I just turned 17, I am a junior in high school and was wondering what would be the optimum timeline to apply to colleges, get my essays written, letters of recommendation, test transcripts, FSHA filled out, etc. I was just wondering if anyone had a detailed timeline of when I should do these things, anything helps.
Test Scores- If you have to take your SAT/ACT over, sign up now for the Aug/Sept/Oct test dates and grind this summer.
Essays - Start as soon as the Common App opens which is 8/1/22. You can actually start earlier on the many of the supplemental essays because they don't really change from year to year at Top colleges.
College Visits - Visit as many colleges as possible with your parents. It's very important to see them in person.
Recruiting - I don't know if you are a Varsity recruit for Hockey. If so, you want to follow up with all the coaches at the schools you are interested in. And do any in person try outs or camps this summer.
STARTING WITH THE FALL SEMESTER
College List - Have your college list completed. Then arrange a meeting with your HS counselor to go over your list and make any adjustments. Do this as soon as you get to school so your HS counselor will remember you and give you the right amount of attention. You don't want to procrastinate this. Many students assume they are going to get glowing recommendations from HS counselors. But that is a fallacy. If they don't know you, they cant advocate for you. It's like any relationship. You have to put in the time and effort to get to know them and they you. Then you will reap the maximum benefit.
Letters of recommendation - contact your teachers and HS counselor within the first couple weeks of school so you have a head start on everyone else. Then send out reminders around 10/15 for the ED/EA deadlines, and around 2 weeks prior for the RD ones so the make sure to get them submitted. If you apply to Dartmouth or a school that has a 4th peer recommendation, then do that around the same time as well.
Start your Common App or Coalition application as soon as it's available - You can start as early as 8/1/22 but most people start after school starts.
FAFSA- opens on 10/1/22 so if you're applying ED/EA, you need to grind on that.
CSS Profile - opens on 10/1/22 so if you're applying ED/EA, you need to grind on that.
Supplemental Materials - Some colleges have option Videos or Examples of Written Papers required. So you want to organize all that and have that ready before you apply.
Early Decision and Early Action Deadlines - 11/1/22
Regular Decision Deadlines - Starting from 11/30/22 for some State Schools, 1/1/23 for most, some as late as 2/1/23
Mid year grade report - Your HS counselor will automatically send the mid-year transcript to the colleges on your list. If your school uses Naviance, it will automatically be sent to your schools on Naviance.
Interviews - some colleges have optional interviews, mandatory interviews or no interviews. If they are optional, you want to sign up for those. These will occur after you apply and before the decision date.
ED/EA decisions dates - Around the 2nd to 3rd week of December.
RD decisions - As early as Middle to end of February and most of them will be in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th Week of March.
College Selection - Is usually 5/1/23 when you have to commit to a school and put a nominal deposit down which is around $500.
Housing selection - Housing selection and meal plans selection can be the same time of the college deposit but most of the time a couple weeks after like 5/15-5/31/23
Freshman Orientation - Depending on where you go, it will be a 1 week prior to the first day of Classes. So this year most orientations are like 8/29-9/5/22 if Class starts the day after Labor Day. Something like that.
I think that's most of it.
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