FIRST STEP : Check out our College & Career page for info on college, career and scholarship searches!

June through August (Prior to Senior Year)
  • Start researching colleges and scholarships. Remember, some scholarship applications are due during the summer prior to your senior year, so start early!
  • Tour college campuses that you are interested in.
  • Register for SAT or ACT to take during the fall semester of senior year.
  • Determine how to apply to the colleges of your choice by visiting the college website. Many colleges use Common App which will allow students to apply to multiple colleges from one platform.
  • Research college essay requirements for the schools you are interested in and review their essay prompts when released (usually released in June/July).
  • Consider the teachers you plan to request a letter of recommendation from.


  • Select about eight colleges that meet your criteria, are a good fit, and achievable, and start applying.
  • Determine the application requirements, deadlines, and financial aid. You can find this information on their websites.
  • Find out which of these colleges accept the Common Application or Universal Application.
  • Continue researching and applying for Private Scholarships.
  • Start working on the applications and the essays.
  • Take any tests you still need, and have your scores sent to the colleges.
  • If you need to take a college entrance exam, register now.


  • Complete the Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FASFA). This will help to determine if you are eligible to receive funds from college grants, work-study funds, federal loans, and some state-based aid. You can apply for financial aid starting October 1st until June 30th prior to your freshman year. It is better to start applying sooner rather than later.
  • Research and apply for as many scholarships as you can. This Federal Student Aid website can help you do that.
  • California Residents: Apply for the Cal Grant. Please note that you will need to create a WebGrants 4 Students account and make sure that your GPA is on file before the March 2nd deadline.
  • Ask your teacher and possibly other adults for Letters of Recommendation.
  • Complete the Financial Aid Profile and CSS if requested by the colleges.