12th Grade: College and Career

It's senior year and time to start planning for your future whether that be attending college or preparing for your career.

Applying to College Timeline


Request Teacher Recommendations

As early as the spring of your junior year, ask two teachers if they will write letters of recommendation for your college applications. Normally recommended are core-class teachers in 10th or 11th grade, but this might vary depending on your intended major.


What is your first deadline?

  • At least 30 days before your first college application deadline:
    • Make sure your Student Brag Sheet and Parent Brag Sheet are complete in Naviance.
    • Request in Naviance that transcripts be submitted to the colleges you are applying to.
    • Request in Naviance letters of recommendation from two teachers. (The number of letters required by each college varies, but the maximum required is two.)

How will you apply?

  • Application platform include the Common App; Coalition App; Common Black College Application; each school's website.
  • Keep track of the possible application deadlines for each college you are considering. Schools often have multiple application deadlines, such as Early Action, Early Decision, and Regular Decision.

Finalize Your College List

  • Revisit online and/or in person the colleges you are seriously considering applying to.
  • Meet with the CCC and your counselor to discuss your college choices, possible majors, financial aid, scholarships, etc. Review your high school record and confirm your GPA.
  • Retake the SAT or ACT if necessary to improve scores. While many schools are test-optional, if any of the colleges you are applying to require the ACT or SAT, you will need to take it.

How to Pay For College

  • Learn about DC-CAP's scholarships and university partner schools.
  • For the Class of 2024, the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will open in December 2023.


Applications, continued

  • If you are applying for Regular deadlines, those are in January and February.
  • If your college requires your mid-year grades, you will be requesting those in late January.

Work on financial aid and scholarship applications 

  • Submit your FAFSA. For Class of 2024 students, the FAFSA will open in December 2023.
  • Apply for DC-TAG  if your college possibilities include eligible institutions (public, HBCUs, local private schools).
  • Apply for other scholarships you are eligible for.


  • Consider your college options and compare financial aid packages.
  • Decide where you want to go to college.
  • Return award letters and notify other colleges of your decision. If you plan to live on campus, send in your housing deposit.
  • Request final transcript from the CCC.
  • Thank everyone who helped you!

Career Resources