It seems hard to believe, but summer break will be over soon. And that means many of you are headed into your senior year of high school! If you haven’t already begun taking some of these steps, you will definitely want to tackle them during Fall semester.
Finalize your top college choices. Ideally, you will narrow your selections to two or three schools that suit your preferences. Then, schedule campus visits sometime this semester. It’s best to visit when classes are in session, so that you can get a feel for campus life when other students are present. Arrange to sit in on a class, visit your prospective department, eat lunch on campus, and ask if you can tour a dorm. Some colleges will even allow you to stay in a dorm room!
Organize your calendar. Different schools enforce different deadlines, and you don’t want to miss anything important. Make sure to submit entrance applications before deadlines, but mind the final dates for other items as well: Financial aid, various scholarships, living arrangements, and other parts of applying for colleges all have their own rules.
Take (or re-take) the ACT or SAT. This is your last chance to pull up your score by a few more points, and possibly qualify for certain scholarships or entrance to competitive schools. Schedule your last exam during this Fall semester.
Leave a legacy at your high school. Your senior year is time you will remember forever, so make it count. Live in the here and now. Mentor a younger student, volunteer somewhere, or organize fellow students to make a change.
Register to vote. You know that you’re eligible to vote at 18 (and at 17, in some local elections). But, ask yourself whether you want to vote here at home, or in your new area when you go away to college. If you want to vote at home, you can submit absentee ballots. But you’ve got to get registered before you leave for college!