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Senior Toolkit

Section 1: Senior Year

“Senior year is not the time to take a light course load. Do not catch ‘senioritis.’ The admissions committee will check an applicant’s senior-year program and performance before offering admission.”

-Yale University 

Surviving Your Senior Year

The key is knowing what to expect. It will be an extremely busy time–especially during the fall. Ideally, by the time you begin your senior year–and application season–you’ve already spent part of your summer preparing for it. You’ve started your essays, built your college list, visited some schools, and taken whatever standardized tests are required.

Once your senior year has begun, the most important thing you can do is stay organized. Make sure you know, on a weekly basis, which items need to be completed, and when. Keeping track of these things will help you pace yourself, so you can avoid waiting until the eleventh hour to finish your essays and submit your applications.

Some of the questions answered in this section's video:

I have a busy semester. Can I wait until my winter break to do all this?

Will my grades this year really matter?

Everyone around me has an opinion about college. How do I sift through them?


Video: Senior Year (3:30)

Key Points:

  • Finish strong your first semester. Your grades and extracurricular activities still matter. 
  • Pace yourself, and stay organized… especially in October and November.
  • Finish your college applications before your winter break begins.


Other Sections in the Senior Toolkit: