Your College Admissions Timeline, Junior to Senior Year

Introduction to the college admissions application timeline 

The college application process can be one of the most exciting times in the life of a student, both daunting and inspiring. It can also be one of the most complicated years you will ever manage. Juniors face their most challenging academic years while shooting for stellar standardized test scores, pursuing high-impact activities, and managing college admissions applications. Given the many moving parts of the college admissions process, it’s helpful to have a project plan for what to complete and when. We are sharing a college admissions application timeline to ensure you are ahead of the game on over 100+ to-dos required for the college admissions process!

January through March, Junior Year

  • PSAT scores released
  • Post-Secondary Planning Meeting with your counselor
  • Research and develop a prospective list of colleges
  • SAT/ACT prep
  • February ACT (if needed)
  • Course Selection Meetings
  • Visit colleges over February break (if possible)
  • Participate in virtual college tours and information sessions
  • March SAT (if needed)
  • Weekend college visits (if possible)

April, Junior Year

  • April ACT (if needed)
  • Continue to research and/or visit colleges over April break

May, Junior Year

  • AP Exams
  • May SAT (if needed)
  • Draft college essay
  • Continue to research and/or visit colleges
  • Ask teachers to write letters of recommendation
  • Work on junior questionnaire and parent brag sheets

June, Junior Year

  • June SAT (if needed)
  • June ACT (if needed)
  • Continue to research and/or visit colleges
  • Submit junior questionnaire and parent brag sheets
  • Continue to work on college essay
  • Ask teachers to write letters of recommendation

July-August, Junior Year

  • Work on college essay
  • Continue to research and/or visit colleges
  • July ACT (if needed)
  • Create account and work on Common Application Aug. 1

  • Continue to work on essay and begin supplemental essays
  • Attend Camp College in mid-August
  • August SAT (if needed)

September, Senior Year

  • Submit completed student and parent questionnaires for your counselor letter of recommendation, if you have not already done so
  • Meet with your counselor to review your college application plans
  • Link your Naviance and Common App accounts
  • Invite teachers to submit their letters of recommendation 
  • Make appointments with your college counselor to go over college list, applications, essays, interviewing, resumes etc…
  • Register to attend college rep visits at your school in Naviance at least 24 hours in advance. 
  • September ACT (if needed)
  • Request transcripts and counselor report in Naviance at least 4 weeks before your first application deadline
  • Finalize college applications and begin working on scholarship applications, if you haven’t already
  • Apply to scholarships reserved for seniors. Many have deadlines between August-November
  • Research school-specific, national, and state scholarship opportunities – many are advertised in the winter. Apply by the deadline for any you are interested in
  • Visit colleges if you still need to 

October, Senior Year

  • Continue working on applications and scholarships
  • Continue to register for and attend college rep visits
  • Begin applying for financial aid on Oct. 1 by completing the FAFSA and in some cases the CSS Profile. 
  • Send standardized test scores to early action, early decision and rolling decision colleges that require official score reports
  • Invite teachers to submit letters to any additional colleges you add to your list in Naviance/Scoir
  • Request transcripts at least 4 weeks before your first application deadline
  • October SAT (if needed)
  • October ACT (if needed)
  • Observe October 15 early action application deadline at some colleges

November, Senior Year

  • Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 are common Early Action/Early Decision deadlines
  • November SAT (if needed)
  • Request transcripts at least 4 weeks before your first application deadline
  • Send standardized test scores to regular decision schools and those with December deadlines that require them
  • Work on regular decision applications and essays after you submit early applications
  • Q1 grades sent to colleges. Students must opt-out if you do not want those reported
  • Meet with your counselor as needed
  • After applying, follow instructions to join application portals to ensure everything has been received.  (Keep in mind that it takes a minimum of 2-3 weeks for colleges to upload files!) Maintain the usernames and passwords to your college application portals in 1 document
  • Complete Self-Reported Academic Record (for the colleges that require this step) after applying
  • Keep up senior year grades

December, Senior Year

  • Early action/early decision notifications typically begin to come out the second week in December
  • Withdraw any EA or regular decision applications from other colleges if you are admitted to your ED school
  • Dec. SAT (if needed)
  • Dec. ACT (if needed)
  • Submit transcript requests and counselor reports for Regular Decision schools
  • Keep up senior year grades
  • Notify your counselor of acceptances, deferrals, and rejections

January, Senior Year

  • Most regular decision application deadlines
  • Observe ED II deadlines
  • Notification from some early action colleges
  • Apply for scholarships
  • Keep up your senior year grades

February, Senior Year

  • ED II notifications
  • Mid-year grades sent to colleges
  • Sit tight and wait on regular decision notifications
  • Apply for scholarships
  • Notify your counselor of acceptances, deferrals, and rejections

March, Senior Year

  • Regular decision notifications and financial aid awards begin to come in
  • Meet with your counselor to help you interpret your financial aid awards
  • Notify your counselor of acceptances, waitlists, and rejections

April, Senior Year

  • All regular decision notifications should be delivered by early April
  • Notify your counselor of acceptances, waitlists, and rejections
  • Revisit colleges as needed
  • Attend accepted students days
  • Deposit if you have decided on your school
  • Confirm your interest in remaining on any waitlists and send a follow-up letter of interest in in the college in late April
  • Notify colleges you know you will NOT be attending. This can open up waitlist seats for others. 

May, Senior Year

  • May 1 is National Deposit Day. All students must send in a deposit to the ONE school they plan to attend
  • Notify your counselor of the school you plan to attend or other future plans
  • Colleges begin to take students off the waitlist in early May
  • Send thank-you notes to teachers who wrote letters of recommendation for you

June, Senior Year

  • Counselor sends final transcript to your college after graduation 

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