• HELPFUL TIMELINES FOR THE COLLEGE SEARCH AND APPLICATION PROCESS

     

    Juniors

    Students in their junior year of high school are going to be faced with the important decision of what to do upon graduation. If the decision is to attend college, one must explore which college will provide them with the best setting academically and emotionally to succeed. These are some detailed steps a junior should be taking:

     

    • Work hard this year to bring up your average. Take high school courses that are challenging and aligned with your goals.
    • Check the School Counseling Department website often for up to date news and information that can assist you with the college search and application process.

     

    • Register for the SAT/ACT – You can register online at www.collegeboard.org, www.act.org, or come to the School Counseling Office.
    • Research colleges – Go online or speak to your counselor about a college search.
    • Send out requests for more information from colleges of interest – Do this online or call up the admissions offices of the colleges that interest you.
    • Arrange to visit some colleges – Check online for tour dates.
    • Develop a resume that highlights your accomplishments and activities
    • Work on sample essay questions over the summer
    • Consider teachers for recommendations

     

    Seniors

    Students in their senior year should be maintaining a scholastic average, participating in sports or other school activities and continuing to explore future possibilities. Check the School Counseling Department website often for up to date news and information that can assist you with the college search and application process.

    The following timeline is taken from College Board’s website. This timeline will help you assist your child as they consider, apply to, enroll in and finally attend the college of their choice. This calendar is a general guide, however, and may not apply to all colleges. Consult application materials, admission offices and institution websites for the specific requirements and deadlines for each of your colleges. For related links, please access College Board’s Application Calendar upon which this calendar is based at this web address:

                https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/for-parents/parent-action-plan-12th-grade

    Summer Before Senior Year

    • Visit colleges that interest you. Call ahead for the campus tour schedule. Schedule an on-campus interview with an admissions representative.
    • Register for the October SAT and or ACT
    • Finalize your list of colleges. Be sure your list includes “safe” schools as well as “reach” and “realistic” schools. Request college applications and informational packets. Organize materials into separate files by colleges.
    • Keep a college calendar of all admission deadlines.
    • If you plan on competing in Division I or Division II college sports and want to be eligible to participate at the college level you must register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.

    September

    • Your counselor will play a big role in helping you get into college, so keep him or her informed. Meet to talk about your college plans and review your transcript.
    • Get started on your applications right away if you plan to apply through an Early Decision or Early Action Program. Deadlines for early applications tend to fall in October or November.
    • Start working on your college essays. Write essays that focus on your experiences and make you stand out from the crowd.
    • Update your activity/resume sheet – your list of accomplishments, involvement and work experiences – with your senior year activities. Your activity sheet will help you complete your applications and essays.
    • Ask your teachers, counselor, coaches and/or employers for letters of recommendation. Give them enough time to meet your deadlines and make sure to provide them with stamped, addressed envelopes.

    October

     

    • Take SAT tests. Make sure your scores are sent to each one of your colleges.
    • If you are applying under an Early Decision or Early Action program, be sure to get all forms in as soon as possible. Applying online might be the right option for you.
    • Start your FASFA at Fafsa.gov (Available October 1st)

     

      

    November

     

    • Submit early decision and early action applications on time.
    • Work hard at completing your college essays. Proofread them rigorously for mistakes. Ask others to proofread them in case you miss anything.
    • Follow up with your teachers to ensure that letters of recommendations are sent on time to meet your deadlines.
    • Mail applications as early as possible for colleges with “rolling” deadlines (admission decisions are made as applications are received).
    • Try to wrap up college applications before the Thanksgiving break. Make copies of each application before you send it. Check each college’s website for individuals application deadlines
    • Take SAT tests. Make sure your scores are sent to each one of your colleges.

     

    December

     

    • Some Early Decision and Early Application responses arrive this month.

     

    January

     

    • More Early Decision and Early Application responses arrive this month.
    • Some colleges require your first & second semester grades as part of your application folder. This is called the mid-year grade report. Have your counselor send your grades to colleges that require them.

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    February

     

    • Contact your colleges and confirm that all necessary application materials have been received.
    • Don’t get senioritis! Colleges want to see strong second half year grades.

     

    March

     

    • Some admissions decisions arrive this month. Read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.

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    April

    • Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters arrive this month. Read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.
    • Make a final decision and mail the enrollment form and deposit check to the school you select before May 1 (the enrollment deadline for most schools). 
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    • Notify the schools to which you were accepted that you will not be attending in writing so that your spot can be freed up for another student.
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    • Are you on a college’s waiting list? Contact the admissions office and let them know of your continued interest in the college and update them on your spring semester grades and activities. 

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    May

    • AP Exams are administered in early May. Make sure your AP Grade Report is sent to your college.
    • Study hard for final exams. Most admission offers are contingent on your final grades.
    • Thank your counselor, teachers, coaches and anyone else who wrote you recommendations or otherwise helped with your college applications.

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    June

    • Your final transcript will be sent to your college choice. Notify your counseling office of your final college choice.
    • If you plan on competing in Division I or Division II college sports, your final transcript will be sent to the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.

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    Summer

    • Make travel plans. Book early for the best prices.
    • Finalize your housing plans.
    • Shop for items you will need in college.
    • Make sure to sign up for first-year orientation.
    • Plan your first-semester courses with an eye towards eventually selecting your college major.