Freshman/Sophomore Year

  • To the best of your ability and current knowledge, choose courses with future goals in mind.  For example, even though you only need two years of foreign language to graduate, most competitive colleges like to see four.
  • Plan to study for and take any SAT Subject Tests for courses you took this year (there’s no better time than at the end of the course).

Junior Year

  • Meet periodically with your school counselor to discuss post-high school plans
  • Plan to study for and take any AP and SAT Subject Tests for courses you took this year
  • Decide whether you’re going to take the SAT or the ACT, or try both and then decide which one to submit.  Plan to take the test(s) once during Junior Fall/Winter.  That way you can re-take the test Junior Spring and if necessary, Senior Fall
  • Begin researching and visiting colleges
  • Attend college fair at your high school
  • Ask for recommendations (April/May/June)
  • Develop a preliminary college list

Summer Before Senior Year

  • Get a head start on your Common App essay
  • Create a resume or activity list
  • Fill out the Common Application once it launches (August 1st)
  • Continue visiting colleges
  • Finalize your college list by the time school begins
  • Make a list of each school’s application deadlines and requirements
  • Make a list of all essay questions you need to complete (include length requirements)
  • Check if your colleges require or recommend having an interview

Senior Fall

  • September:  Decide if you are going to do any early applications
  • Provide each of your “recommenders” with a final list of colleges (including deadlines), your resume or activity list and your brg sheet.  Don’t forget to thank them.
  • Finalize your Common App essay and work on supplemental essay questions
  • Attend college visits at your high school for all colleges you are interested in
  • Continue visiting colleges, as necessary