Iowa's admission counselors offer these suggestions:

Register to take the ACT or SAT in early fall, if you haven't taken one of the college-entrance exams already, or if you want to try to improve the score you received as a junior. Your guidance counselor can help you find websites, books, or classes to help you prepare for the tests.

Arrange campus visits. If you have not yet visited, or need a second visit to help you decide, make time to visit the campuses you are considering. Iowa's Admission Visitors Center welcomes students for large events or individual Campus Visits.

Consider an early start. Many schools, including Iowa, accept applications from students who wish to take college courses while still in high school (see Nondegree Students). These courses can be used to reduce the number of classes you need to take once you get to college or to satisfy a college's high school course requirements. Visit our Transfer tips for College Credit Earned While in High School.

Apply for admission to the three to five colleges or universities you like the best. Check web sites and applications for specific application deadlines. Also review how on-campus housing applications are processed and how housing is assigned. You can Apply Now to Iowa.

Sign up for housing and orientation programs. Don't miss these vital opportunities to learn more about your school and make new friends. Sign up for Orientation Programs, which is mandatory at The University of Iowa, and On-Campus Housing as soon as possible. Also, if you use Facebook, look for communities of students who share your interest in a college, such as our Facebook Group for Future Hawkeyes. It's a great way to meet future classmates and get admissions-related news.

Keep your grades up. College admission is granted on a tentative basis, and a school may rescind your admission if your grades fall or if you do not complete the required high school courses. Talk to your high school counselor and review the suggestions in Building Your Future, an online guide prepared by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for college-bound students.

Apply for financial aid, even if you don't think you'll need it. The U.S. government designed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help colleges nationwide establish a student's need for financial assistance. However, the FAFSA also is widely used to determine a student's eligibility for certain scholarships and grants. If you plan to attend Iowa, complete the FAFSA online as soon as possible after Jan. 1 to apply for need-based financial aid for the following academic year. Also Review Our Financial Aid Information. Respond immediately when financial aid requests information.

Search for scholarships. Use the web, and if you plan to attend Iowa, review our Scholarships to find ways to help pay for your education. Keep in mind that many scholarships have application deadlines relatively early in the fall of your senior year. Utilize resources available through your local library, web sites, your high school guidance office, and your parents' employers.

Submit college deposits. After you receive admission offers, remember to send in any required deposits or acceptance fees. Deposits are usually refundable up until May 1 of your senior year, but you should check with the institution to know for certain if that is the case.

Enjoy your last year in high school and keep studying!