College Search Checklist for Rising High School Seniors

Student looking at computer taking notes.

For traditional high school students, summer is finally here. While you should definitely take some time to relax and prepare for senior year, you should also use this time off wisely and continue moving your college search forward. Here are some items to add to your to-do list if you’re a rising senior:

1. By now, you should have somewhat narrowed down the list of colleges you are considering. Start to connect with those colleges by contacting their admissions office and scheduling a visit, either in person or at least virtually.

2. Research the colleges you will visit. Many schools require advance notice and scheduling an appointment to take a tour and attend an information session. You can also look into webinars for prospective students. Meredith has a number of these available that can be found here.

3. Still having trouble figuring out which colleges might be the right fit for you?  Take a college selection assessment at or

4. It’s not too early to start your scholarship search! Check out,, and to learn about the variety of scholarships available and to apply. Scholarship search engines may require you to create a profile – which is well worth your time! Also, be sure to check out what scholarships the schools you’re applying for offer. At Meredith, many of our scholarships don’t require any additional applications – including the Impact Scholarship. Students with a minimum 3.4 unweighted GPA or 1100 SAT/22 ACT are eligible for the Impact Scholarship upon admission.

6. Think about the classes you’ll take in your senior year. For many colleges, the most important aspect of your application will be the rigor of your curriculum and the grades you have earned in those courses. Be careful not to overreach or underestimate your abilities. Your coursework AND your grades are important.

7. Think of creative ways to expand your extracurricular activities. It’s never too early to start honing in on your interests. Plus, these activities look good on applications – which makes you a stronger candidate for acceptance and scholarships.

Take just a little time out from summer fun to make some progress toward finding your best college fit – you’ll enjoy the rest of your break more knowing you’ve taken charge of your college search!

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