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College application and financial aid calendar

Activities for high school student's senior year

Many parents begin planning their child's education at birth. Whether you've been saving and planning for the past 18 years or you just recently started discussing college plans with your child, senior year is quickly approaching, and decisions need to be made.

The summer before your child's senior year is a good time to narrow down college choices. You and your child may base these decisions on various factors (e.g., cost, location, curriculum, or extracurricular activities). If you haven't done so already, now is the time to request catalogs, attend college fairs, and visit campuses to help narrow the list of schools.

Be sure to jot down specific school deadlines for applications, scholarships, and financial aid forms. Post this calendar on your refrigerator so that you and your child can plan together.

Fall Winter Spring Summer
Attend college fairs. Gather financial aid information--attend financial aid nights. Compare financial aid packages offered by various colleges. Buy supplies.
Visit college campuses before making the final cut. Apply for financial aid (annually). Complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Make final decision--which school will it be? Work to earn spending money.
Decide which schools to apply to, and mail the applications. Obtain and review student aid report--make necessary revisions. Pay deposit to college. Prepare to move if you're going away to school.
Early decision applications are typically due in November--check with each school. Complete other financial aid forms. (college,state)   Get settled in your dorm/apartment. If you'll be living at home, set up a special study area.
General admissions process begins.     Learn about employment and extracurricular activities on campus and the nearby area.