When going through the process of picking out the perfect schools and filling out all the necessary applications, it can get pretty cumbersome. Listed below is a timeline of tasks to cover throughout your last two years of high school, which will keep you on track and ease some of the stress:

Junior Year of High School

  • Start researching schools and talking with your family and school counselors about college options; begin laying out your top choices.
  • Start taking challenging courses and staying involved in extracurricular activities, as well as being on top of your school work.
  • Begin visiting the colleges you’ve chosen to get a feel for the different campuses and overall environments of each school.
  • If you can’t make a trip to a school you’re interested in due to travel expenses, you can still get in contact with an admissions counselor from that school via phone or e-mail, or even ask to get in contact with a current student.
  • Register for the SAT tests. This can be done your senior year, but it’s never too early to take the SAT. Should your scores not be satisfactory to you, you want to have plenty of time to get any additional help you may need and re-take the test.

Summer Before Your Senior Year (June – Aug )

  • Make a finalized list of schools that interest you the most.
  • Continue visiting the schools you have chosen if you have not already finished.
  • Register to take the SAT tests if you have not already done so.

Fall of Your Senior Year of High School (Sept – Dec)

  • Begin filling out applications for the schools you have selected. Keep in touch with your school counselor for any guidance you may need during this process.
  • Start working on college applications. Make sure you have a resume that you are keeping updated, and keep all of your paperwork together.
  • Take the SAT® tests and have the scores sent to the schools where you applied.

Spring of Your Senior Year of High School (Jan – May)

  • Compare your admissions and financial aid award letters and make a decision. Don’t be afraid to call the Financial Aid Offices (FAOs) to ask for a better package or for a match of another school’s offer.
  • Make a final decision, mail the enrollment form and deposit to the school, and start applying for financial aid to cover the total cost of attendance.

Summer Before College (June – Aug )

  • Have your high school counselor send your final transcript to your selected college.
  • Secure any necessary financial aid by signing the necessary forms and submitting your Master Promissory Notes (MPNs).
  • Shop for all of your college items, make travel plans, and move into your new school!

Take the handy college preparation process advice on-the-go with a free download check list brought to you by Go Financial Aid!

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