Senior Year Timeline
Career (W), College (C), Service Academy (S), Military (M), Athlete (A)
Fall [August – November]
Meet with your high school counselor.
(W | C | S | M | A) Your school counselor will meet with you at the start of your senior year to help establish a plan for the remainder of the school year and beyond. Prior to meeting with them you should complete the Senior Information Meeting Survey on Naviance to provide them with background so they can best assist you with your plans.
Take the SAT/ACT one more time.
(C | A) Many seniors retake one of these exams in the fall. Additional course work since your last test could help you boost your performance. Plus you already know what to expect on test day.
Sign up for college rep visits at SHS.
(W | C) In the Fall the SHS Counseling Office will have representatives from various colleges, universities, trade schools and technical schools come in to promote their schools. Attending these visits can provide students with information about these schools that may not be readily available online and dates for open houses. Additionally, the SHS Counseling Office hosts events exclusively for seniors titled “Instant Decision Days” where students can find out right then and there if they’ve been accepted to that school.
Ask for letters of recommendation.
(W | C | S) Ask a counselor or teacher for recommendations if you need them. Students that will be applying to colleges are going to need these letters to be submitted alongside their applications. Students who plan to enter the work force can use these letters to better their chances of earning employment. You need to ask the individual writing the letter in person first. If they agree to write you a letter of recommendation, then you will then send a request in Naviance
Attend Financial Aid Night
(C) The SHS Counseling Office puts on a Financial Aid Night every September. This event is meant for junior and seniors to give you some knowledge about what to consider for saving up for a traditional college.
Search for additional financial aid sources.
(C) You are encouraged to begin obtaining copies of the scholarship bulletin from the counseling office and applying for applicable scholarships. You can do this all throughout the year as the bulletin is updated each month. As you also did as a junior, you can also look for more resources for financial aid for post-secondary education. National sources include the College Board’s Scholarship Search, Fastweb, and other electronic sources.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
(C) To apply for most financial aid, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. Oct. 1 is the first day you can file the FAFSA. Do not fret if you cannot get this application done in the fall but know you should have this completed around February at the latest to give yourself the best chances to receive aid.
Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®.
(C) The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is an online application used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to determine eligibility for their aid dollars.
Complete a fitness exam/assessment.
(S) Those who have earned Candidate Status must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the rigorous athletic standards of the US Armed Forces. Therefore, you will be required to complete the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFE). You will have to find your own exam administrator and provide them with official instructions on how to set up and administer the exam. It is recommended that you have your Physical Education Teacher, Sports Coach, or Liaison Officer serve as the exam administrator. Official instructions for your exam administrator to follow are provided with your Candidate Kit but in the event that you applied to an Academy that does not provide one you can find them on their website. Afterward, the examiner will submit your score to the appropriate party. It is recommended that you make an effort to complete your Candidate Fitness Exam/Assessment over the course of the Summer or sometime around the beginning of your Senior Year.
Attend college & career fairs.
(W | C | S | M | A) Often these fairs take place in the fall at various high schools and local colleges & universities. In York County, the Pennsylvania Association of College Admissions Counseling (PACAC) College Fair typically occurs in October at a local college. These fairs are a great way to learn more about these schools and/or careers from experts. Visiting two booths at these events counts as a field experience towards the Graduation Project for students.
(S) If you earn Candidate Status then the likelihood is you have also progressed well in the process of seeking a nomination. In the Fall of your Senior Year the nomination process will continue to narrow down those students who have earned Candidate Status to the 5 Nominees for each Academy from each Nominative Authority for your state. The Academies that require a nomination tend to require that the Nominating Authorities submit their nominees to them any time between August 1 and January 31 of the school year preceding that in which admission to the Academy is sought (Senior Year). Therefore, around this time you will likely need to continue on in the process to earn nomination. Understand that you will be competing against many other students in your state that have also been conferred Candidate Status for about 100 spots or roughly 25 in each Academy. It’s very important that you aggressively pursue every nomination available to you.
Begin college applications.
(C | A) If you are considering applying to more selective schools, you may want to submit your application sooner rather than later. If you submit applications in the fall then you have a chance of meeting many school’s Early Action or Early Decision deadlines which could increase your chances of acceptance.
(S) You will need to submit certain materials depending on which Academies you’re applying to. For West Point you’ll want to remain on top of the materials in your Candidate Kit and have them ready for submission. For the Air Force Academy you will need to submit Sealed Transcripts (up-to-date), new Teacher Evaluations, an Extracurricular Activities Record, Writing Sample, Personal Data Record, and a Drug & Alcohol Abuse Statement. For the Naval Academy you will simply need to provide Sealed Transcripts (up-to-date). For The Merchant Marine Academy you will eventually need to submit the following materials alongside your online application; A Biographical Essay, Sealed Transcripts (up-to-date), Official SAT and/or ACT Scores, 3 Letters of Recommendation, and A Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA). For The Coast Guard Academy you will eventually need to submit the following materials alongside your online application; Sealed Transcripts (up-to-date), a Letter of Recommendation from a Math Teacher, an English Teacher, and a School Counselor, Physical Fitness Examination (PFE) Results, and Official SAT and/or ACT Scores. You should look to submit these materials in Late Fall/Early Spring.
Reach out to Apprenticeship Programs
(W) If you have not already started one, reach out to local apprenticeship programs and see if they’re willing to take you on in the program or in a pre-apprenticeship program. Being enrolled in a program provides you the chance to take advantage of apprenticeships where you can learn a skill while possibly being paid. For more information look online at http://www.doleta.gov or www.abckeystone.org.
Winter [December – February]
(C) Schools that are a bit more selective may require you to do an interview with an alumnus or an admissions counselor once you have made it to the second round of the application process.
(A) If you have caught the eyes of coaches who may want to recruit you they are now eligible to begin formal discussions with you. One way that this may come is through a formal interview.
(S) If applying to the Naval Academy a Blue And Gold Officer located in your state of residence will conduct your interview on behalf of the Naval Academy. On June 1st, before you begin your Senior Year, you will be notified who your Blue And Gold Officer is via the Naval Academy’s Online Candidate Information System. Your officer should reach out to you to schedule your interview once you have completed at least a third of your application packet. You can find your state’s list of Blue And Gold Officers and contact information in the "Admissions" section of the Naval Academy’s Online Catalog.
Register for Dollars for Scholars
(C) SYCSD’s Dollars for Scholars program traditionally opens in January and closes in February. This program allows seniors to apply for scholarships funded by Southern York County School District and gives students a good chance of earning a scholarship as it’s a much smaller applicant pool than that of national ones.
Take your DoDMERB medical exam.
(S) You must receive a Qualifying Medical Exam administered by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB). All Academies and commissioning sources use this one general standardized examination to determine medical qualifications. You will take your examination at one of the designated examining centers located throughout the United States. If you have followed steps accordingly up until this point for one of the Academies, then they will forward your name to the DoDMERB and the Board will be the ones that schedule an appointment for your exam.
Complete college applications.
(C | A) If you were not applying Early Action or Early Decision you will still need to complete your applications. Many will be due by January or February. Though schools with Rolling Admission will still allow submission of materials in the spring, know that the longer you take to apply the lesser your chances of acceptance become as others may already be taking up slots available in next year’s freshmen class.
Spring [March – May]
Consider re-taking the ASVAB.
(W | S | M) If you took the ASVAB as a sophomore, you should consider re-taking it now before graduating for a chance at score improvement. Obtaining a “better” score on the ASVAB could open up more military occupational specialty (MOS) options for you.
Decide which school you’re attending.
(C) Inform every college of your acceptance or rejection of the offer of admission and/or financial aid by May 1. Colleges cannot require your deposit or your commitment to attend before May 1. Talk to your counselor or adviser if you have questions.
(S) Most candidates for the Academies will be notified of their final status by April 15th of their Senior Year. The Academies ascribe to the universal candidate reply date of May 1st meaning that you must reply whether or not you accept your appointment to the Academy by this date. If you are fortunate enough to have made it to this stage and be selected, then congratulations.