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"Our college guidance counselor provided us with a specific, personalized, and structured approach to the college application process. I'm thankful for the help provided throughout the whole process of applying, from start to finish."

- Wilberforce US Student

Application Timelines

Freshman Year


(for a full downloaded copy, please see pages 5-7 on the College Guidance Handbook.)

  • Get to know your teachers.
  • Begin to explore your interests and passions. Get involved in those areas. Invest in extracurriculars. Volunteer in areas of interest to you.
  • Try something new!
  • Look into summer academic opportunities and service projects.
  • If you are interested in applying to a military academy, begin researching the process.

Sophomore Year

(for a full downloaded copy, please see pages 5-7 on the College Guidance Handbook.)

Fall

  • October: Take the practice PSAT in October. Use the results to strengthen areas of weakness before taking the test next year.

Winter

  • December/January: Consider how you will spend your summer. Use it well! Look into job opportunities or summer academic programs.
  • Meet with your college guidance counselor to discuss your initial thoughts about college.
  • Visit the websites of your dream colleges. Look at their admissions requirements to begin getting a feel for what they require.
  • Attend a college fair.
  • Determine whether you will take any SAT Subject tests and register.

Junior Year

(for a full downloaded copy, please see pages 5-7 on the College Guidance Handbook.)

Summer

  • Make the best use of your time in the summer. Find a job or internship, volunteer, or participate in a summer academic program. Do something that interests you!
  • Study for the PSAT - work on strategies, take practice tests, or take a prep class.
  • Read for pleasure (reading is one of the best ways to prepare for the PSAT).
  • Begin visiting colleges and researching scholarship opportunities.
  • Plan out your standardized testing schedule for your Junior year.


Fall

  • September: Take a PSAT prep class. Practice with sample tests.
  • October: Take the PSAT.
  • Register for a spring offering of the SAT.
  • Meet with your college guidance counselor.
  • Continue to research colleges and build your interest list.
  • Attend local college fairs.
  • Research scholarships and make a list of deadlines (Some scholarship deadlines may be during your Junior year).
  • Research and apply for summer academic and research programs hosted at colleges.


Spring

  • Study for the SAT or ACT - work on strategies, take practice tests, or take a prep class.
  • Take the SAT or ACT.
  • Attend a local college fair.
  • Visit 2-3 colleges. Spring break is a great time for this!
  • Meet with your college guidance counselor to continue developing your college list.
  • Plan an interesting summer! Look into internships, jobs, or volunteer opportunities.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation from teachers before summer break.
  • Take AP tests or SAT Subject tests.

Senior Year

(for a full downloaded copy, please see pages 5-7 on the College Guidance Handbook.)

Summer

  • Take initiative - do something that interests you! Find an internship, a volunteer opportunity, or a job. If you know what you want to study in college, do something related to that field.
  • Research scholarships and begin applying.
  • Visit colleges!
  • Become familiar with the Common App when it becomes available on August 1.
  • Begin writing your college essays.
  • Study for the SAT or ACT by working on strategies, taking practice tests, or taking a prep class.
  • Get organized! Create a master calendar of deadlines (applications, test registration, test dates, scholarship applications, financial aid, housing).
  • August 1: Register for ACT/SAT If you plan to take or retake.


September

  • Study applications of all colleges you are interested in attending to ensure you submit the correct documents and know the deadlines.
  • Begin applications. If applying early decision, keep in mind the deadlines for those applications.
  • Schedule an appointment with your college guidance counselor to discuss your plans.
  • Request letters of recommendation by end of September.


October

  • October 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available. Submit it as soon as possible after this date.
  • Retake SAT/SAT Subject Tests or ACT if necessary.
  • If you are applying “Early Decision” your application may be due as early as November 1. Complete your application.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Meet with your college counselor throughout the semester.
  • Visit additional colleges you are interested in.
  • Attend college fairs in the area.
  • Meet with your college guidance counselor to confirm the list of colleges to which you are applying.


November

  • Submit the CSS Profile if required by your school.
  • Retake SAT/SAT Subject Tests if necessary.
  • Nov. 1 and 15: Deadlines to submit for Early Action and Early Decision.
  • Continue submitting applications with rolling deadlines.
  • Begin working on applications with January deadlines.


December

  • Retake ACT if necessary.
  • Retake SAT/SAT Subject Tests if necessary.
  • Receive early decision/early action decisions.
  • Dec. 15 - Feb. 1: Begin submitting additional applications to schools with these deadlines.
  • Thank teachers who wrote recommendations on your behalf.

January

  • Submit the CCS Profile if required by your school.
  • Jan. 1 and 15: Submit additional applications by required deadlines.


February

  • February 1: Submit additional applications.


March - April

  • Colleges begin releasing admissions decisions.
  • Inform you guidance counselor if you have been wait-listed or rejected by an institution you hoped to attend.
  • Visit colleges where you have been accepted.


May

  • May 1: National Candidates’ Reply Date
    • Make your decision on where to matriculate by this date. Inform all schools where you have been admitted of your decision.
  • Your final transcript will be mailed to your college choice.
  • Thank teachers who wrote you letters of recommendation.

College Guidance Calendar

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