College Planning Data

Last Updated: 5/17/2019 4:53 PM

5 Questions Students Must Ask 

While Planning for College and 


Students are easily overwhelmed by all the choices they need to make before graduating. Getting answers to the right questions will make the planning a little easier.

The FREE eBook—5 Questions Students Must Ask While College and Career Planning—for college and career planning tips, strategies, and other advice. Your student will learn:

  • Why participating in sports, arts, and other activities can help after high school
  • Why the school counselor is a great resource for college and career planning
  • How to “try out” potential careers while still in high school
  • What your student’s priorities should be during junior and senior years
  • How to find scholarships, grants, and other ways to pay for college

This document is in a file at the bottom of this page


Things to do – Senior Year



            Make sure you have all applications required for college admissions and financial aid.  Write, phone or use the Internet to request missing information.  Be sure to check on all the deadlines.

            Check your school Gmail account for any scholarships that you may be eligible for.  This will be an on-going process throughout this school year.  Also check the Counseling website  (   to see when the different college representatives will be visiting the school. 

            Meet with your guidance counselor to review your transcript and extracurricular records to ensure their accuracy.  

            Register for the fall ACT or SAT, if you plan to take one of them.

            If the colleges require recommendations, ask the appropriate people to write on your behalf.  Fill out the information data sheet you received in mid-September in Civics class to give to the individuals so they have the pertinent information.  Provide recommendation forms, any special instructions and a stamped, addressed envelope (if necessary).  It is important to give recommendation writers at least two weeks to write the letter or fill out the form.  Write thank you notes to those who write recommendations and keep them informed of your decisions.

            Plan visits to colleges and set up interviews (if necessary) if you did not get to them during the summer.

Attend a regional college fair in Billings on September 17th to investigate further those colleges to which you will probably apply.  There is also an informational presentation on FASFA and Scholarships at Laurel High School September 17th at 6:30 PM in the Laurel High School Auditorium.


OCTOBER - 2019

College Application Week is the 30th of September – 4th of October.  School Counselors will visit with you to insure that applications are taken care of.  Some Montana Colleges may waive or defer your application fee if you apply during College Application Week


Mail applications in time to reach the colleges by the deadlines.  Check with your counselor to make sure your transcript and test scores have been/will be sent to the colleges.

                Get a FAFSA form from on line at



            Continue completing applications for colleges and scholarships.  Make copies of all your applications before mailing them. 

Your FAFSA should be filed by the end of the month.  Many schools have a December 1 priority deadline.  If you submit your FAFSA after the priority deadline, you may not receive some of the federal student aid that is awarded on a first come, first serve basis.



            You should have all your college applications completed and mailed by the end of the month.  Continue searching for and filling out scholarships.

            If you have decided which college you are definitely attending, fill out the housing application and send in with the deposit to ensure that you will have a dorm room.  Many colleges require you to live on campus the first year.

           You should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within four weeks after submitting the FAFSA.  Review the SAR carefully and check for any inaccuracies.  If necessary, correct any items on the SAR and return it to the FAFSA.  If more than four weeks have passed after sending in your FAFSA and you have not received an acknowledgment, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800)4-FED-AID


JANUARY - 2020

            Keep working hard!  Your grades continue to count through your senior year. 

         Utilize Parchment to request transcripts to be sent to the colleges you applied to.



            Remember to monitor your applications to be sure that all materials are sent and received on time and that they are complete.  Stay on top of things and don't procrastinate; you can ruin your chances for a scholarship by missing a deadline.

            Complete scholarship applications.  You may be eligible for more than you think. 


MARCH - 2020

            Stay focused and keep studying - only a couple more months to go!!  You have to graduate from high school to be accepted for school or the military.


APRIL - 2020

            Review your college acceptance and financial aid awards.  Be sure to compare financial aid packages in your decision-making process.  If you are positive, you will not enroll at one or more of the colleges that accept you, please notify those colleges that you have selected another one.  Keeping colleges abreast of your plans might enable those colleges to admit someone else.  If you know which college you will attend and have not filled out a housing application, do so now.


MAY - 2020

            Finish the school year strong. 

            Decide which college you will attend if you have not already done so.  Check on deadlines for tuition, room and board payments.  Arrange a time to attend an orientation session at the college.  This is when you will register for classes.  Do not wait until the end of the summer to go to orientation, if possible.  Many of the classes you want may be full. 

            Utilize Parchment to send your final transcript to your school.




SUMMER - 2020

            If you are receiving school loans, look for the paperwork to finalize the loans.  Many colleges require some on-line loan counseling before giving you the loan. 

            Respond to any requests from the college for information.



BookACT 5 Questions eBook FINAL.pdf