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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Monthly Planning Guide For The College Bound Student

Junior Year

September - December

  • Review your courses for this year and plan for your senior year. Be sure you select the high school courses required for college admission.
  • Investigate Advanced Placement Courses (High School courses which will count for college credit).
  • Prepare a list of colleges you're considering. Check with your school counselor and/or library for books and computer materials on the colleges you're interested in attending.

January - February

  • Begin to narrow the college list and contact the remaining colleges for literature.
  • Set up a file for each college you are considering.
  • Check out financial aid/scholarship information at

March - May

  • Take the ACT or SAT.
  • Grades aren't the only thing schools evaluate; how's your public service involvement?
  • Keep your grades up!

June - July

  • Visit colleges and take tours. Continue to refine your list of colleges.
  • Continue to evaluate colleges, perhaps talking to a recent graduate or current student.
  • Add money from your summer job to your college savings account.

Senior Year


  • Decide which school is right for you-large or small, public or private, close to home or away from home?
  • Use the summer to narrow your choices and visit schools.
  • Register to take the SAT or ACT, if you did not do so as a junior or if you want to retake the tests.


  • Check with your school counselor about local college fairs.
  • Call or write the schools you are interested in and ask for catalogs and applications.
  • Get letters of recommendation.
  • Research private scholarship sources and write letters requesting application information for those you've identified.


  • Visit additional colleges, and make necessary second visits.
  • Discuss your application essay with your English teacher.
  • Complete and submit your application if you are applying on an "early decision" basis.


  • Remind your parents that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms are due as soon as possible after January 1.
  • Check priority deadlines and entrance requirements for all colleges that you are considering.
  • See if any of the colleges you are considering offer an early financial aid estimate.


  • Apply to selected colleges (usually three to five). Keep copies of applications and other paperwork in your file folders.
  • Last chance to take SAT or ACT.


  • Obtain a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from your high school or Dept. of Ed. web site at
  • Fill out and submit the forms required by the schools you have applied to.
  • Attend a financial aid night at your high school.


  • After you and your parents complete your tax returns, complete the FAFSA and submit it for processing.
  • Research possible sources of financial aid with your High School Guidance Office or a College Financial Aid Office.


  • As college forms arrive, promptly complete and return them to colleges, don't let them sit! (Keep copies in your files.)
  • Submit copies of tax forms if required by the Financial Aid Office.
  • Look for a summer job


  • Make your final decision on which school you want to attend and send in your deposit.
  • Complete the application for any student loans for which you plan to apply.


  • Notify colleges to which you applied but will not attend.
  • Send thank you notes to the teachers and counselors who helped you.


  • Have your high school send your final transcript to your college.
  • Have fun at graduation.


  • Add more money from this summer's job to your college savings account.
  • Pay required school fees and bills.

Information courtesy of U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, Member FDIC

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