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Congratulations! You are now in your senior year of high school and you are getting nearer to graduation and your postsecondary career. Be sure to follow the recommended steps below, and for a month-by-month planning calendar for your senior year of high school, check out the MDHE's Never Too Early brochure.

  • Review your career plans and decide which type of postsecondary school is best for you. Visit your top school choices. If possible, make appointments with faculty, staff, and students.
  • If necessary, register to take or retake the SAT and/or ACT tests. Some needy students, such as unaccompanied homeless youth, may be eligible for test fee waivers.
  • Meet with admissions representatives who visit your high school.
  • Determine if the schools that interest you have online admissions applications. If not, request them by mail.
  • Look at virtual tours of college campuses online.
  • Mark your calendar with admissions, financial aid, and registration deadlines and fees.
  • Attend college fairs, financial aid information nights, and other college preparation events. To search for events in your area, use the Show-Me to College events calendar provided by the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel.
  • Complete applications for every scholarship for which you may be eligible.
  • If you are attending an A+ high school, make sure you meet A+ scholarship requirements. It is a good idea to meet these requirements even if you don't think you want to attend a Missouri public community college or vocational/technical school. If your personal circumstances change, it may be helpful to keep this option open.
  • Contact the schools' financial aid offices to determine which forms they require. Some schools may require special forms.
  • Sign up for a PIN, which is necessary to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. (Also let your parents know that they will need a PIN.)
  • Urge your parents to file their taxes as soon as possible after January 1. This will ease the financial aid process.
  • As soon as possible after January 1 and when tax forms are complete (they don't have to be filed until April 15; you can use estimates), complete your FAFSA online (or go to studentaid.gov to download a PDF version of the FAFSA). Keep copies of all documents, including your PIN, in a file.
  • Attend a FAFSA Frenzy event near you to receive free, professional assistance completing your FAFSA.
  • Watch for the e-mail notice indicating your Student Aid Report (SAR) is ready, and review your SAR for errors. Make any corrections as indicated.
  • Check with the financial aid offices to ensure your paperwork is complete. Submit tax forms or transcripts if they request them.
  • Be aware of any summer orientation sessions that you must attend at the school in which you enroll, and make plans accordingly.
  • Prepare a realistic spending plan.
  • Make copies of your financial aid form, health forms, etc for your files to aid in resolving future issues.