Your College Application Timeline


Creating a College Application Timeline.jpg

Streamline the college application process by committing yourself to a smart timeline

When it comes to the college application process, starting early and setting personal deadlines will help you to avoid feeling stressed out and overwhelmed down the road. So begin today!  Create a timeline and stick to it! Good news, we’ve done it for you!


Junior Year

Junior Fall

  • Standardized Tests
    Pinpoint your target test-taking date now in order to allow yourself a full 3 months of study and preparation. For Juniors, the first opportunity to take the ACT, or SAT will be in the early Winter, typically either late January, or early February.
     
  • College Prospecting
    Begin building out your College List, making sure to include a wide range of schools, varying in size, location, and selectivity. You won’t receive your final test scores or GPA for a few months, so keep an open mind! The world is your oyster at this point.

Junior Winter

  • Standardized Tests
    Take the ACT or SAT during the Winter of your Junior Year. Once you’ve passed the test, sit back and wait. Upon receiving your scores, you’ll be able to narrow down your college list to a more realistic selection of potential schools.
     
  • College Prospecting
    Begin to plan those College Visits and keep your options open. Plan to see a diverse range of colleges so that you’ll be well equipped with intel and opinion once your test scores and final GPA are in.
     
  • Applications
    Approach your teachers for recommendation letters. Asking sooner rather than later will allow them ample time to craft a meaningful note.

Junior Spring

  • College Prospecting
    Hit the road! Yes, you can visit colleges in the Winter, but we prefer holding out until Spring when campuses across the country are much livelier. If you’re unsure when exactly to visit (ie. day of the week, etc.) check out our more in-depth guide “When to Schedule Your College Visits” here. For tips on how to maximize your time spent touring campus, check out our article on “Maximizing your College Visits”.

Junior Summer

  • Standardized Tests
    Narrow down your college list depending on your final Junior Year GPA and initial standardized test scores. If you’re unsatisfied with your SAT or ACT results, pick a new target date in the Fall of Senior Year, and consider your options for test preparation.
     
  • College Prospecting
    The summer can be a fine time to fit in those last minute tours. Many schools in the Northeast matriculate as early as mid-August, which allows you to visit before your high school is back in session.
     
  • Applications
    Get cranking on your college apps! By now should have a serious idea as to where you’ll be applying.Begin your applications and finish your essays before school is back in session.


Senior Year

Senior Fall

  • Standardized Tests
    If you’re re-taking the ACT or SAT, now is the time to fine-tune your skills and sit for round 2.
     
  • College Prospecting
    We tend to warn against the last-minute nature of Fall College Visits - but if you need to make a final call before Early Decision deadlines…  visiting during your Senior Fall is a good opportunity to seal the deal. Not to mention the fact that Fall semester on college campus (especially at schools with big-time football teams) can be quite a lot of fun! For tips on how to maximize your time spent touring campus, check out our article on “Maximizing your College Visits”.
     
  • Applications
    Put the final touches on your applications, and your essays. Once school is in session, take advantage of the opportunity to get feedback from both your teachers and college counselors.

Senior Winter

  • Standardized Tests
    Your scores are final!
     
  • College Prospecting 
    You’re done!
     
  • Applications
    Complete and submit all applications.

 

Good luck, you made it through the long process of applying to college! Congratulation yourself, and be proud of your hard work. We hope that our timeline was helpful along the way. Cheers!