Preparing for College: Senior Checklist

Tips from UMaine’s Office of Admission/Recruitment

September

  • Take a look at the Common App and consider all of the different pieces of information you will need to complete in this process.  UMAINE accepts the Common Application and the UMAINE system application.
  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT if you didn’t take it as a junior.  We always recommend taking this test more than one time to be considered for all various scholarships and competitive programs at UMAINE.
  • Narrow down your list of colleges and begin to consider “safe,” “reach,” and “realistic” schools for next year.
  • Set up an appointment with your school counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate and fulfill college admission requirements.
  • Talk with your counselor about any fall open houses or visit programs at the schools you maybe considering.  Get to know the colleges you are applying to:  meeting with college representatives who visit your school during the fall, attending local college fairs and making college visits.

October

  • Some colleges will have deadlines as early as this month.  These would include rolling admission, early action, early decision, and priority.
  • Attend UMaine’s October Open House Program. Click here for more information.
  • Finalize your college essay.  Many schools will require that you submit at least one essay with your application.  Many senior English classes will work on this early in the fall.
  • Request personal recommendations from teachers, school counselors, coaches, or employers.  Follow the process required by your high school or provide a stamped addressed envelope, the appropriate college forms, and an outline of your academic record and extracurricular activities to each person writing you a recommendation.
  • Research possibilities of scholarships.  Ask your school counselor, your colleges along with local civic groups about scholarship opportunities.  You should never pay for scholarships.
  • Merit Upgrades: Students who are accepted early in the admissions cycle are allowed to provide updated academic information for scholarship increase consideration until December 1. After December 1st all merit scholarship offers already made will become final and all merit decisions after December 1 will be made at the time of admission with information on hand and will also be final. Academic information provided after December 1 or achieved after December 1 will not be considered for merit scholarship increases.

November

  • Finalize and send any early decision or early action applications due this month.  Have a parent, teacher, counselor, or another adult review the application before it is submitted.  The early action deadline for UMaine is December 1.
  • Attend UMaine’s November Open House Program. Click here for more information.
  • Every college will require a copy of your official transcript from your high school.  Follow your school’s procedures for sending official transcripts.
  • Make sure testing companies have sent your scores directly to the colleges to which you are applying.
  • The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available to complete starting October 1 for the following academic year. Students must file by the University of Maine’s priority filing deadline of March 1 in order to receive the maximum amount of aid. The FAFSA may be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to include UMaine’s school code (002053) when filing
  • Merit Upgrades: Students who are accepted early in the admissions cycle are allowed to provide updated academic information for scholarship increase consideration until December 1. After December 1 all merit scholarship offers already made will become final and all merit decisions after December 1 will be made at the time of admission with information on hand and will also be final. Academic information provided after December 1 or achieved after December 1 will not be considered for merit scholarship increases.

December

  • Begin to organize regular decision applications and finalize EA applications for colleges you are applying to.
  • Begin to organize financial aid forms, which will be due in January and/or February.
  • Please Note: For consideration into Bioengineering, Construction Engineering Technology, Nursing, Mechanical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering Technology your application and supporting documents must be received no later than December 1.
  • UMAINE EARLY ACTION DEADLINE:  December 1  All Early Action Merit Scholarship Offers Final. Merit Scholarship upgrade requests no longer considered.

January

  • Ask your guidance/academic office in January to send first-semester transcripts to schools where you applied.  At the end of the school year, they will need to send final transcripts to the college you will attend.
  • It is time to file the FAFSA (no later than February 1).  The sooner you complete it, the sooner you will have an idea of your financial aid options.

February/March/April

  • While most of your applications will be complete and you are waiting to receive admission decisions, don’t slack in the classroom.  The college that you do attend will want to see your second semester transcripts.  Keep working hard while finishing up your senior year.  No Senioritis.
  • Acceptance letters and financial aid offers will start to arrive.  Review your acceptances, compare financial aid packages, and visit your final choices, especially if you haven’t already.
  • Regular Admissions Deadline: February 1
  • UMAINE Financial Aid Deadline:  March 1
    (UMAINE FAFSA CODE: 002053)
  • ATTEND UMAINE’S SPRING ACCEPTED STUDENT DAYS.  Students who will be enrolling starting the Fall 2017 semester are invited with their families to attend on of  our spring Accepted Student Day programs.  Stay tuned for Spring Accepted Student Day date!

May

  • May 1 is the date when the college you plan to attend requires a commitment and deposit.  When you’ve made your college decision, notify your school counselor and the colleges.  Send in your deposit by the postmark date of May 1.  If you’ve been offered financial aid, accept the offer and follow the instructions given.  Also notify the schools you will not attend of your decision.
  • Make sure that you have requested that your final transcript be sent to the school you will be attending in the fall.

June

  • High school graduation and beginning the last steps of being a college first year student in the fall.

Read the complete senior year timeline from NACAC.

Printed with permission from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2014.