Spring of Junior Year
Start talking about goals and learn the basics of Applying to College.
Summer After Junior Year
While it's tempting to take a break from all school-related activities during the summer, it's important to keep moving forward in the college application process.
- Begin to work on your college essays.
- Continue to visit as many of the colleges on your list as possible.
- Update your resume to include relevant summer activities.
- Adjust your college list as your interest in specific schools changes.
Fall of Senior Year
When your senior year begins, it's time to shift the application process into high gear.
Start College Applications
Set up an account in MEFA Pathway to keep track of applications, search for scholarships, and learn about careers. Learn details of each required component and stay organized as you pull together your applications.
Winter of Senior Year
Once your college applications are submitted, start the process of applying for financial aid.
Learn the Details of Financial Aid
Start by attending a Financial Aid 101 seminar or webinar.
Apply for Private Scholarships
Ask your school counselor about local scholarships that may be available. Continue to search within free, online scholarship databases, including MEFA Pathway.
Finalize Financial Aid Process
Submit any additional required documentation to each college's financial aid office.
Spring of Senior Year
As you choose among the colleges where you have been accepted, think about how you will pay the bill.
Attend Open House Programs at Accepted Schools
- Take a last look at each campus and ask questions before the May 1 deadline.
- Meet with current students and faculty to get a sense of the experience.
- Sit in on a class if possible.
- Take advantage of presentations where you can ask important questions, open houses in specific academic departments, and tours of the campus and residence halls.
Evaluate Financial Aid Offers
- Learn the important details of financial aid offers.
- Enter the amounts from your first financial aid offer into our College Cost Calculator to estimate your out-of-pocket costs.
- Repeat this step for additional colleges to compare your offers.
- Tune in to a How to Pay for College: A Guide for High School Seniors & Families webinar to learn more about financial aid offers, strategies to pay the bill, and how to minimize loan debt.
Summer After Senior Year
After you graduate from high school, it's time to make a final plan for paying the balance on your college bill.
Determine Financing Options
Pay the College Bill
- Review our Paying The College Bill section, which covers college billing in more detail.
- Apply for a private education loan, if needed.
- Contact the financial aid office with any questions or if your financial situation changes as a result of job loss, divorce, medical expenses, or other issues. Financial aid administrators can be a great resource for families and can assist you throughout the process.