• 12th Grade: College Planning Timeline

  • Senior year flies by and there is a lot to accomplish! Just remember to breathe. Your counselor is here to help. We meet with students, as well as parents, within the first few weeks of school to go over what is to come. Please use this timeline as a reference for important reminders throughout senior year. 



    • Be sure your senior schedule is accurate to graduate on time and meet college requirements.
    • By now, you should have taken at least one ACT and/or SAT. Consider taking one, or both, again if you feel you need to improve your score. Find a date and location and register online. 
    • Apply to in-state colleges. Pay attention to deadlines for honor programs and merit scholarships. 
    • Make sure your prospective college list is complete on Naviance and that your email is correct.
    • Check your Naviance account often for a schedule of college visits.
    • Print and complete the College Admission Portfolio (CAP) Packet AT LEAST 3 weeks prior to your first application deadline, if needed (only applies for out-of-state or in-state honors). Ask your counselor for more information if you have questions. Do not wait until the last minute. The counselor report is a very important piece for your college application(s). CAPs will not be accepted after December 1st. 
    • Personally, ask two teachers for a formal letter of recommendation (LOR), preferably from your junior/senior year. Add requests to Naviance. 


    • Make an appointment with your counselor and bring your completed CAP. 
    • Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA) candidates should see their counselor immediately. You have deadlines to meet!
    • Please give your teachers and counselor AT LEAST 3 WEEKS before your first deadline.
    • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens October 1st.
    • Finalize your college essay. Ask your counselor, English teacher, and parent to read it for editing purposes.
    • Schedule college visits and interviews, if needed. Remember to send a thank you note!
    • Check Naviance for a schedule of college visits and register for schools of interest.


    • Pay attention to ALL deadlines.
    • Narrow your list of college choices to about three to nine.
    • November 1st-30th application submission for any University of California/Cal State Schools.
    • If necessary, schedule college interviews and visits. Remember to send a thank you note!


    • Finish college applications and submit them. Be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread, again!
    • Update Naviance and your counselor on the schools to which you have applied. This information is used to automatically send out mid-year transcripts that colleges require.
    • If you have added any new application(s) in which a LOR is required, you must let your counselor know. Naviance does not alert us of any added college(s). 
    • Schedule any remaining college interviews and visits.
    • Communication to/from the colleges with whom you applied will be on their student portal. Check your accounts often for vital information and required action, if necessary.


    • Finalize and submit any last applications with February deadlines.
    • Research national and state level scholarships. This is an on-going process all spring. Some websites that may be helpful are fastweb.com, collegeboard.org, and Naviance.
    • Become familiar with housing deadlines.


    • Your counselor automatically sends your mid-year transcript to all colleges you have indicated you applied to in Naviance. Be sure your list is accurate!
    • In-state universities and community colleges are still visiting Chaparral. Be sure to register for a visit, if interested.
    • Consider taking the ASVAB. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple-choice aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success. Interest in a military career is not required.


    • Spring Break - review or revisit schools you have been admitted to before making a final decision, if needed.
    • Pick up local scholarship applications from the College & Career Center or download from Naviance.
    • Update your Naviance account with college decisions (i.e., admitted, waitlisted, denied). 
    • Pay attention to the materials your college or university sends. There may be deadlines if you want housing or if you plan to attend an orientation. There may also be information regarding financial aid.


    • Senior Survey opens in Naviance (“About Me” tab). It is required for your counselor to send your final transcript. It provides Chaparral and SUSD with statistical data that colleges require in evaluating students. Now it is your turn to help future Firebirds!
    • Colleges, if they have not already done so, will notify you of their decisions.
    • Evaluate your financial aid package with the cost of attendance. Contact each college’s financial aid department if you have any questions or concerns. Financial aid counselors at the schools are great resources for information - please use them!
    • Determine the college you plan to attend and send your deposit. Colleges cannot require a deposit or commitment to attend prior to May 1st, but by the May 1st postmarked date, you must inform every college of your acceptance or rejection of their offer of admission and/or financial aid package.


    • Notify your counselor of your college decision.
    • Senior Survey, located in Naviance (“About Me” tab), must be completed by May 1st. This is the ONLY way we know where to send your final transcript, which is required by your college. 

    End of May


    IMPORTANT: Final transcripts will be sent automatically to the college you will be attending, based on the information you included in your Senior Survey.


    Parents, Click Here to learn more about how you can help your 12th grader prepare. 

    Source: Peterson's College Planning Timelines