Senior Checklist

Welcome to your senior year! This will be an exciting and emotional year as you complete the final leg of your k-12 journey and make plans about where you’ll be next fall. Work hard this year and finish strong, you’ll be thankful you did in June.


  • REGISTER FOR FALL TEST: If you have not already, register for any tests you plan to take this fall, make sure you are taking the appropriate tests for the schools you are applying to.
  • LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: If necessary, request letters of recommendation from teachers via Naviance and confirm letters are in progress.
  • ESSAYS: Continue to work on your essays and utilize Mrs. Hansen and College Corp volunteers for help and editing.
  • COLLEGE VISITS: Attend college visits to help finalize familiarize yourself with your list of schools and gain information on schools you may be thinking about; take every opportunity to get as much information as possible.
  • SENIOR BLITZ: Come prepared for your senior blitz appointment with your counselor, bring any questions you have about graduation requirements or college applications. Review your transcripts with your counselors and report any inaccuracies immediately.
  • BY OCTOBER 1ST: Complete any forms required by your counselor for letters of recommendation and counselor reports; counselors will send their letters of recommendation and school reports to all applicable schools listed in your Naviance account under “Schools I am Applying To.”


  • TEST: If you have registered for any tests give it your best shot, this will be one of the last opportunities to take the ACT and SAT before applying.
  • EARLY DECISION AND EARLY ACTION: If you are planning to apply early decision or early action make sure to send your application before the deadline; also make a request in Naviance for your transcripts to be sent. Want more information, click here.
  • APPLICATIONS: Continue working on your application essays and visit Mrs. Hansen at the College and Career desk in the library for help. Keep track of each component of all your applications and make sure they are completed on time; an incomplete application will be rejected.
  • SUPER WEDNESDAY: Your English teachers, counselors and College and Career Advisor, Mrs. Hansen will be available during Super Wednesday for assistance with your college essays. Make sure to have a good start on your essays before this point, so you can take advantage of this time.
  • FINAL COLLEGE LIST: If you haven’t already finalized the list of colleges you will be applying to, now is the time to do so. If you’re having trouble come see Mrs. Hansen in the College and Career Center.
  • FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will open October 1st of your seniors year. This form is used to established eligibility for federal financial aid programs and colleges will use this information to compline your financial aid packages.  If the FAFSA is not an option fill out the WASFA, Washington State’s Financial Aid program.  Come see Mrs. Hansen if you have questions.
  • CSS PROFILE: Confirm if any schools you are applying to require the CSS Profile for financial Aid and make note of the deadline this must be filed by.


  • TESTS: If necessary, register and take the December SAT or ACT, this will be your last chance to take these tests for the current admission cycle.
  • APPLICATIONS: Complete your applications for college admissions and request to have transcripts sent through Naviance. Also confirm your test scores have been sent. Make sure these are submitted completely and on time! Monitor your applications to be sure each school receives everything necessary (letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores etc.)
  • RESEARCH FINANCIAL AID: There are a variety and plethora of scholarships available each year and many go unclaimed. Research online or come to the College and Career desk for resources on finding and applying for scholarships and financial aid.
  • FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION NIGHT: Attend the Financial Aid Information Night held each year, the date and location will be announced in advance and posted on the BHS website.
  • EARLY DECISION: If you have been admitted to a college through early decision, you need to notify the other schools you have applied to and submit all necessary forms to the college you will be attending. Congratulations!
  • MID-YEAR GRADES: If your school requests mid-year grades, make sure these are sent on time.
  • FAFSA/WASFA: If you completed the FASFA or WASFA, you should be receiving a Student Aid Report. Look over this carefully for accuracy as an error could cost you thousands of dollars. Contact FAFSA right away if there are any errors.


  • APPLICATIONS: Confirm all the colleges you have applied to have sent a receipt of application; if you haven’t received this from any of your schools, follow up and make sure all components of your application were received. Do this well in advance of the due date so you have time to follow up on any possible missing pieces. Also, for any schools with rolling or late deadlines- do not put off applying! Spaces will fill up, so turn in your application early.
  • DECISIONS: Acceptance letters will begin to arrive. Think critically about where you’d like to be in the fall and what school is best aligned with your goals and personality. Compare your financial aid packages and ideally visit the campus before making any decisions.  If you are waitlisted, find out more about the waitlist process at your particular school, but also begin to move ahead with other plans; you can always come back to this school if you get off the waitlist.  If you have ruled out any colleges which have accepted you notify them; this is a courtesy to other applicants and it will help colleges manage their waitlists and extend the correct number of acceptance letters.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS: Now that you have completed most, if not all of your applications, shift your focus to working on finding and applying for scholarships. As previously noted, many go unclaimed! Come see Mrs. Hansen for assistance and resources.
  • OPEN HOUSES: Some colleges will host open houses for admitted students, attend these when applicable as this is a good opportunity to get information about registering for housing, campus life and how to prepare for the fall.
  • MAY 1ST: Most schools have a decision and deposit deadline of May 1st. Formally accept your offer of admission as instructed by your school and submit your housing application if you plan to live on campus in the fall. Formally accept any offers of financial aid, not doing so will result in you losing your financial aid.


  • FINISH STRONG: Keep your grades up through graduation, you do not want to have your college acceptance rescinded because of a poor end of the year performance.
  • HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND PLAN: This is a graduation requirement and must be completed in Naviance in order to graduate.  Make sure this is complete.  A final task will be sent in May and ask you to indicate your plans for next year.  If you are attending a college in the fall, it is important to tell us where you will be so we can send your final transcript.
  • NAVIANCE: Update Naviance with your college selection if you didn’t do this with your High School and Beyond Plan.
  • THANK YOU’S: Send thank you notes to anyone who helped you in your application process; they would love to hear where you have decided to go in the fall.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS AND LOANS: Continue to work on procuring scholarship and loans, update your college with any scholarships you receive.
  • GRADUATE: Enjoy and celebrate your accomplishments and success with your family, classmates and the BHS faculty. On behalf of everyone at Bellevue High School, we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Junior Checklist

Junior year is a very important year for preparing for college. Within the next year you will take your standardized tests, finalize your list of colleges, visit schools, and apply… whew; what a busy year! But not to worry, the Bellevue High School counselors and your College and Career Advisor Mrs. Hansen are here to help.


You may be taking some of your most challenging classes this year, make sure to keep your grades strong and seek help when needed.


Colleges like to see commitment, so stay involved in the activities you joined freshman and sophomore year and continue to look for leadership opportunities within these organizations.


College representatives will visit Bellevue either before or after school. Attend these visits to learn more about a variety of colleges and universities and meet with admission representatives.


You will take the PSAT in class in October, and your counselors will be speaking in class in December to give you a better understanding of your results and to review graduation and college requirements. Consider registering for Test Prep if interested, and review Prep Me in Naviance.


Take official college visits whenever possible, by taking an official tour, your name will be in the system which will be to your advantage with it comes time to apply.


Held in February, this is a great opportunity to gather information about colleges, the application process and financial aid all in one place. The College Conference is open to all student, but highly recommended for sophomores and juniors.


Now it is time to compile a preliminary list of colleges including reach schools, match schools and safety schools. Enter all the schools you are considering in Naviance. If you need help putting this together, come see Mrs. Hansen.


Make a plan for what tests you plan to take based on your preliminary list of colleges, some will specify specific tests which need to be taken and some may be test optional. Take any standardized tests (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT) in the spring and remember you will need to register for these tests several months in advance.


Create a resume of activities and accomplishments . This will be needed when requesting letters of recommendation from your counselor and teachers, and completing your college applications. If you kept a list during your freshman and sophomore years, then you’re already two-thirds done! Don’t forget to upload your resume in Naviance to complete this step of the High School and Beyond Plan.


Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at the beginning of your junior year, you will need to be cleared academically and as an amateur athlete before you will be eligible to play division I or II sports.


If warranted, request letters of recommendation from preferably junior year teachers and, if needed, a program specific instructor (coach, fine arts teacher, music teacher, business teacher). Provide each person you have requested a letter from with a resume of activities and accomplishments.


Review your college financing with your parents and make sure schools on your list fit within your budget.  Come see Mrs. Hansen if you have questions or need help selecting schools.


Locate your social security number, you will need this when you apply for financial aid; if you do not have one, consider letting your counselor know so they can help guide you.



If you are planning to retake any tests in the fall, make sure to register for them when necessary over the summer


Most colleges will continue to offer tours throughout the summer, visit schools you did not make it to during the school year.


Continue to finalize your college list and update your Naviance account with any schools you have omitted or added.


Create an account with the Common App and add any colleges you are considering which accept this application. Link your Common App account with your Naviance account.


Review the Common App as well as any applications for schools which do not use the Common App when they become available. Make a chart of deadlines and pay particular attention to early decision, early action and preferred application deadlines. Confused on early decision and early action? Follow this link.


Review the essay requirements and supplement questions for your target schools. Look for common themes and begin to outline your essays and answers to questions. College Corp volunteers are available in the fall to help you complete and review your essays. Take advantage of these volunteers, they have reviewed a lot of college essays and have a good understanding of what colleges are look for.

Sophomore Checklist

Welcome to sophomore year, this is the middle year between figuring out high school and getting connected with BHS last year; and a year of PSAT, SAT, ACT and a narrowing of your college list which will come next year. Enjoy this year, and use the time to continue to beef up your application with activities, honors and good grades.


Just as important as your freshman grades, your sophomore year will make up the second third of your GPA which will be sent to colleges.


Come see Mrs. Hansen or search online to learn what your favorite schools require for admission. You still have time to get involved in clubs, or take additional course work to strengthen your application to your top choice schools. You don’t want to find out half way through your junior year your first choice school requires 3 years of a foreign language!


Work with your counselor to schedule courses which will keep you on track for graduation, provide an appropriate challenge for you and allow you to explore your interests.


You will take a practice test during Super Wednesday and your counselors will be coming into your classrooms in January to help you understand your results and to review graduation and college admission requirements.


Make sure you have completed the Game Plan Survey and Career Interest Profile in Naviance.  Review potential career matches and use time this year to explore and learn more about your career choices. If you didn’t finish your 4 Year Course Plan from freshman year, finish this as well.  See Mrs. Hansen if you need help using Naviance.


Stay involved with your activities and take advantage of opportunities for leadership roles.


Keep a list of honors and awards you have received since your freshman year; this way when you get ready to apply for college you won’t forget any you’ll have everything in one spot.


Held in February, this is a great opportunity to gather information about colleges, the application process and financial aid all in one place. The College Conference is open to all student, but highly recommended for sophomores and juniors.


Log on to Naviance and use the search functions to begin researching schools you might be interested in.

Freshman Checklist

Welcome to Bellevue High School! You are embarking on your final leg of your K-12 educational journey, and preparing for life after high school begins now. College may still be 4 years away, but freshman year is a critical year to begin setting yourself up to be prepared to apply to your choice schools in 3 years. You are laying the foundation for your college application now, so make it a strong one! After all, your freshman grades will make up 1/3 of the GPA you send to colleges in the fall of your senior year.


Keep your grades up, once you let your grades slip, it can be very difficult to get where you want to be at the end of your junior year.


Make sure you are enrolled in an appropriate mix of classes with focus on the core subjects such as English, Math, Science, world language and Social Studies. Many colleges will give additional weight to AP classes, but don’t fill your schedule with AP classes if it means your GPA will suffer; do find a balance that is right for you. Your high school counselor can meet with you to discuss your class schedule and make sure you are on track for graduation.


Activities, whether in school or out of school are an important part of your college application. Anything from sports, church groups, social groups, and volunteer opportunities are all valuable components of the college application. Choose a few that you can really get involved in, when applying for college the depth at which you are involved will be more critical than a laundry list of activities.


Mrs. Hansen is here to help you discover potential career paths and to assist you and your parents navigate the college application process. Her office is open during school hours and after school so stop by with questions and to utilize her resources. During your freshman year, make an appointment with Mrs. Hansen to discuss your college and career goals.


Make sure your 4 Year Course Plan is complete.  You will use the Naviance system heavily when you research and apply for colleges and to complete your High School and Beyond Plan, so get to know the system now.


Isn’t it too early to visit colleges? No! When you are traveling on vacation, take advantage of the opportunity to visit colleges, the more you visit college campuses the more you’ll start to get a feel for what you are looking for; this will help when you have to decide where to apply.


Use your time off over the summer break to find ways to volunteer and build your credentials. Check with Mrs. Hansen in the college and career center for help finding volunteer or internship possibilities.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.