Educators: 12th Grade Checklist

12th Grade Educator Checklist

It all comes down to the senior year. Help students and their families with the college application, financial aid and transition process with our monthly checklists and free app.

Download PDF checklists and communication tools for students, families & educators





  • Finalize your list of colleges.

    Help students narrow their college choices – 3 to 5 is a good number.  Make sure students have a backup plan!

    Hold field trips to visit colleges and college fairs.

    Remind students to add all of the schools where they plan to apply to the FAFSA.
  • Be prepared.

    Remind students to keep track of deadlines and gather the information they will need to apply to college.
  • APPLY!

    November is Oregon College Application Month. Help students apply by setting aside dedicated time during the school day.

    Have fee deferral and waiver forms on hand, as well as information about college application costs for students.
  • Follow up.

    Help coordinate a process for sending transcripts, SAT and ACT test scores and letters of recommendations to college.

    Select schools (Willamette, Reed, and Lewis & Clark in Oregon) may require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

    Encourage students to check e-mail regularly as this is how most colleges will communicate.


  • Finish applying to colleges.

    Offer additional time during lunch or after school for students to complete college applications.

    Have fee deferral and waiver forms on hand, as well as information about college application costs for students.
  • Talk to current college students.

    Hold a workshop for parents and students with high school alumni/current college students who are home on break as well as parents of current college students.
  • Get set for scholarships.

    Give students opportunities to create an OSAC profile and search for scholarships they plan to apply to.
  • Catch up on details.

    Remind students to use the winter break to catch up on any lingering details in the college application process.

    Make sure parents and students understand financial aid and the difference between loans, grants, scholarships and other forms of funding.



  • Visit campus.

    Give students information about Preview Days on college campuses and/or organize field trips to popular schools.
  • Continue applying for scholarships.

    Hold one or more scholarship application events for students, to provide assistance in filling out the OSAC application as well as other scholarships.

    Assign scholarship application essay questions as part of regular school assignments and encourage peer editing for multiple drafts.

    The Early Bird Deadline for the OSAC Scholarship Application is mid-February; final deadline is March 1.
  • Get a check up.

    Inform students that colleges in Oregon require (Measles) or recommend (flu, HPV, Hepatitis B) certain immunizations before enrolling.
  • Confirm FAFSA info.

    Offer assistance in reviewing the Student Aid Report (SAR) for the FAFSA with students and parents.
          See a Sample Student Aid Report.

    Track your high school’s FAFSA completion rates.
          Get student-level data with the FAFSA Plus+ program and reach out to individual students who have not yet completed the FAFSA.


  • Keep up the good work.

    Remind students that colleges (and scholarship applications) look at second semester grades.

    Offer internships, job shadowing experiences, or other hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Continue applying for scholarships.

    Continue sharing scholarships and providing time during or afterschool to apply.
  • Confirm summer plans.

    Provide information on summer enrichment programs, internships and job opportunities.

    Remind students of the importance of college orientation and should therefore plan accordingly.
  • File taxes.

    Remind students and their families that filing taxes (federal and state) earlier than the April 15 deadline is critical to ensuring they can access federal and state financial aid.


  • Look for decision letters.

    Encourage your students to share their responses with you so you can offer support.
  • Compare financial aid award letters.

    Provide assistance in comparing financial aid award letters. Use our Comparing Costs & Financial Aid worksheet or Google Doc as well as the Financial Aid Award Letter Challenge.
  • Sign up for and attend preview days.

    Give students information about Preview Days on college campuses and/or organize field trips to popular schools.
  • Decide where to attend.

    Help students review their options with our Making Your College Decision worksheet or Google Doc.

    Celebrate seniors’ post-high school plans! Hold an event for seniors with certified acceptance letters to college, the military or a job training program, and display acceptances prominently for the school to see.

    Remind students to send in their acceptances – many colleges have May 1 deadlines.


  • Study for and take tests.

    Help students prepare for AP exams – offer additional group study sessions or practice tests online or in class.

    If colleges require placement tests, encourage students to take them as soon as possible while the material is still fresh.
  • Fill out forms.

    Remind/help students accept financial aid and fill out loan paperwork, fill out housing and meal plan forms, and register for orientation and/or classes.
  • Say thank you.

    Provide blank cards and envelopes for students to write thank you notes to their supporters and awarded scholarship providers.
  • Start thinking ahead.

    Make sure your seniors are prepared for what’s next and the transition to college.

    Help them create a reasonable budget and explore ways to track expenses.

    Encourage them to explore who’s available to help on college campuses.

    Go over a packing and supply list.

    Help them to know what to expect from college classes.


  • Send final transcripts and scores.

    Have a process (such as a Senior Exit Survey) where students can confirm where they will attend college so the school can send final transcripts.

    AP scores will be available online in July; you can send scores to a different college than you indicated on the test for a fee.
  • Get organized.

    Determine how you will follow up and stay connected with students during the summer and into their freshman year of college: phone calls, texting, and Facebook groups are all good ideas.
          Be sure to collect phone numbers on the Senior Exit Survey if you don’t have them already.

    Remind students they will need health insurance through the school, their parents, or their own policy.

     Help students with banking and financial needs – setting up a checking account at a bank or credit union, tracking expenses and budgeting, and learning more about student loans and credit cards.

    Discuss the challenges of living with roommates and who to go to for help.
  • Attend orientation.

    Remind students to register and attend. Encourage carpooling for students attending the same school.

    Throw a college send-off party for students/families.
  • Make the most of summer.

    Encourage students to create a list of activities they want to accomplish this summer.

    Partner with the local or school library to offer book clubs or reading contests.




College Application WeekCollege Cash CampaignDecision Day

For more information on creating a college-going culture schoolwide and additional resources, visit oregongearup.org.