May Checklist for Juniors and Seniors

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 5/3/18 4:45 PM

May Checklist for Juniors and Seniors

Ah, May! For seniors, graduation is around the corner – and juniors can catch the sweet scent of summer vacation in the air. But despite the idyllic scene, everybody’s college future needs some care and attention before the summer. (But only a little bit, so you still have time to relax.)

Yes, this month has to-do items for everybody, even you graduating seniors. Take a look through the checklists below to stay current on everything. (And big congratulations to those of you graduating—well done!)

May Checklist Juniors and Seniors

Graduating Seniors

  • Commit to the school you plan to attend. You did the visits, examined the information, and maybe even traded messages with excited current students in your major. Now it’s time to make the call. Precisely how you commit depends on the school, but a quick call to the Admissions office can point you in the right direction.

  • Decline your other offers. Now that you decided on your academic home for the fall, it’s time to notify all of your second-place picks. Just like when you committed to your chosen school, there’s a way to tell schools thanks-but-no. If you don’t know how, ask Admissions. You might feel a little weird about this, but it’s an important step for other students who hope to attend those schools. Letting the school know that you aren’t attending gives them the opportunity to reassign aid money they offered to you. Those dollars could make the difference for someone. That’s why you need to let the schools know.

  • Write thank-you notes. Yes, we talked about this in April, but it’s worth bringing up again. Write thank-you notes to the people who taught you, stood by you, gave their time as references, and generally helped you get to graduation and beyond. It’s a really big thing now, plus it’s a skill that will serve you well in the future. Never underestimate the power of a thank-you note.

  • Read and act on school email. You probably received an official university email address after making your choice, so begin checking it regularly. Sign in to the account at least twice each week, if not more. At most universities, if they send something to your official student email address, then they assume that you read it. Don’t let something slip through. You’ll start getting information about summer orientation, special on-campus happenings, roommate selection, and more. Don’t miss any of those messages. Start your new email habit now.


  • Narrow your list and schedule visits. By now, you should have a list of interesting schools, so begin scheduling visits. Summer is a great time to see campuses, although it’s harder to get a feeling for the vibe because so few students are there. On the other hand, a summer visit may give you more opportunities to connect with faculty members and get your questions answered.

  • Ask about “early decision” or “early action” programs. Some of your potential college picks may have special programs known as “early decision” or “early action” programs. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, but it’s worth looking into them so you know how they could figure into your plans.

  • Start a calendar for your senior year. Yes, it’s time to kick your organizational skills up a notch with a calendar dedicated to the college admission process. Include things like application dates for your favorite schools, SAT and ACT test dates, and your state’s FAFSA filing deadline. Update your calendar regularly and check it often. If you worry that you might forget, make a poster-size wall calendar so it’s always in front of you.

  • Search for grants and scholarships. Even though you still aren’t out of high school, this makes a great time to dive into your scholarship search. Some deadlines fall as early as the summer between 11th and 12th grades, so prepare now in case you need to submit applications soon.

  • Plan to either work or volunteer. Earning (and saving) money for college with a summer job is practically a tradition among high school students, but that isn’t the only option. You can also look for internships that give you a taste of what’s ahead for different career paths or even an opportunity to volunteer abroad. Colleges also like seeing community service experience on your application, so consider volunteering with local non-profit organizations.

As a junior, you still have a whole year left until graduation. A lot of important deadlines will come up, so get prepared now with our ultimate college timeline. Download it for free!

Download the checklist - The Ultimate College Decision Timeline

Topics: For High School Juniors, For High School Seniors





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