors and teachers that all requested application materials are submitted. It is your responsibility to make sure that recommendation letters and other materials are sent on time. Write a thank-you note to each recommender as soon as he or she submits their letter.
  • Once you complete application’s for both CSU and UC Campuses, each campus will e-mail you how to set-up portal for each campus.  Once you set up your portal that is the way each campus will be communicating with you, please check your portal daily and make sure your email is also updated, and you are checking both your e-mail and portal sites for each campus you apply to for any updates on your application status.
  • Complete the CSS Profile for Private Schools Only. Most schools will require that financial aid applicants submit this form in addition to the FAFSA. 


  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is free of charge. 1st workshop for FAFSA here at HHS is­­­­­­­­­­ January 28th at 6:00 pm listen to announcements for specific location.  Career Center will also be available every day after school to help fill-out the FAFSA application. 
  • Complete your scholarship applications and submit them in a timely manner.  Please visit Audrey Smith for local Scholarship information.


  • Submit your parents’ tax returns and W-2 forms to the financial aid offices of the colleges to which you are applying, according to the school’s deadlines. 2nd workshop for FAFSA here at HHS is February 25th at 6:00 pm; listen to announcements for specific location.


  • Deadline to submit your FAFSA is March 2nd. HHS will be submitting GPA verification for all students.


  • Look for college acceptances and financial aid packages in the mail. Some colleges send them together, while others send the financial aid package a week later. 
  • Compare financial aid packages before deciding on a college. (Here is a helpful financial aid comparison website: Components you should compare include:
  • Type, amount, and overall cost of loans
  • Amount of grant aid
  • Amount of work-study
  • Parental contribution
  • Student contribution
  • How outside scholarships fit into the estimate. (Are they already included? Will they reduce loans, parental or student contribution, or work-study?)
  • The amount of travel and personal expenses estimates and whether these are realistic numbers for how much you plan on spending and where you would be attending school (New York City will most likely cost more than Omaha; travel and expenses should reflect this.) 
  • Notify the colleges to which you were accepted of your decision.


  • Complete parchment to send a final transcript to the college you will attend, information on how to do this will be given during Senior Graduation week activities.
  • Fill out any forms your college sends to you. These might include requests for board and meal plan preferences, a roommate matching questionnaire, additional financial  aid forms, course-or major-specific forms, and many others.


Enjoy your summer, and prepare for an amazing college experience!