• Dates, Deadlines and Details: A Monthly Activity Calendar

    College-bound students need to develop and follow a plan of action if they are going to fulfill their dreams of getting into and getting ready for the college of their choice. Here is a calendar of basic monthly activities that every college-bound student should incorporate into an individual plan.

    JUNE-SEPTEMBER

    ˜       Make plans now. Do some research and think about your college search process.

    ˜       If you haven’t done so already, make a list of the colleges and universities you would like to visit and start making arrangements. If you can’t travel long distances, visit local colleges to get a better idea of exactly what you want in the college you choose.

    ˜       Obtain and review all admissions materials and applications from colleges that interest you. Use the mail, your phone or the Internet to get the most up-to-date versions.

    ˜       Start working on the first draft of your admissions essay and your resume.

    OCTOBER

    ˜       Narrow your list of colleges to four or five schools you are seriously considering.

    ˜       Attend as many college night presentations at your high school or in your area as possible. Check with your school counselor to see if the colleges you are most interested in will visit your school. If not, ask your counselor (or call yourself) to contact the college to see if their representatives are making any area visits.

    ˜       Work hard to keep your grades up. Admissions committees will closely review your work during the first semester of your senior year.

    ˜       Ask several teachers for whom you have done your best work for letters of recommendation.

    ˜       Make a calendar with the application and scholarship deadlines for all colleges to which you will apply. Keep it handy!

    NOVEMBER

    ˜       If you are applying for early admission, make sure you get all required materials in on time or you will be placed in the regular admissions pool.

    ˜       This is your last chance to register for and take the SAT or ACT for use in many selective college scholarship programs.

     

    DECEMBER

    ˜       Use your semester or holiday break to put the finishing touches on applications (if they are due after the New Year). Don’t forget, teachers and counselors are on vacation, so you should have most of the important pieces of your application already completed.

    ˜       Make sure your essays and resume are completed before you head back to school.

    JANUARY

    ˜       Many universities have an early deadline for students interested in academic and leadership scholarships. Is your application in?

    ˜       Look for decisions from any school to which you applied for early admission.

    ˜       If you are applying for financial aid, make sure you pick up your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from your high school counselor and fill it out with your parents.

    ˜       Complete the FAFSA and any required financial aid forms from the colleges to which you have applied. If you miss the deadline, you miss your chance for aid for next year.

    ˜       Make sure your first semester official transcript is sent to the colleges to which you have applied.

     

    FEBRUARY

    ˜       Last application deadline for some colleges.

    MARCH

    ˜       Be aware of any financial aid deadlines.

    ˜       If possible, visit any colleges to which you are accepted (if you haven’t already done so) before making your final decision.

    APRIL

    ˜       Register for Advance Placement exams offered through your high school.

    ˜       Mail a written acceptance to your first-choice university.

    ˜       Respond to financial aid and scholarship offers.

    ˜       Notify all colleges that accept you of your final decision.

    MAY

    ˜       May 1 is the National Candidate Reply Date. Except for special circumstances, you should make your college decision before this date.

    ˜       Sign up for new student orientation.

    ˜       Request that your final high school transcript be mailed to the college or university you will attend.


    Hopefully, by using this calendar, students will find it easier to observe and follow dates, deadlines, and details. The college application process will be clearer. This calendar helps students organize themselves while planning for college, and enables them