Senior Year at a Glance: Putting Students on the Road to Success

For high school students heading into their senior year, September is the perfect time to start setting goals and plans for after graduation. Working with an ASPIRE mentor, students can start the planning process early-on, making the road to college or university a bit easier and less stressful.


To make sure students are on the right track, here are the basic deadlines and goals to follow during the final year of high school. These are the general tasks for students to follow each month (Refer to the Coordinator Handbook materials for more in-depth details):

ASPIRE Student Tracker


  1. Meet with an ASPIRE mentor
  2. Research options (colleges, universities, vocational schools, etc.) and begin to narrow down options
  3. Check priority application deadlines for schools
  4. Register for SAT and ACT tests



  1. Begin work on college application essays
  2. Fill out request forms for letters of recommendation to give to teachers, counselors and/or employers
  3. Research college fair dates and locations



  1. Get the FAFSA worksheet and begin work now on gathering necessary information
  2. Start researching state, school, and local scholarships
  3. Begin working on scholarship essays



  1. Start working on the OSAC scholarship application
  2. Continue working on the FAFSA



  1. Complete and submit the FAFSA online
  2. Keep grades up! Colleges pay close attention to grades in the second half of senior year



  1. Check with colleges applied to for verification that they have received all necessary documents
  2. Finish any scholarship essays
  3. Stay on track to submit the OSAC scholarship application



  1. Submit tax forms to colleges’ financial aid offices
  2. Keep on top of scholarship deadlines
  3. Attend open houses or preview days for schools


  1. Narrow down school options based on major, career interest, and personal preferences
  2. Review financial aid award letters from each school
  3. Attend any scheduled open houses or preview days



  1. Check the status of OSAC scholarship application online
  2. Be mindful of deadlines for accepting financial aid awards
  3. Finalize plans for summer school or summer jobs
  4. Write a thank you note to your ASPIRE mentor and school counselor



  1. Request final transcript to be sent to the school they’ll be attending in the fall
  2. Send thank you notes to any scholarships they’ve been awarded

Get Familiar With the OSAC Scholarship Application

The Oregon Office of Student Access and Commission (OSAC), provides Oregon students the ability to apply for numerous scholarships with one application and is the easiest, most efficient way to access Oregon scholarships.

The process for submitting an application begins in early fall. It is best to start as early as possible, so students can view all of the options available. In total, OSAC applicants can apply to more than 500 scholarships. View the list of Scholarships.

To get started, students can visit the OSAC website and begin the application.

The OSAC scholarship application has five major parts:

  1. Personal information
  2. School information
  3. Activities chart
  4. Four personal statements
  5. School transcripts

Depending on the scholarship the student is applying for, there may be extra steps that need to be taken to complete each, like additional essays or documents.

In order to receive an early review and chance to correct any errors, applications should be submitted by the Early Bird deadline of February 15. Error-free submissions will be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 Early Bird scholarship. The final deadline to submit the OSAC application is March 1. Students should plan ahead and work with their ASPIRE mentor to make sure their application is finalized by the deadline.