Visit target colleges —If possible, travel to top target colleges the summer after junior year to visit dorms, classes, and recreation centers. Check individual college websites for details on info sessions, tour times, and interview opportunities.
Check and Recheck all the Application Deadlines and Requirements on your “College List” – Early decision and early action applications are typically due in November of your senior year, while most regular admissions applications are due between January 1 and March 1. The Common App, usually available at the beginning of August, will consolidate the deadlines for you.
Prepare to Interview—Research the colleges where you plan to apply, identify those that may offer optional interviews. Practice for the interviews with an available teacher or friend.
Start a rough draft of your college application essays—Senior year is very busy, so the summer after junior year is a great time to begin college application essays.
Identify potential teachers to provide recommendation letters—During the summer after junior year, begin identifying potential recommenders. Discuss your plans for applying so they are informed and prepared. These should be teachers from your core classes (math, science, history, English, or world languages) who know you best.
Prepare a teacher list and create a “Who I Am List”– Write down a few bullet points for your teachers, explaining why you chose them as recommenders and how you believe you excelled academically in their classes.
Create a plan for Financial Aid —Use the financial aid calculators found on individual college websites, also known as net price calculators, to determine how much your family will need to contribute for your college education. Create a list of all the financial aid options you plan to pursue along with the deadlines for each.
Apply for Scholarships —Many seniors apply to more than 30 scholarships. Don’t shy away from local options or ones that require essays. Since fewer students apply for these, you often have a better chance. Begin applying between junior and senior year and continue throughout the school year.