Ready : Timeline
There are many deadlines for the college application process to which you should pay attention. Because each school is different, start out by making a personalized calendar with the dates of the deadlines for the schools to which you’ll be applying.
- Look into getting a General Educational Development (GED) certificate if you don’t have a high school diploma.
- If you didn’t take either the ACT or SAT in high school and plan on attending an institution that requires it for its applications, be sure to sign up to do so.
- Make a list of your top school choices.
- Find out application due dates and add them to your calendar, including early decision dates.
- Start asking for letters of recommendation for your applications, if required by your institution.
- Take the ACT, SAT, or both.
- Search online for scholarship and grant opportunities. If you’re currently employed, ask your employer if they give a grant to employees who return to school.
- If your school requires an application fee, check online whether you’re eligible for a waiver.
- File early decision admissions applications to hear back sooner from your top choice schools, if offered.
- Check in with your recommenders, remind them of application due dates.
- Start gathering the items you need for you FAFSA, but don’t submit it before January 1st.
- Find out when the schools you are applying to want you to submit your FAFSA (it varies!)
- Submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as possible.
- Keep looking out for scholarships - free money for your education!
- If you haven’t submitted your FAFSA, do so. Many deadlines for FAFSA application are in February.
- If you applied early to colleges, you could already be hearing back from schools.
- Prepare yourself. While applying to college is awesome and exciting, people don’t always get into their number one choice. It’s not the end of the world! Always keep exploring options & opportunities.
- Hear back from schools
- Visit campuses if you haven’t already
- Start thinking about housing, will you stay at home or live in the residence halls? Meal plans? Roommates?
- Keep hunting for scholarships!
- Pay enrollment deposits. Many of these can be reduced or waived depending on your financial situation, so double check with the school you choose about the different options!
- Start researching classes and talking to academic advisers at your new school.
- If you applied to schools with a selective application process, be sure to confirm your attendance when admitted and tell other institutions that you will not be attending.