Senior year in Central Ohio is full of deadlines and to-dos beyond senior pictures, and it can be hard to keep track of it all. As your senior year specialists, we want to help you stay organized so you don't miss a thing! As always, please check with your high school counselors or other school staff as things do change over time and each school may operate a little differently. Even from one year to the next!
When to Schedule and Take Senior Portraits in Columbus, Ohio
One of the most popular questions we get is when a family should schedule senior photos. Senior pictures can really happen anytime from the end of Junior year through the first week or so in June after Senior year. However, most students will schedule during April- August for a session to take place June - November, with the most popular months being August, September, and October in Central Ohio. Good, experienced photographers tend to book early and their calendars will fill for the busy months, so do not delay in scheduling. If your school allows you to submit your own senior photo for the yearbook, you will want to make sure you have your images back in time to meet that deadline, which is anywhere from December through March depending on your school. Keep in mind that some schools will also take a required "school portrait" (as they have done for the last 12 years) that is separate from your custom senior photography experience.
College Entrance Exams
By now your senior has probably already taken the ACT or SAT, but if not, it's time to register. Registration deadlines for these tests take place about a month before the test date, and fees may go up for late registrations. You will also want to allow enough time for your colleges to receive a copy of your test scores as a part of your application package prior to the deadline (more on that below), so planning early is best. It may take three weeks or so for your test results to arrive at your colleges of choice. You will likely want to test in the Summer at the latest, before your senior year begins and your social/sports calendar is full! If you need some test prep help, it's time to begin that process!
College Application Deadline & Acceptance Deadline
Ahhhh, college application deadlines! This can get very confusing and there are many factors at stake, so this is one you absolutely should be working through with your high school guidance counselor. To oversimplify a not-so-simple process, regular decision application deadlines typically fall anywhere from Jan 1 through February. Decisions usually come out by March, and you have until May 1 (National College Decision Day) to accept or decline. Please note that if you are applying under Early Decision or Early Action, or in some cases for certain financial support, you may have a FALL application deadline. Do not wait to talk with your counselor about college applications.
Cap & Gown Photos and Ordering in Central Ohio
Obviously one of the most exciting moments of senior year is donning the cap and gown at graduation! But you must make sure you have the exact right color and style to match the other students at the graduation ceremony. Your school should be providing information where and when to order this. Look for details from your school around early October. Some students will purchase a speciality tassel just for fun and photos, but the school will likely require a specific tassel to be worn during graduation. Cap & gown pickups typically happen during April and early May. This means you will have it in hand in time for a Cap & Gown mini session in late Spring!
High School Graduation Application & Supporting Paperwork Deadlines
Probably one of the most important deadlines at your high school this year will be applying for graduation. After years of taking courses to meet requirements, it's finally time to apply for that diploma! You will want to verify with your counselors that you have met the graduation criteria long before this point, but your actual application paperwork is generally due around Winter or early in the second semester. This may include verification of the spelling of your name as it should appear on your diploma as well as your intent to graduate. In many cases, you are permitted to select who will actually hand you your diploma on graduation day (perhaps your favorite teacher!). This means selecting that individual and possibly asking them to do that honor, as well as reporting it on the required forms for your school.
Graduation Party Planning
Believe it or not, there is almost a "deadline" involved here as well! With May & June being popular wedding dates in addition to Mother's Day, Father's Day, and high school and college graduations, event space rentals can go quick. Tent, chair, table, and supply rentals can also book early. We recommend you choose your venue and begin the early stages of party planning by the beginning of April. Take special care not to select a date and location too close to any other major celebration, such as near The Ohio State University campus on their graduation day. The traffic and crowds will make it hard for your guests to attend. Graduation announcements that double as party invites should be sent about a month prior to the party. Simply announcing graduation can happen anytime until about a week or two after graduation.
We understand that senior year and all the parts and pieces can be a little overwhelming. That's why we take great care to walk you though every step of the senior photo process from the planning of your custom session through selecting the perfect artwork for your walls. You have so much else to figure out on your own, we'd love to make this easy for you! Let's talk more about what you and your senior are dreaming up for their special session and turn it into a reality!