It’s time for a pop quiz!
Q: When’s the best time to begin preparing for college?
That’s right. At Lansing Christian School, we prepare our students for successful futures from the moment they take their first step in our classrooms until the moment they walk across the stage in cap and gown.
Of course, senior year is when things really start to move fast when it comes to making decisions about which college to attend, keeping up with important deadlines, etc.
In order to help seniors enjoy their last year of high school while also making progress toward their next steps, we’ve compiled a checklist so they can stay on track with what they need to accomplish this fall.
1) Identify Your Top Schools
By this point, you’ve probably visited a number of colleges, so it’s time to start crossing off the ones you don’t think will be a great fit for you. The goal here is to get down to just a handful of colleges where you could see yourself thrive and sending applications to those selected. This is a great time to seek guidance from your guidance counselor if you’re having trouble deciding which schools to apply to and which to forgo.
2) Create a Calendar of Important Deadlines
Once you have your short list of colleges you are going to send applications to, spend time on their websites or talking with their admissions counselors to nail down important admissions deadlines. Applications, financial aid, and scholarships all have different deadlines and may vary from school to school. Get organized by writing them all down on a calendar that you use strictly for college timelines.
3) Retake Standardized Tests If Needed
If you feel like you need to improve your standardized test scores, now is the time to retake the SAT and ACT. We recommend that when you register to take the tests, you request that your scores be sent directly to the colleges you’ve applied to. This will make sure your test scores are received by the college in time.
4) Gather Letters of Recommendations
Most colleges require letters of recommendation, so you’ll want to start asking teachers, employers, pastors, and other superiors if they’d be willing to write you a letter of recommendation that you can submit along with your applications. You should be prepared to share the directions for submitting the letters with anyone who will be writing a letter for you.
5) Submit Your Applications
We recommend that seniors submit college applications as close to October 31 as possible, and no later than mid-November. While many colleges have later deadlines, an earlier submission date shows your interest and gives admissions staff more time to consider your application.
Once the applications are mailed, you can take a big breath while you wait to hear back. The waiting can be difficult, so be sure to keep busy by enjoying your last months of high school, hanging out with friends, and keeping up with extracurricular activities. Before you know it, those long-awaited and hard-earned acceptance letters will hopefully start rolling in!
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