Retake the SAT/ACT—If you feel like you can improve on your initial SAT and/or ACT results, take the tests for the second (or at most, third) time in the fall of senior year. If you are worried about the cost of the test, ask your guidance counselor for a fee waiver.
Revise your application essays—Once senior year begins, proofread your application essays and then make any revisions and prepare final drafts before college applications are due.
Ask your teachers for letters of recommendation—At least a month, preferably two months prior to any application deadline, provide your recommenders with bullet points listing how you excelled academically in their classes along with the letter of recommendation forms and stamped envelopes addressed to the colleges where you are applying.
Compile Application Materials —Make sure you, or your guidance counselor, have the necessary materials for college admissions including forms, test scores, essays, recommendations, and transcripts. If you are worried about the cost of the application, ask your guidance counselor or college of interest for a fee waiver!
Applying Early Decision? Submit the application – Early decision applications, usually due in November, require a binding commitment in exchange for early acceptance.
Submit early action applications—For early action schools, you receive a decision early but can wait for the regular decision deposit deadline to make your final choice.
Submit CSS PROFILE if applying early— The FAFSA cannot be submitted until after October 1, however certain schools require the College Board’s College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE in the fall if you plan to go through their early application process.
Send official SAT and/or ACT score reports to your early application schools—In addition to your application forms, letters of recommendation, essays, and other requested materials, your early decision application will require you to go to the College Board (SAT) and ACT Student (ACT) websites to send colleges your official test score reports.
Be Ready for your Interview— Interviews for some early action/decision schools happen in the fall – make sure you have done your research and have your questions ready!