- Narrow your list of colleges to 5 to 10. Meet with a counselor about them and, if you've not yet done so, download college applications and financial aid forms. Plan to visit as many of these colleges as possible.
- Create a master list or calendar that includes:
- tests you'll take and their fees, dates, and registration deadlines.
- college application due dates.
- financial aid application forms required and their deadlines. (Note: Aid applications may be due before college applications.)
- other materials you'll need (recommendations, transcripts, etc.).
- your high school's own application processing deadlines.
- If you can't afford application or test fees, a counselor can help you request a fee waiver.
- If you have not had your test scores sent to the college to which you are applying, be sure to contact the College Board or ACT to have your scores sent.
- Try to finalize your college choices
- Prepare Early Decision, Early Action, or rolling admissions applications as soon as possible.
- Ask for counselor or teacher recommendations if you need them. Give each teacher or counselor an outline of your academic record and your extracurricular activities. For each recommendation, provide a stamped, addressed envelope, and any college forms required.
- If you're submitting essays, write first drafts and ask teachers and others to read them. If you're applying for Early Decision, finish the essays for that application now.
- If you have not had your test scores send to the college to which you are applying, be sure to contact the College Board or ACT to have them sent.
- November 1-15: For Early Decision admissions, colleges may require test scores and applications between these dates.
- Complete at least one college application by Thanksgiving.
- Counselors send transcripts to colleges. Give counselors the proper forms at least two weeks before colleges require them.
- As you finish and send your applications and essays, be sure to keep copies.
- If your college wants to see seventh-semester grades, be sure you give the form to your counselor.
- If you apply to colleges online, be sure to have your high school send a transcript--it goes to colleges separately, and by mail.
- No senioritis, please! Accepting colleges do look at second-semester senior grades.
- Keep active in school. If you are wait-listed, the college will want to know what you havea accomplished between the time you applied and learned of the decision.
- You should receive acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April. If you've not done so yet, visit your final college before accepting. As soon as you decide, notify your counselor of your choice.
- If you have questions about housing offers, talk to your counselor or call the college.
- May 1: Colleges cannot require a deposit or commitment to attend before May 1. By that postmarked date, you must inform every college of your acceptance or rejection of the offer of admission and/or financial aid. (Questions? Talk to your counselor.)
- Send your deposit to one college only.
- Wait-listed by a college? If you will enroll if accepted, tell the admissions director your intent and ask how to strengthen your application. Need financial aid? Ask whether funds will be available if you're accepted.
- Work with a counselor to resolve any admissions or financial aid problems.
- Ask your high school to send a final transcript to your college.
Source: The College Board