- Make a list of colleges – include your reach, match, and safety schools.
- Obtain college applications – mark all deadlines on a calendar, both early and regular submissions.
- Obtain and forward your high school transcripts – consider including your mid-senior year grades as well.
- Take all relevant tests and obtain scores – AP tests, IB exams, SAT/ACT scores (if applicable). Be mindful that some colleges also have their own Admissions Test as part of the application process.
- Obtain recommendation letters – ask teachers, managers/bosses and mentors. Also, don’t forget to write them thank you letters for the recommendations.
- Prepare your college essay – draft your compelling narrative, proofread, have at least two other people read it, and continue to tighten up your essay. Keep in mind that some colleges who use Common App allow for separate and shorter “COVID essays” to talk about how the pandemic has affected you.
- Prepare for interviews – research what kind of interview questions your specific college admissions officers will ask you. You can also further prep for these interviews by scheduling interviews with college alumni. Again, don’t forget to write letters to thank everyone for their time.
- List out and apply for FAFSA, scholarships and financial aid. Mark all deadlines on your calendar.
- Complete the college application – make copies of everything you send to each college, pay the admission fees, sign and submit the applications, and always confirm with receipts that your application was successfully submitted.
- Receive admissions decisions from your colleges – be sure to follow up on your financial aid and scholarship decisions. Be mindful of deadlines to respond to the colleges you get accepted to as well as to accept financial aid.
- Notify other colleges where you were accepted that you won’t be attending after you’ve made your choice. If you’ve successfully reached this step, congratulations!