College Planning Timeline & Calendar

Our philosophy is that the college search process is one of self-discovery and personal growth. It isn’t something that happens overnight, or in just your senior year.

Freshman Year

BE CURIOUS!

Ask questions, get to know others, talk to your teachers. Be active and explore opportunities inside and outside the classroom.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF, BUT DON’T GO OVERBOARD.

Work with your advisor to carve out a four-year academic plan in which you can perform well and that also will challenge your mind beyond an easy A.

READ, READ, AND READ SOME MORE.

Whether it be leafing through a paperback fiction novel, listening to a book on tape narrated by your favorite actor, or staining your fingertips with a newspaper from a country you’d love to visit, you’re taking in information that will open your eyes to the world around you.

Sophmore Year

FORGE STRONG CONNECTIONS WITH FACULTY YOU ADMIRE.

At your fingertips is a diverse population of people who are not only here to feed your mind, but also to feed your curiosity about the world. Find out what makes the world go round and connects us all in one big puzzle.

YOU’LL TAKE YOUR FIRST STANDARDIZED TEST.

The PSAT predicts how you will most likely perform on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.

ARE YOU ACTIVE ON CAMPUS YET?

Colleges are looking for inquisitive and engaged members of their community. Ask your teachers and college counselor for ideas on how to get involved in areas that suit your talents and interests.

Junior Year

TAKE THE PSAT, AGAIN.

Yes, you have to do it, but it gives you practice for the real thing in a few months.

ATTEND THE FALL COLLEGE FAIR.

It’s a great way to hear about places you’ve never been, places you might want to go, and majors you never dreamed existed.

VISIT COLLEGES DURING BREAKS.

Now is a good time to start exploring colleges that may be of interest to you.

BUILD A COLLEGE LIST.

Your list should be comprised of safety, fit and reach schools. While you’ll already have interacted multiple times with your college counselor, now is the time when you will formally meet each week.

TAKE THE MARCH SAT.

Remember, this isn’t your one and only chance. Get a feel for the test, do your best, and register for the next date that works best with your schedule.

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS.

Ask (in person) two teachers if they’re willing to write college recommendation letters for you, and log their names in Naviance.

“THE ESSAY.”

There’s a lot of topics that you can write about, but know that colleges want to hear something “different.” Admissions officers can spot a carbon copied essay a mile away, so tell them your story.

Senior Year

CREATE A COMMON APPLICATION ACCOUNT.

Our policy is that a student use the Common Application (CA) whenever possible for their college applications, even when there is a choice between completing the application on the college’s website or CA.

REFINE YOUR COLLEGE LIST.

When you meet with your counselor, you’ll finalize your list and talk about application types.

REGISTER FOR THE SAT/ACT/TOEFL AND SEND YOUR SCORES.

If you are applying to a college with a November deadline, October is your last chance to take a test that will have scores ready for those deadlines.

FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS AND PRESS SUBMIT.

After you’ve reviewed your application and essays with your college counselor, it’s time to press submit.

APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID.

The PPY FAFSA now allows families to fill out their federal financial paperwork in October of your senior year using last year’s taxes.

FINISH UP YOUR COLLEGE VISITS.

If you were unable to visit a school you’re interested in before you applied, make sure that you get in a visit during school breaks if possible – it can help your decision-making process immensely.

MAKE YOUR DECISION, STICK TO IT, AND GET EXCITED.

If you didn’t receive an admissions offer through ED or EDII, then May 1st is your reply date for all of the other colleges on your list. Pick one, and make it the pick you truly want.

FINISH STRONG.

Colleges expect you to finish the year with the same academic standards you set for yourself that gained you admission in the first place.

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