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The University of Alabama

UA Matters: College Prep Tips for High-School Seniors

Whether you’re an incoming high-school freshman or senior, there are a multitude of things you can do to prepare for college. The University of Alabama’s admissions office offers a few suggestions on how students can better plan for their college future.

This is the last of four posts that provide students in each grade level a checklist for college preparation.


  • Have you taken the ACT or SAT? If not, take it early in the fall.
  • Colleges consider your coursework and grades throughout your senior year, so keep your grades up.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor again to be sure that your list of colleges still fits.
  • List your top five schools, along with requirements and deadlines for applications, fees, test scores, teacher recommendations, transcripts and essays. Be sure to include the names of important contacts with this list.
  • Look on the websites of your top schools, and find their procedures for applying for admissions, financial aid and scholarships.
  • Prepare applications, write essays and ask teachers and others to write recommendations at least one month before deadlines.
  • Visit your top three schools on their preview days to get an inside look.
  • Apply for financial aid and scholarships. Download the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at, and visit your guidance counselor’s office for other types of applications. Be aware of deadlines.
  • Check your mail and email for notices, news, updates and acceptance letters; return any requested forms promptly.
  • Most colleges will honor the “universal candidate reply date,” allowing you to choose without penalty from all offers of scholarship and aid until May 1.
  • Buckle down and make that final decision — which college will it be?
  • Plan to attend orientation during the summer at the college you have chosen.uamatters_logo-thumb


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UA Matters is a weekly posting that offers information and tips on consumer issues facing Alabamians. The information is available to reprint in your publication free of charge. Also, access to subject matter experts is available upon request. For more information, contact Kim Eaton at 205/348-8325 or>.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.