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The Urban School
of San Francisco
1563 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 626 2919

Planning for College: Senior Year

Welcome to Senior Year!

This year promises to be a thrilling one – the culmination of many years of exploring, challenging yourself, growing, working hard, having fun, making friends and learning about you, both in and out of the classroom. Yes, college is looming, and it is something that will take up time and energy this year. But, remember to look around at where you are now, enjoy what you are doing, and appreciate all you have done to get here. Make the most of your last year at Urban!  

You are most likely seeking to get into a “good college.” Whether a good college is one that nurtures your personality and style, one that has a strong classics program, one where you can follow your passion for dance, or one where you love the location, the opportunity is yours to attend a good college.

A good school should be defined differently for every student. Your explorations, preparation and the choices you make this year will open the doors to a number of good colleges where you will be able to learn, make friends and consider all kinds of possibilities for your future.  

No doubt, there is pressure. Media, peers, parents, SAT tutors, aunts and uncles… everyone seems to be an expert when it comes to college and there is no shortage of opinions and “facts.” Applying to college will be extra work on top of an already busy schedule.  And, you will be asked to present yourself to strangers in intimidating formats. 

But, you do have help. Everyone in your class is going through what you are going through and at the same time. Your parents can be wonderful resources and assistants in the process. Your teachers have years of experience helping students make this transition. And, your College Counselors are here to provide information, give you reminders, and hopefully be a voice of reason during what can be a confusing time.    

In the end, you will have a sense of accomplishment and pride in all that you have done.

Planning Calendar

Summer Before Senior Year


  • Attend college workshops at Urban. We will have an evening meeting with parents. Lunch, advising and “E” period meetings will focus on topics that will help you with applications. In September, we will have a special schedule when seniors attend an essay workshop and participate in guided work on college applications.
  • Meet with your College Counselor.
  • Continue to narrow down the list of colleges that you are planning to apply to. Enter your final list in Naviance by the end of October.
  • Register and take a second set of SAT’s in October, November or December; consider taking the ACTSAT and ACT dates and deadlines.
  • Attend meetings with college reps who visit Urban.     
  • For private colleges, work on the Common Application; organize supplements. Download and work on applications that are not on the Common Application.
  • If you are applying Early Decision or Early Action, applications are often due early in November. Testing should be completed by October and scores should be sent by the testing agency. Discuss your plans with your College Counselor and teachers by early October so they have time to write your recommendations and send transcripts.
  • Work on the University of California and California State University applications. UC applications need to be submitted in November; CSU applications should be submitted between October 1 and November 30.
  • Ask teachers to write recommendations for you. Provide them with necessary forms.
  • Work on essays. Seek advice from teachers, counselors and advisors. They will help you do your best work. For UC essay suggestions click here.
  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center for Division I and II athletics. For other information specific to student athletes, click here.
  • If you are applying for Financial Aid:
-- Familarize yourself with the financial aid process: Finaid and the College Board are good resources.
-- Attend the Financial Aid workshop at Urban
-- Gather information that will help you fill out financial aid forms.
-- Complete CSS Profile for each private college that requires it.
-- Begin working on the FAFSA.
  • Request that scores be sent to each college to which you are applying. You will save money if you do this when you register for your last SAT.
  • Contact colleges to arrange local interviews (not all colleges provide interviews.)
  • Complete all applications by January 1.


  • If applying for Financial Aid
    -- Complete and submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile (for schools that require the Profile)
  • Complete and submit the Cal Grant GPA Verification form before March 2
  • Make sure all of the colleges to which you applied have a complete application.
  • Keep working and staying involved.
  • Wait for decisions…this can be difficult!  
  • Most colleges will notify students about admissions decisions between March 1 and mid April.
  • You will need to make your final decision by May 1.
  • And finally, graduation!

Resources for Seniors

College Search/Information

These sites are those that Urban students have found most helpful in their college application and search process.

College Application Organizing



Financial Aid


Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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