Senior year has finally arrived and it’s time to get serious about college applications. Senior year is no time to slack off. It is critical that you keep your grades up. You want to have a well-rounded set of extracurricular experiences, but make sure your schedule is balanced. Grades are still the most important factor in college admissions.

The first six months of senior year are very challenging for seniors. The kids are stressed due to SAT/ACTs, AP exams, college essays, college applications, grades, and extracurricular activities. Below is a month-by-month timeline to keep you on track as you navigate through senior year and complete your college applications. Some dates and information may vary, depending on the college or your own circumstances.

Month-by-Month Planning for the Fall Timeline:


  • Guidance Counseling: Start with a Guidance counselor and go over the final college list and admission process.
  • Focus on Academics:  During the course of this year, students should focus on having a balanced schedule while being appropriately challenged.
  • College List: Depending on where they are in the college process, students should either start compiling their college list or continue to edit their college list.
  • Letter of recommendation: Send the request to the teacher for a letter of recommendation.
  • College Application: Create the accounts for each college application or common app. Students who wish to apply early, October, November, and December deadlines, should start filling out their applications. 
  • College Essay: Start working on the initial draft of the college application.
  • SAT/ACT Registration: Register the upcoming SAT/ACT if you plan to give it again.
  • Grade and Extracurriculars: Maintain the grades as well as participate in Extracurricular activities.


  • Work application: Start working on your college applications in earnest for early action.
  • Financial Aids: Begin applying for financial aid on Oct. 1 by completing the FAFSA and in some cases the CSS Profile. 
  • Testing: Registration for SAT or ACT.
  • Others: Some tech videos or art portfolios.
  • College Fairs – Most colleges and universities host college fairs in the fall.


  • Application: In November month have to complete all the applications and get feedback about the essay.
  • Exam: Sign up for AP exams if you are taking an AP class.
  • Financial aid and scholarship: Complete the financial application.
  • Testing: Students who wish to apply for December and January deadlines should start filling out their applications for the SAT or ACT Exam.
  • Review the grade: Review the mid-term grades and start working hard.

December, January, and February:

  • Submit application: Keep tracking application deadlines and submit them.
  • Finalize other applications: Finalize and submit all other components of the application like tech videos or art portfolios.
  • Financial aids: However, complete the financial aid of all the schools.
  • Grades: Send grades to the colleges.
  • Testing: Register for upcoming SAT and ACT if still planning to take the test.

To learn more about ACT, SAT, or SAT vs ACT comparative test, or if you are preparing for a standardized test and would like to score a practice test download the free e-book “Strategies to Prepare ACT in an Effective Way“.

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