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Financial Aid Timeline for High School Seniors

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  • Keep up with your course work
  • Make an appointment to meet with your guidance counselor if necessary
  • Create an information file for each college on your list
  • Plan final college visits and interviews (remember to send thank you letters to each college you visit)


  • Start drafting college essays
  • Attend local College Fairs and/or Financial Aid Nights
  • Complete any Early Decision applications (if you wish to use the Early Decision process, check with your guidance office for any scholarship opportunities you may be eligible for)
  • Check with your church, local paper, community organizations or parents' employer for additional scholarship opportunities


  • Create an FSA ID at:
  • Submit secondary school/counselor evaluation forms
  • Try to send at least one college application by Thanksgiving
  • Keep college files up to date with current information
  • Eat more turkey or Tofurkey!


  • Finalize all applications and essays--review these with your guidance counselor, teacher or a parent for content accuracy
  • Mail completed applications to colleges
  • Ask teachers for recommendation letters (and provide them with addressed/stamped envelopes)


  • Attend a Financial Aid Night at your High School (if any)
  • Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after the 1st of January online using your FSA ID at:
  • Send colleges special talent documentation or information to better your chances of acceptance


  • Ensure that colleges you have applied to received the results of your FAFSA and College Board tests


  • Watch your mail college responses
  • Send any new materials to colleges which may help their admissions decision
  • Make a list of student loan questions and call the PNC Education Loan Center (1-800-762-1001) for smart education financing solutions


  • The responses from colleges you applied to should have arrived
  • Make a commitment and choose your school
  • Write "Thanks, but no thanks" letters to colleges you will not be attending
  • If you are on a waiting list, write a "pleading" letter and send any supporting materials you can--ask teachers, coaches, and counselors for assistance


  • Take the Advance Placement (AP) Exam
  • Complete the dormitory forms (if any)
  • Make sure you apply for your student loan--call the PNC Education Loan Center (1-800-762-1001)


  • Graduation--Congratulations!
  • If you accept a Federal Work-Study option, it may be your responsibility to find a position


  • Participate in extra-curricular or volunteer activities
  • Prepare yourself for college in September
  • Good luck in your future endeavors!
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PNC does not provide accounting, tax or legal advice.