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  • Tasha Chang

The Ultimate College Checklist for High School Seniors

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Senior year has started and college applications season has begun. Hopefully, most of you have started your applications this summer. If not, there is still time to efficiently work on them. Check out the following deadlines and keep a calendar to keep you on track.


  • Finalize your college school list. There should be a solid 10-15 schools you are applying to. Remember to find a good fit; location, campus size, and major.

  • Ask teachers for college recommendations. Ask teachers who you have known for at least a year. You did not have to earn an A in that class! It could be a teacher who helped you enjoy the subject, topic, or helped you grow. Ask early in person and follow up with an email.

  • If you qualify for a fee waiver, make sure you contact your counselor to confirm you won’t need to pay for your application submissions.

  • If you want to take the SAT or ACT or want to give one last ditch effort, this is your last chance to boost your score and send in your scores.

  • Oct.1 is when the FAFSA opens. Your local school or community center often has counselors who can help with obtaining forms and guiding you through. You can also ask a financial advisor for help. Fill this out even if you think you do not qualify; many families do and may not realize.

  • Nov. 1 is when many EA/ED applications are due. Try and submit before this hard deadline as it IS possible for school systems to crash. You do not want to submit at midnight and realize that it did not go through.

  • Nov.30 is when ALL UC and Cal State applications are due.


  • Ensure that you keep in touch with your counselor. There may be mid year transcript reports they need to send to your schools.

  • Look out for other ED1 or ED11 deadlines for schools, many times they are in December or early January. RD schools can be as early as January into February.


  • Keep up your studies! Try not to give into Senioritis. Many schools offer spring admits or even sophomore year guarantees. You want to ensure that your second semester grades are up to par as well.

  • If you have a job, internship, club, or project, keep working on it and do not quit because it’s almost the end. If you are waitlisted, you may be able to write a letter to state what you have done to keep the schools interested in you and hopefully accept you.

  • May 1st- This is commitment day! This is the last day to pay a deposit and commit to your college. Miss the deadline, and you will not be able to attend.

  • May is the season for AP exams. Prepare well for these exams but do not stress over passing. Colleges are more interested in the grade in the AP class than if you receive a passing score.

  • June- You worked hard and are now graduating! Applaud yourself and have fun.You are done!

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