It may feel like you have plenty of time until graduation, but these four short years will fly by.

Soon you’ll walk across the stage, grab your diploma and embark on your next great adventure – adulthood.

Now is the time to start making plans for life after high school!

Some important things to do before your senior year:

  • Explore careers. What are you good at and what are your career interests? Narrow down your options, and learn about the education and training required to land your dream job. Get help with career planning>> 
  • Make the grade. You know you need to keep your grades up, but make sure you’re taking the right classes, too. Dual enrollment or AP classes can be a great way to earn college credit while you’re still in high school. Work with your school counselor to stay on track.
  • Research schools. What schools offer a program for your career interest? Which ones are the right fit for you? Many schools have online virtual tours – but schedule an in-person tour of your top choices so you can get a feel for the campus. Depending on your program of interest, you may consider traditional universities/colleges, state and community colleges and technical/trade schools.
  • Know the requirements. Make a list of the admissions requirements and deadlines for your top schools. Take any required tests like the ACT or SAT during your junior year. Register for free SAT prep from Khan Academy or free ACT prep from ACT Academy.
  • Plan your finances. How you will pay for your education? Does your family have savings? Do you qualify for scholarships? Will you need to work a part-time job? Learn more about financial aid>>

During your senior year, make sure to:

  • Narrow your list of colleges/other schools. Continue to visit campuses, attend college fairs and do online research.
  • Re-check college application deadlines and gather all the information needed. Don’t forget to ask teachers, coaches and mentors if they will write a letter of recommendation for you.
  • Take or re-take required tests. Register for the ACT or SAT if you haven’t taken it yet or want to re-take it to try to improve your score.
  • Complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opens on Oct. 1 each year, and can help you get money for your education. To file an application, you’ll need a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID and financial documents from your family. For help completing the application, visit the FAFSA website or attend a workshop in your area.
  • APPLY! Complete and submit applications for your top colleges/schools. Be sure to follow up to make sure your transcripts, test scores and other documents are sent to the schools.
  • Keep going! Don’t let senioritis get the best of you. Continue to do your best and finish strong!

Need more help? Check out our full list of resources and start planning for your future.