We have outlined a basic schedule to help you plan ahead and stay on top. Find out what you need to do your junior and senior year of high school, including test dates and application deadlines.
Junior year: The college search process really begins your junior year of high school. College admissions officers consider it an important year, so make sure that you either maintain or improve your grades.
During your junior year, start exploring and researching different colleges. Compile a list of schools that you are interested in and talk with your parents about visiting some over spring break.
You should also start strengthening your relationships with your junior year teachers, as you will most likely be asking them to write letters of recommendations for you.
In October of your junior year you should take the PSAT and in the spring plan to take the SAT, ACT, or both. Also, consider taking some SAT Subject Tests at the end of the year as well, especially for classes that you will have just finished taking.
Senior year: By your senior year, the college search process will be in full swing. In the beginning of the year, narrow down your list of colleges to those for which you are seriously interested and want to apply.
Start working on your personal essay as soon as possible and ask teachers to write letters of recommendation for you. Also, think about re-taking the SAT, ACT, or taking more SAT Subject Tests in the fall.
Most application deadlines are in January or February, but if you are interested in applying early action or early decision to a school, the application deadlines are typically in October or November.
Make sure you are aware of the deadlines for any school-based scholarships for which you want to apply, because they can be different from the college application deadline.
Also, if you want to be considered for financial aid, make sure you have completed the FAFSA by February. Never assume that you do not qualify for financial aid.