Skip to Main Content
Office of Admissions

Countdown to College Timeline

The calendar below may be used as a guideline to help keep you on task in regards to choosing a college during your senior year of high school. We hope that you will consider UNF your first choice as you accomplish many of the tasks included in this calendar.

Senior Year: Fall Semester


  • APPLY! Work on applications for admissions, scholarships and grants. 
  • Look for back-to-school sales to help pay for school supplies.
  • Review high school math and English to strengthen these skills.
  • Create a checklist of tests and registration deadlines, fees, dates, college application deadlines, materials needed, etc.
  • Talk with your teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and mentors about preparing letters of recommendation to submit with your applications.  A resume and letters of recommendation may not be required for admissions but they are highly encouraged.


  • Register to take the SAT or ACT and enroll in UNF's SAT or ACT preparation course since test scores are often among the criteria used to determine scholarship winners.
  • Request applications and financial-aid information from the schools to which you are applying. 
  • Make sure to get a FAFSA worksheet from your high school counselor's office before school closes for winter vacation. Most colleges prefer students to file an online FAFSA; however having the worksheet in hand will help you gather the appropriate information.
  • We also encourage students to use their current year FAFSA to see if they are eligible for financial aid (see October for FAFSA information).
  • Although it's too early to complete a FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, use an EFC calculator to determine your eligibility for financial assistance.
  • Look for scholarship opportunities. Some employers offer scholarship money for children of employees. Sometimes local organizations have scholarship programs for high school seniors. Meet with your high school guidance counselor to get information on scholarships. Check the local library and search the Internet to see if you can find other scholarship opportunities and tell everyone you know to send scholarship information your way.


  • Fill out the FAFSA! The FAFSA is turned on every Oct. 1 for the upcoming academic year. It uses income and tax information from two years ago - the prior, prior tax year.
  • Attend college fairs and financial aid workshops. These might be sources of additional information about scholarships, grants and other types of financial aid.
  • Visit college campuses. Compare costs of colleges so you get an idea of how much money will be needed at each institution. This will vary based on many factors, including state colleges versus universities, private versus public and in-state versus out-of-state. 
  • Continue to contact prospective colleges and find out their deadlines for scholarship and financial aid applications, as well as any paperwork you'll need to submit
  • Start getting family financial information so you are ready to apply for financial aid. Among the items you'll want to gather are tax documents, W-2s and records of benefits from government agencies such as the Social Security Administration.
  • The Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine a student's eligibility for federal and state funds. 
  • Oct. 15 is the priority consideration date for financial aid at the University of North Florida.


  • Continue to visit college campuses. Compare costs of colleges so you get an idea of how much money will be needed.
  • Continue looking for additional sources of money.
  • By now you should have received your Student Aid Report, or SAR, which summarizes the data you reported on your FAFSA. Check it to make sure it is accurate.


  • Dec. 1 is when the Florida application for financial aid opens. Although this is the application for Bright Futures, you should complete this application even if you will not qualify for a Bright Futures scholarship. The state of Florida has other grants and scholarships for which you may be eligible.
  • You must complete this application prior to your high school graduation.


Senior Year: Spring Semester


  • Continue filling out financial aid forms for prospective schools, as well as scholarship applications according to your deadline calendar. Though you have already filled out your FAFSA, some colleges have additional paperwork you must submit to request financial aid.
  • As you submit these forms to various colleges, follow up to make sure all paperwork has been received.
  • Keep looking for more scholarships. Churches, civic organizations and philanthropists may have additional sources of funding.
  • Check with your high school guidance counselor to see if more scholarship opportunities have become available.


  • Follow up on any scholarship applications submitted in the fall, if you have not yet received an award notification.
  • If there are mistakes or if you have not received your SAR, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center.


  • Continue to follow up on scholarship and financial aid applications you've submitted. Look for responses to applications in the mail.
  • Look for acceptance deadlines on any scholarship or financial aid awards. You might have to formally accept the scholarship or financial aid by a certain date.


  • Continue to follow up on scholarship applications if you have not yet received notification.
  • If you do receive additional scholarships, inform your college financial aid office. They may need to adjust the federal financial aid package you are receiving.
  • Fill out student loan applications, if loans are part of your financial aid package.  If you've been awarded federal loans, contact the college to understand the steps necessary to receive this funding. 


  • Keep looking for scholarship opportunities being awarded by local businesses and groups.
  • Work to help finance your education.
  • Inform Bright Futures which college you'll be attending, so that your award is distributed in a timely manner.


  • Continue looking for last-minute scholarship money or look for scholarships that can be applied for in the fall to help pay for your second year of college.
  • Invest your summer earnings in a high-yield savings account.


  • Start packing!