1. Visit. 

Students often make a final college decision based on a campus visit. After all, you’ll spend four years walking around campus, talking with faculty and students, eating in the dining halls, living in the residence halls, going to the gym, etc. So it makes sense to take a trial run. Schedule a visit with the admissions office, or, if you can’t fit in an official tour, just stop by.   

2. Apply. 

If you’re a senior, you may have already filled out one or two or nine applications. But if you haven’t, take a deep breath. You may have missed early deadlines at some schools, but there are plenty that offer admission on a rolling basis, which means they’ll look at your application and make a decision when they receive it. Take advantage of a few days off from school to fill out an application or two, submit your test scores and request transcripts to be sent. 

3. FAFSA.

This year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid opened early. What does that mean? You don’t have to wait until you or your parents finish 2016 taxes to submit it. The sooner you submit your FAFSA, the sooner you’ll get a financial aid estimate from the universities where you’ve been accepted. And the sooner you can go from high school to college-bound.