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LOSFA - The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance

12th Grade Timeline



  • Continue to update your accomplishments and achievements and to monitor your progress toward meeting graduation, college admission and scholarship qualification requirements.

  • Follow your progress toward eligibility for the TOPS scholarship using the TOPS Tracker feature in LOSFA's Student Hub.


September

  • Review your plans with your guidance counselor.
    Discuss your grades and test results from junior year.

  • Register to retake the ACT and/or SAT, if necessary.
    You can take these tests as many times as you want through the April national testing date in the year you will graduate from high school. You should take these exams at least six weeks before your earliest college admissions or financial aid deadline.

  • Finalize your list of the colleges that interest you.
    Request admissions, housing, and financial aid information from each of these colleges.

  • Investigate financial aid.
    Start investigating federal, state, college, and local financial aid opportunities.

  • Males - register with the U.S. Selective Service.
    If you are a male, age 18-25, register with the U.S. Selective Service so you will be eligible for federal student aid. You can register online at: www.sss.gov, or you can register at your high school or your post office.

  • Begin requesting letters of recommendation from teachers/counselors, etc.

  • Register for an FSA ID.
    Go to StudentAid.ed.gov to register for an FSA ID. Your FSA ID serves as your e-Signature for the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a dependent student, a parent should also register at this time.

  • Begin to prepare for the FAFSA.
    If you do not plan to file the FAFSA online, download the PDF FAFSA at StudentAid.ed.gov or call 1.800.4.FED.AID to obtain a paper FAFSA. You cannot submit your FAFSA until after October 1 of your senior year in high school.


October

  • File your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or complete and mail your PDF FAFSA or paper FAFSA.
    Do this as soon as possible after October 1. Submit the FAFSA in time to meet each college's financial aid deadline. (These can vary and can be different than admissions deadlines.) Contact the financial aid offices at your colleges for more information. The Louisiana FAFSA deadline is July 1 for TOPS scholarships as well as all other scholarships administered by LOSFA. If you file a FAFSA online using www.fafsa.ed.gov, make sure to complete the process by submitting and printing the confirmation page. Save the printout of the confirmation page for your records and verification.

  • Visit and apply to the colleges that most interest you.
    Arrange, in advance, for a personal interview with an admissions counselor, financial aid officer, and a professor in the academic department representing your intended major. If possible, stay overnight and talk with current students. If you cannot visit the campus, the college's Web site may contain an online tour or a link to request an informational CD.

  • Start drafts of your college essays.

  • Request high school transcripts.
    You will need a high school transcript for each application you plan to submit.

  • Plan to attend financial aid meetings in your community.
    There are meetings in many communities to help you understand the financial aid process and provide assistance with filing the FAFSA. Find out when these events are held by checking with your counselor or a local college.


November

  • Attend a College Goal Sunday event in your area.
    For more information, go to www.osfa.la.gov/collegegoalsunday.

  • Identify references.
    Ask if they will provide letters of recommendation for you.

  • Finalize portfolios, audition tapes, or writing samples.
    Complete these if they are required for admissions or scholarships.

  • Schedule admissions interviews.
    If your colleges recommend them, schedule these now.

  • Apply for private scholarship and grant programs identified through the resources available through scholarship searches here or through the Unlock My Future website.


December

  • Follow up with your references.
    Make sure they remembered to send in the forms if they are sent separately from your application.

  • Complete revisions of all applications and essays.
    Review them with a parent or guidance counselor.

  • Submit all revised, complete admissions and college academic scholarship applications before holiday break.
    Keep copies for your file. If you submit your applications online, verify that they were received.


January

  • File your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or complete and mail your PDF FAFSA or paper FAFSA.
    Do this as soon as possible after January 1. Submit the FAFSA in time to meet each college's financial aid deadline. (These can vary and can be different than admissions deadlines.) Contact the financial aid offices at your colleges for more information. The Louisiana FAFSA deadline is July 1 for TOPS scholarships as well as all other scholarships administered by LOSFA. If you file a FAFSA online using www.fafsa.ed.gov, make sure to complete the process by submitting and printing the confirmation page. Save the printout of the confirmation page for your records and verification.

  • Continue researching scholarships that might be available to you.

  • Send your mid-year grades to the colleges of your choice.


February

  • Confirm receipt of your information.
    Check with your colleges to be sure they have received the information from your FAFSA and any revised ACT and/or SAT test scores.


March

  • Look for your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail.
    You should receive it within four to six weeks after filing the paper FAFSA, or two to four weeks after filing the online FAFSA. Each college that you included on your FAFSA will receive a copy of your SAR.

  • Review the SAR.
    Make any necessary changes and return the corrected form to the Department of Education. If you filed electronically, make corrections online. Contact your college for more directions if necessary.

  • Look for admissions responses.
    These will start coming in the mail from your colleges.

  • Tie up loose ends.
    If required, send any additional information to the colleges to complete the admissions and/or financial aid process.


April

  • Review your award letters.
    You should receive financial aid award letters from the colleges that have accepted you for admission. Review them with your parents or a trusted advisor. Be sure that you understand the terms and conditions that accompany each type of aid.

  • Weigh your options and make your decision.

  • Notify the colleges of your final decision.
    Each college that accepted you for enrollment needs to know whether you plan to accept or decline its offer. Follow the colleges' instructions to let them know your final decision.

  • Consider summer jobs to help with college costs.


May

  • Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
    If you'd like to take AP exams or they're required for your colleges, take them in May.

  • Send in your financial aid forms.
    Sign your financial aid award letter and any other items requiring your signature, and return them. If you have questions, schedule an appointment with a financial aid officer. If you have decided to accept a loan, understand all your rights and responsibilities before you and/or your parents sign.

  • Send letters of decline to financial aid offices.
    If you have received financial aid award letters from colleges whose offers you have decided to decline, notify the financial aid office in writing because other students will need the aid you declined.

  • Arrange for housing and meals at the college you will attend.
    If necessary, arrange for housing and a meal plan for the fall.

  • Update the college on your financial aid situation.
    Notify the financial aid office of any outside scholarships, grants, or other kinds of student aid from private sources that you have received since you submitted your aid application.

  • Send your final transcript.
    Your college will need confirmation of your graduation.


Summer

  • Work and save.
    Make a plan for saving a portion of your summer earnings.

  • Make a budget.
    Prepare a budget for your freshman year in college.

  • Attend orientation at your new college.
    Make plans to attend required summer orientation sessions at the college.


E-mail: custserv@la.gov
Telephone: 1-800-259-5626
Write LOSFA at:
P.O. Box 91202
Baton Rouge, LA 70820-9202