Staying on top of the college process is key to your success. Here is a month by month listing of what you need to do. Please stay current and communicate with us. We know COVID-19 has shifted some of our timeline, but this is a good guide


❑ Start to fill out your Common App, Coalition App, or Specific College Apps. Make sure that we see your essays before they are added.

❑ Check Naviance or your schools program and sign up for college visits at your school. Read this article, it will make a big difference, Know your college representative.

❑ Decide if you will apply Early Decision or Early Action to your top choice school. If so make sure everything is sent on time. Let us know.

❑ Remind your counselor and recommenders when you need letters written by. They need at least three weeks’ notice.

❑ Look at the fall calendar — plan final campus visits/interviews if the schools are conducting them. Don’t panic you have until May 1st to look at the schools.

❑ Take a look at your social media and clean it up!

❑ Request interviews at colleges that you are interested in, where available.


ED and EA candidates prepare to submit applications by the deadline, Oct. 15th, Nov. 1st, or 15th!

❑ Attend local college fairs (if offered) and college visits at your high school. Connect with the people who will be reading your application.

❑ Check Naviance or your schools program to follow up with recommenders to make sure that they have written their letters.

❑ Fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profile (when requested) to see if you qualify to receive financial aid. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (required by many private schools and a few flagship state universities). Your EFC will be provided and that is an essential number in determining financial need.

❑ Take advantage of priority deadlines — get your application considered sooner and increase eligibility for merit aid.

❑ Use our tracking form to stay on top of what’s due when. Plan to submit applications before the due dates, preferably before winter vacation!

❑ Confirm that counselor and teacher recommendation letters have been uploaded into Naviance and request transcripts be sent to the schools you’re applying to (there may be a small fee for each transcript).

❑ Decide which test scores (SAT, ACT) to send and order score reports.

❑ Follow up with colleges to make sure all application materials were received.


❑ Continue to “demonstrate interest” in schools — open emails from colleges, call the admission office to request an alumni interview, etc.

Make sure all essays are approved by us before they are sent to colleges. The deadline to have the draft in to us is Thanksgiving.

❑ Finalize your college list and finish all essays. Last day for essay review is the Wed prior to Thanksgiving.

❑ Follow up with colleges to make sure all application materials were received.


❑ Note financial aid application deadlines, which may differ from admission application deadlines.

❑ Proof any remaining applications one final time and “submit”!

❑ Let us know about any acceptance you receive.


❑ Make sure mid-year grade reports are sent to all schools you’ve applied to.


❑ Beware of Senioritis…stay on track academically!

❑ Begin planning for summer (work, travel, volunteering, etc.).


❑ Decisions arrive in the mail and/or online by the end of the month, so get ready to handle and share “the news.”

❑ Celebrate!


❑ Attend “admitted student” events on campus and compare/contrast other aspects of the schools where you were accepted (including financial aid awards).

❑ If you were waitlisted, express interest to the school. We will help guide you.

❑ Send a deposit by May 1st (unless COVID 19 has changed things) to accept a spot at the college of your choice!

❑ Continue to do your work in class so grades don’t “droop” too much.

❑ Start planning the graduation party!


❑ Thank teachers, counselors, and coaches who helped you apply to college.

❑ Open and respond promptly to communications from the college — information about housing, orientation, course registration, etc.

❑ Study for finals and AP exams — end the year strong.

❑ Solidify summer plans (work? travel? study? volunteer?).

❑ Connect with future classmates (and perhaps find a roommate) through the college’s official social media sites.

❑ Enjoy time with your friends and family and bask in the glow of your accomplishments at graduation!