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Countdown to Graduation: 7 Key Dates for High School Seniors

Countdown to Graduation: 7 Key Dates for High School Seniors

Senior year of high school can be hectic, especially if you are also applying to college. To ensure you stay on top of all the important deadlines, here's a senior timeline for high school to help you stay organized and avoid missing out on anything essential.

1) ACT/SAT Test Dates – August through November

Taking the ACT or SAT during your junior year or at least before the fall of your senior year is recommended. Taking these tests before December or January is essential so you have time to submit your scores before college application deadlines. If you plan on applying for Early Action or Early Decision, take your tests in August or September.

2) Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – October 1

The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 every year, and it's essential to complete it as soon as possible. The federal government and school grant programs can run out of money, so applying early is crucial. If you don't think you'll qualify for financial aid, apply anyway. You never know what might be available to you.

3) Know Your College Application Deadlines – November through January

College application deadlines vary, so double-check the dates for the schools on your list. Early Action and Early Decision applications are usually due in November, while Regular Decision applications are typically due in January. Don't wait until the last minute to collect application materials.

4) Gather Your Acceptance Letters and Compare Financial Aid Packages – December through April

You'll receive acceptance letters at different times depending on the type of application you submitted. Compare financial aid packages to ensure you're making an informed decision.

5) Notify Colleges of Your Decision and Submit Deposits – December through May 1

Once you receive all acceptance letters, decide which college you want to attend and let the schools know your decision. Early Decision applicants must submit deposits immediately after receiving an acceptance letter, while Early Action applicants usually have until May 1. Regular Decision applicants must also notify schools of their decision by May 1.

6) Note Your College's Various Deadlines – May through August

Each college will have its own deadlines for tasks such as signing up for orientation, registering for classes, and selecting a housing. Be sure to check the paperwork you receive from the school to avoid missing any important dates.

7) Complete Your Senior Finals – May through June

Finally, don't forget to study for and complete your senior finals in May. This is a necessary time to show your academic ability and finish off your high school career strong.


7 important dates high school seniors need to know. College Raptor Blog. (2022, December 21). Retrieved April 12, 2023, from

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