Financial Aid Calendar

Stay on track with the college admissions process throughout your senior year of high school


Bookmark this calendar for future reference or print this PDF and keep it with you!

August

  • Request admission and scholarship applications and information from colleges. Visit schools and/or plan fall visits to help narrow your choices.
  • Set up a college file for the information you request and receive from colleges as well as copies of the information you send to them.
  • Explore college and scholarship information online.
  • Register for the ACT given in September.

September

  • Mark your calendar for college fairs and admissions representative visits.
  • Look into fall overnight and weekend college visitation programs.
  • Meet with your high school counselor to develop a college admissions plan.
  • Register for October or November SAT, ACT, and/or prep courses.
  • Consider early decision/early action admission programs. Inquire about admission application fee waivers to see if you qualify.
  • Inquire about on-campus housing availability at your target schools.
  • Male students must register with the Selective Service by their eighteenth birthday to be eligible for federal and state financial aid.

October

  • Create a schedule of admissions and scholarship deadlines.
  • Begin applications and essays.
  • Request transcripts and letters of recommendation.
  • Take the October SAT/ACT if you are registered.

November

  • Follow up to ensure that you have collected letters of recommendation or that they have been submitted independently to your target schools.
  • Submit applications for early decision/early action programs.
  • Discuss college costs with your parents.
  • Register for or take the SAT or ACT if you haven't done so.

December

  • Ask your high school counselor if there will be a financial aid program event for you and your parents.
  • Complete, photocopy, and submit your admission and scholarship applications.
  • Obtain a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from your high school counselor.
  • Find out if your high school will have a financial aid program for you and your parents and attend them.
  • Review the form and organize the information you will need to complete it.
  • Obtain any other financial aid forms that may be required by your target schools.
  • Continue to research and apply for scholarships.
  • Meet scholarship application deadlines.

January

  • Obtain income tax information and/or complete taxes early to help in completing the FAFSA.
  • Complete, photocopy, and submit the FAFSA.
  • Schedule retakes of SAT or ACT if you think retaking the exams might be beneficial.
  • Schedule personal interviews at your target schools, if required.

February

  • Participate in Financial Aid Awareness Month activities that can help you seek additional aid to attend the college of your dreams.
  • Make sure that you have submitted all required financial aid forms to your target schools.
  • Watch the mail for requests or responses from colleges regarding financial aid and admissions.

March

  • Ask about Advanced Placement (AP) exams for college credit.
  • If selected for verification, send copies of your and your parents' income tax forms to financial aid offices.
  • Watch the mail for your Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Take some time to review your files and follow up on submissions and requests to and from colleges and financial aid programs.
  • Look for a summer job.

April

  • Watch the mail closely for admissions notifications and financial aid award letters.
  • Compare financial aid awards to the cost of attendance at your target schools.
  • Make your final enrollment decision and submit the enrollment deposit if requested. Remember there are deadlines for enrollment deposit; check with your selected school.
  • Notify the schools you will not be attending as soon as possible.
  • Sign and return award letters and any other required financial aid forms.

May

  • Study for your AP exams and finals.
  • Contact the financial aid office at your selected college to check your status.
  • If you are pursuing student loans, send your Master Promissory Note (MPN) to your chosen college.
  • Finalize college housing plans, if you plan to live on-campus.

June

  • Complete any remaining financial aid forms.
  • Have your high school guidance office send a final official transcript to your chosen college.
  • Plan for college orientation and transportation.
  • Start a list of everything you will need to bring to school.
  • Make transportation arrangements. Purchase airline tickets early to save you money.
  • Plan a budget.
  • If you are just now deciding that you want to attend college, it may not be too late for some schools. Contact the school you are interested in attending to find out what you need to do.
  • Pre-lease an apartment if you plan on living off-campus.

July

  • Establish a bank account near your school.
  • Make a last visit to the college campus. Locate businesses and community sites of importance (churches, synagogues, grocery stores, post office, doctor's office, etc.).
  • Set up an address/phone book for relatives and friends you want to keep in touch with. Include emergency numbers like doctors and insurance companies.
  • If you haven't done so, make sure that you schedule and attend freshman orientation.

Here are other documents located on AIE.org that you may be interested in: