A Complete College Application Timeline for High School Seniors
You need to be very active during the senior year if you want to gain college admission. It is the time when you need to choose a few colleges to which you can apply. You have to get your ACT or SAT scores, prepare an essay, collect recommendation letters, and take steps to get financial aid. You need to get high grades and take an active part in various extracurricular activities. If you spend enough time and energy on looking for colleges and preparing your college essays during summer before the senior year begins, you will have less stress during your senior year.
Before Your Senior Year
- Take the SAT and ACT (if suitable).
- Explore the colleges and find out their admission requirements.
- Make sure that you attend English, Foreign Language, Math, Science, Social Science classes.
- Think about the topic and collect material for your essay.
- Visit various campuses and meet college representatives.
- Enroll yourself for the upcoming SAT in October-November (if suitable).
- Talk to your counselor and find out about the colleges you are planning to join.
- Collect recommendation letters.
- Sign up for The Common Application or application accounts of various colleges where you wish to apply.
- Improve your performance in extracurricular activities and academics.
- Appear for SAT, ACT (if suitable).
- Select 6 to 8 colleges.
- Complete the applications.
- Submit the Free Application for Financial Aid.
- Research and find out about scholarships and financial aid.
- Keep working on your essay and try to polish it with the help of various people and resources.
- Enroll for the upcoming SAT, ACT in December (if suitable).
- Work hard to maintain your school grades at a high level.
- If you apply to schools that have November deadlines, ensure that you submit all the components of the applications.
- Finalize your essays, give sufficient importance to the supplemental essays also.
December – January
- Make sure that you complete the applications meant for regular admissions.
- All the colleges should have received your test results.
- They should have received your recommendation letters.
- Send midyear grades to colleges.
- Research for scholarships and apply for them on time.
February – March
- Get in touch with the colleges to which you have applied and ask for a confirmation.
- Apply to schools that have late deadlines or rolling admissions.
- Consider enrolling for AP exams.
- Compare the financial aid offered by various colleges and visit the campuses before choosing one.
- Keep a record of all the waitlists, acceptances, and rejections.
- If your name is on the waitlist, make other plans and move forward.
- In case you get an acceptance from a college that you do not wish to join, inform them politely.
May – June
- Keep up your high grades.
- Take AP exams. If your scores are high, you will get more academic options in college.
- Send final transcripts to colleges.
- Express your gratitude to all the people who helped in getting admission.
After Your Senior Year
July – August
Register for classes. If you have a housing assignment, become familiar with your roommate during the summer and decide the things you will be taking with you.
Congratulations! You can attend one of your favorite colleges.
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