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High-School Preparation for College: Calendar (page 3)

— National Association for College Admission Counseling
Updated on Apr 22, 2011

May

 

  • Attend a college fair to get more information about colleges on your list. NACAC sponsors college fairs in cities across the country during the fall and the spring. Visit NACAC's National College Fairs Web page to check out the schedule for the National College Fairs and the Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs.
  • Get a jump start on summer activities-consider enrolling in an academic course at a local college, pursuing a summer school program, applying for an internship, working, or volunteering. If you work, save part of your earnings for college.
  • Begin visiting colleges. Phone to set up appointments. Interviews are always a good idea. Many colleges will tell you they are optional, but an interview will show interest, enthusiasm and initiative on your part and provide an excellent opportunity to have your questions answered. Do a practice interview with your counselor, teacher, employer, or a senior who has had college interviews. Set up interviews as early as possible-interview times become booked quickly!
  • Take the SAT Reasoning Test or the SAT Subject Tests.

June

  • After school ends, get on the road to visit colleges. Seeing the college firsthand, taking a tour and talking to students can be the greatest help in deciding whether or not a school is right for you. Although it is ideal to visit colleges during the academic year, going in the summer will be valuable. Admission offices employ their students to give tours and answer questions from prospective students and their parents.
  • Take the SAT Reasoning Test, the SAT Subject Tests and/or the ACT.

July

  • Visit colleges, take tours, have interviews and ask questions. Make college visiting a family event. Involve your parents and siblings in every step of your application process. Choosing the right college is a tough decision; the opinions of those who know you best can provide helpful insight into which college is best for you.

August

  • Continue to refine your list of potential colleges and universities.
  • Begin preparing for the actual application process: draft application essays; collect writing samples; and assemble portfolios or audition tapes. If you are an athlete and plan on playing in college, contact the coaches at the schools to which you are applying and ask about intercollegiate and intramural sports programs and athletic scholarships.
  • Complete the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse form if you hope to play Division I or II sports. (This form cannot be mailed until you finish your sixth semester of high school.)

Senior Year Calendar

Apply to colleges. Make decisions. Finish high school with pride in yourself and your accomplishments.

September

  • Make sure you have all applications required for college admission and financial aid. Write, phone, or use the Internet to request missing information.
  • Check on application and financial aid deadlines for the schools to which you plan to apply. They may vary and it is essential to meet all deadlines!
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to be sure your list includes colleges appropriate to your academic and personal record. Review your transcript and co-curricular records with your school counselor to ensure their accuracy.
  • Register for the October/November SAT Reasoning Test and/or SAT Subject Tests, or September/October ACT.
  • If the colleges require recommendations, ask the appropriate people to write on your behalf. At least three weeks before the due date, ask your counselor and teachers, employers, or coaches to write letters of recommendation. Provide recommendation forms, any special instructions and a stamped, addressed business envelope to the people writing your recommendation. Be thoughtful! Write thank-you notes to those who write recommendations and keep them informed of your decisions.
  • Plan visits to colleges and set up interviews (if you didn't get to them during the summer or if you want to return to a campus for a second time). Read bulletin boards and the college newspaper. Talk with current students and professors.

October 

  • Attend a regional college fair to investigate further those colleges to which you will probably apply. Visit the College Fairs section on NACAC's Web site to view the schedule for NACAC's National College Fairs and the Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs.
  • Mail applications in time to reach the colleges by the deadlines. Check with your guidance counselor to make sure your transcript and test scores have been/will be sent to the colleges to which you are applying.
  • If applying for early decision or early action, send in your application now. Also prepare applications for back-up schools. Remember, if you are accepted under the early decision option, you are expected to enroll at that college and to withdraw all other applications. Submit financial aid information if requested from early decision/action candidates.
  • Register for the December/January SAT Reasoning Test and/or SAT Subject Tests, or December ACT if you have not completed the required tests or if you are not happy with your previous test scores and think you can do better.
  • Have official test scores sent by the testing agency to colleges on your list.

November 

  • Take the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests if appropriate. Don't forget to have test scores sent to colleges on your list.
  • Be sure your first quarter grades are good.
  • Continue completing applications to colleges. Make copies of all applications before mailing the applications.
  • If you need financial aid, obtain a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) from your guidance office. Check to see if the colleges to which you are applying require any other financial aid form. Register for the CSS Profile if required and obtain the college's own financial aid forms, if available.
  • Keep all records, test score reports and copies of applications for admission and financial aid. Do not throw anything away until at least the end of your first year in college. Having detailed records will save you time and effort should anything be lost or should you decide to apply in the future to other colleges and scholarship programs.
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