Prepare - Twelfth Grade
Your senior year is the time to apply to college and career opportunities. Take time to understand and organize the various deadlines and applications you may need to complete. Be sure to take advantage of resources at your school to help guide you through the process
Review and update the colleges you want to apply to in Naviance.
Request letters of recommendations for your schools and programs that require them.
Consider applying for Free/Reduced Meals at your high school. If you qualify, you may use vouchers to pay for or waive college application and standardized testing (ACT/SAT/AP) fees.
- Be sure to give your recommender a minimum of three weeks advanced notice.
- Community Colleges and public universities typically do not require letters of recommendation for all programs, so verify the application requirements for your particular college or program.
Understand the types of college admissions.
Understand the apprenticeship and trade program application process.
- Early Decision
- Binding agreement
- Apply early and college’s make their decisions early
- Must attend if accepted
- Early Action
- Non-binding early decision
- Rolling Admission
- Applications evaluated by the college upon receipt
- Decision letters sent as decisions are made
- Regular Admission
- School deadline typically January or February
- Students notified early April
If you are considering a gap year, you can still apply to colleges in your senior year.
- Apprenticeship programs have open periods for their applications. Some are open all the time, while others are only open once a year.
Consider retaking a college admission test. Many seniors retake college admission tests, such as the SAT and the ACT, in the fall. Schools consider scores for admissions as well as scholarships.
- Review the application process and deadlines for programs you are interested in.
- Understand how the colleges you want to go to handle gap years. Some will defer enrollment for a year while others require you to reapply.
Test preparation resources can be found in the following links.
Note that these links include a mix of fee-based and free resources.
Fall and Winter
Complete and submit college applications.
Apply to financial aid
- Watch for application and institutional scholarship deadline dates. In general, it is beneficial to submit your application as early as you can.
- Some schools have rolling admissions.
- Institutional scholarship deadlines for application are often earlier.
- Submitting early gives you time to correct any missed documents in timely fashion.
- Request transcripts and/or letters of recommendation as needed per school guidelines.
- Use Naviance to track whether required documents are sent or received.
- Some colleges have regional representative who can help answer questions or troubleshoot application issues.
- There are several steps and they may vary by school and program. Consult with your school counselors and follow the application guidelines for each school.
Plan and participate in career related learning experiences (CRLE)
- Watch for applications dates. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.
- Many larger private and institutional scholarships are due in early to late fall. Check out scholarships on Naviance page and know your eligibility, requirement and deadlines.
- Complete the FAFSA form for federal aid as early as January 1.
- Go to the FAFSA worksheet for a list of required items.
- Please note: US citizenship or immigrant status is required to complete the FAFSA.
- Be sure to check with the financial aid offices at the colleges to find out if additional forms are required to apply for aid.
- Work with your school counselor and family to learn about college loan options. Sources of Financial Aid.
- College Goal Oregon offers free sessions to help families fill out the FAFSA, usually in January or early February. Watch for updates via your school college and career centers or via PPS website.
- Request letters of recommendation for scholarships. Be sure to give your recommender a minimum of three weeks advanced notice.
- Speak to your career coordinator and watch for career day events and activities in your school’s bulletin, monitors, or college and career center.
- Events and activities may include informational interviews, job-shadows, internships, school speakers, and visits to local businesses and industry organizations.
- Log your CRLE in your Naviance journal located in the About Me tab. This will help you complete your CRLE reflection, which is required for graduation.
- Include the name and date of the experience
- Write a few sentences about the experience
Process your college responses
Complete the paperwork to accept a college’s offer of admittance, usually by May 1.
- Focus on the best match for you: academically, socially and financially. Consider which college or college program best meet your goals, interests, and skills. The best match may not be the highest ranked school
- Review financial aid award letters and figure out which package works best for you and your family.
- Once you decide which college to attend, you will need to accept a college’s offer, manage your financial aid and tuition payments, and submit other required paperwork.