When should you begin submitting admission applications? Check with each school to learn their deadlines. Allow plenty of time for getting forms and transcripts, obtaining letters of recommendation, writing essays, and completing other tasks.
As you begin the application process, mark your calendar with each school's deadlines to ensure your applications are received on time and complete.
Refer to the sample timeline below, but keep in mind that it's a general list. You'll need to add specific dates and events to match each school's deadlines.
Sample Application Timeline: Your Senior Year
- Discuss your course load, college plans, and test scores with your high school counselor.
- Register for SAT or ACT tests if you haven't taken them yet, or wish to take them again.
- Obtain admission applications from schools on your list.
- Decide who you'll ask to write your letters of recommendation.
- Request transcripts from your guidance office.
- Mark school key dates and deadlines on your calendar
November — January
- Ask for letters of recommendation.
- Start working on admission applications and essays.
- Verify that your transcripts are accurate.
- Attend college fairs.
- Early decision candidates should complete college applications.
- Submit Part 1 of the Common Application, if applicable.
- Make copies of documents you send for your files.
February — March
- Complete applications for normal admissions, either online or by mail. If submitting by mail, plan for possible delays.
- Apply for housing when you submit the application, if required by the school.
- Stay organized and focused.
April — May
- Ask your guidance counselor to send transcripts with first semester grades to your intended schools. If you haven't received confirmation from your school, contact the admissions office to verify that your documents have been received.
- College acceptance letters will start arriving.
- Review your admissions information to ensure you've completed the application process. (For example, have you chosen your housing and a meal plan?)
- Register for the Advanced Placement (AP) tests, if needed.
- Request that your final transcript be sent to your school.