You’ve made it to your senior year—congratulations! For high school students who’ve heard the oft-cited adage that junior year is the most important year in preparing for college applications, it may seem that you’re past some of the most difficult parts of high school. There’s a lot of fun to be had and memories to be made in a typical senior year.

 

However, your journey toward college is still ongoing. There’s still the intimidating process of actually putting your college applications together and submitting them to consider. Even aside from this major task, you’ll still need to keep your grades up and stay involved with your extracurriculars. Finally, the year will be capped off by your decision about where to attend college, which can be a difficult choice as well as a celebratory occasion.

 

In this post, you’ll find links to all of the CollegeVine blog’s best posts for your senior year. They cover topics of special interest to seniors, from the consequences of a senior-year grade slump to whether to join a new extracurricular to how to navigate the application process and its aftermath. Read on for the best of CollegeVine’s expert advice.




CollegeVine Mentorship

 Academics

 

Obviously, keeping up your academic performance is a key part of preparing for college, and a bad case of senioritis can potentially derail your college prospects. It’s important that you continue working hard and maintaining your academic standards throughout your senior year.

 

Below are a few posts that cover what your senior-year performance means for you, how to stay on track as a senior, and what consequences a change in your grades—positive or negative—could have on your application prospects.

 

How Much Does Senior Year Actually Matter for College Admissions?

Decisions, Decisions: Choosing Classes as a High School Senior

Handling Senioritis: The Value of Second Semester Grades

What Is An Upward Grade Trend?

Does a Declining GPA Look Bad on My College Applications?

Extracurriculars

 

Your extracurricular involvement plays an important role in your college applications, and just as with your academic pursuits, you’ll want to finish strong. As a senior, you may be wondering if your resume is strong enough, or whether it’s too late to start a new activity. If athletic activities are part of your extracurricular involvement, you may also be dealing with the special concerns of the athletic recruitment process. Below, you’ll find our advice about these topics.

 

A Guide to Extracurricular Activities: Grade 12

Is It Too Late to Join a Club Junior or Senior Year?

The Dos and Don’ts of Joining New Extracurriculars Your Senior Year

Navigating the Rules of Athletic Recruitment

 

Standardized Testing

 

Ideally, you’ll have taken your first SAT and/or ACT sitting before your senior year. If not, or if you’re retaking one or both tests in hopes of improving your score, test prep and studying should be part of your senior-year plan.

 

Other standardized tests you may be considering are the SAT Subject Tests, formerly known as the SAT IIs. Again, ideally you would have taken some or all of these tests earlier in your high school career, but if you’ve only just decided to apply to a college that requires them, you may need to catch up during your senior year.

 

AP tests may also be on the menu during your senior year. Hopefully, you’ll be pursuing some challenging academic coursework, and that may include taking the corresponding exams in the spring. In addition, if you’re an international applicant and English is not your first language, you may be required to take the TOEFL.

 

Below, you’ll find our guides to these major standardized tests, including all our best advice for maximizing your exam performance.

 

The CollegeVine Guides to the SAT

The CollegeVine Guides to the ACT

Complete List of SAT Subject Tests

List of Colleges That Require SAT Subject Tests

Guides for Acing Your AP Exams

How to Prepare for the TOEFL

 

Application Guidance

 

In the fall of your senior year, it’s time to actually begin the task for which you’ve spent all of high school preparing: applying to college. It’s an intimidating project, but it’s also one that can lead to life-changing opportunities. Before the process begins, it’s wise to do your research and make sure you thoroughly understand how the world of college admissions works.

 

Here, you’ll find our overall guides to the college application process, including important dates, resources, and planning information. For many, many more detailed posts about topics like how to answer certain essay questions, what particular colleges require, and how to handle your college interviews, check out the CollegeVine blog posts in our Applying to College tag.

 

Rising Seniors: A Comprehensive Guide to Application Season

Don’t Make These Mistakes on College Applications

Resources for First-Generation College Applicants

The Complete Guide to Fee Waivers in the College Application Process

Balancing Family Responsibilities with Applying to College

How to Make the Most of Your College Interview

 

Making College Decisions

 

After your college application deadlines comes the waiting period, and after the waiting period comes the difficult task of evaluating your college options and making a decision about where to attend. This process is already stressful, and can be even more so if you’re deferred or waitlisted, or if you’re accepted to a school you love but don’t receive the financial aid you need to make it a viable option.

 

In these posts, we go over some of the top concerns you may encounter in your senior year when navigating the post-application landscape. Hopefully, your decision-making process will go smoothly, but just in case it gets complicated, CollegeVine is here with some advice.

 

I Was Deferred—What Now?

I Was Waitlisted—What Do I Do Now?

You Were Accepted to Your Dream College, but Can’t Afford It… Now What?

Can My Offer of Admission Be Rescinded?

Can I Appeal My Financial Aid Award?

How to Deal with College Decisions and Make a Choice

4 Things You Can Do Now to Make Your College Transition Easier

 

We hope these resources provide some valuable guidance as you prepare for application season, make a final college decision, and transition into this exciting new phase of your life!

 

Doing your best in high school and preparing for the college application process is a major undertaking, and it never hurts to have some help. CollegeVine’s experienced near-peer mentors can assist you not only in putting together your application, but in identifying your driving interests, setting appropriate goals, and working to achieve your aspirations. For more information about CollegeVine’s mentorship services, visit our Student Mentorship Program website.

Monikah Schuschu

Monikah Schuschu

Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Monikah Schuschu is an alumna of Brown University and Harvard University. As a graduate student, she took a job at the Harvard College Office of Financial Aid and Admissions, and discovered the satisfaction of helping students and parents with the often-baffling college admissions process. She also enjoys fiber art, murder mysteries, and amateur entomology.
Monikah Schuschu