• Meet with your school's college counselor to make sure you're on track to graduate.

  • Meet with a counselor and plan to make up any D’s or F’s in coursework you need to graduate on time.

Early September


  • Attend the DUSD College Fair with other seniors in the district and learn about your options after graduation. More than 60 colleges, universities, and trade organizations attend.

  • Applying to a CSU? Begin the CSU application filing process. October 1 to November 30 is the initial admission application filing period.

  • Prepare your applications carefully. Follow the instructions, and PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DEADLINES!

  • Well before your application deadlines, ask your counselor and teachers to submit required documents (e.g., transcript, letters of recommendation) to the colleges to which you’re applying.
    Considering early decision or early action?

  • Prepare to complete the FAFSA or DREAM application to apply for financial aid. Learn more by visiting our Financial Aid Resources for College page.

  • Keep your calendar—don't miss deadlines! This includes deadlines for applications, scholarships, and financial aid.

  • If you are applying to any schools with a rolling admission policy, you should still apply early.

  • Write your college essays.

  • Check the scholarships that your list of schools offers its students.

  • Ensure those letters of recommendation are sent.


  • Meet with Counselors and gain information about Colleges and Financial Aid.

  • College Night, November 12th - 6 PM.



  • FAFSA and DREAM financial aid applications are available on January 1st. Learn more by visiting Finacial Aid Resources for College.

  • After you submit the FAFSA or DREAM application, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three days to three weeks. Quickly make any necessary corrections and submit them to the FAFSA processor.

  • You filled out your FAFSA and submitted it. What happens next?


  • March 2nd is the deadline for Cal Grants, so make sure you apply early. These awards do not have to be paid back and can be used for tuition, room and board, and even school supplies such as books and pencils. Find out more about Cal Grants.

  • Want to check the status of your Cal Grants award? View and manage your Cal Grant information. You should receive a notification about your Cal Grant by April 30. If you don't hear from them, call toll-free 1-888-CA-GRANT (1-888-224-7268). If you receive a letter stating you were disqualified for a Cal Grant and you feel this was in error, you may be able to submit an appeal, depending on your reason.

  • Complete any last scholarship applications.

March and April

  • Attending a CSU? Determine if you need to take the English Placement Test (EPT) or the Entry Level Math (ELM) exam at a CSU campus. Unless your test scores or approved college courses exempt you, a satisfactory result on these tests is required before you can take college-level courses in English or math at CSU.

  • Now that you have applied, check out a guide to understanding your financial aid award letters

  • Contact a school’s financial aid office if you have questions about the aid that the school has offered you. In fact, getting to know your financial aid staff early is a good idea no matter what—they can tell you about deadlines, other aid for which you might wish to apply, and important paperwork you might need to submit.

  • When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.

Attend College Visitation Days!

  1. Increase college enrollment awareness

  2. Learn what supports are available to you through student networks, connections with college faculty, and campus resources.

  3. Learn how to self-advocate after high school


  • Take part in summer orientation programs for incoming college freshmen. Obtain academic advising.

Other Grade-Level Checklists
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade