College Plan Timeline:


If you don’t mind a few extra applications and some application fees, there’s no harm in applying to a couple more dream schools. Better safe than sorry!

Follow these five tips that will help you decide on your final college list.

The moment of truth approaches. If your college list were an English 101 essay, it would be time to complete your final draft.

Throughout your junior year, we talked about starting your college list, and trimming the fat. As your senior year begins, it’s high time we finalize this list.

Five Ways to Complete Your College List

1. Narrow your list to approximately 5 to 8 schools. This will be the most difficult step so choose wisely. You should have already discussed your choices with family and friends, and visited some schools that you’ve always been interested in. You’ve collected information from college nights and compared colleges. You should be ready to narrow your search to 5 to 8 schools you really like.

2. If you haven’t included them already, don’t forget to add a couple “safety schools” to fall back on and a couple “reach school” in case you underestimate your smarts.

3. Take this list and review it with your counselor or most trusted advisor. Grab an application and financial aid info for each.

4. Slap your calendar down on your desk (or use the one on your computer) and note all application deadlines, test dates, financial aid deadlines, and possible college visit weekends. Set digital reminders for a few days in advance.

5. Sit back and relax (for a bit), knowing you’ve made one of your most important decisions to date.

Planning ahead or a little behind?
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Related Tools and Checklists

High School Junior Timeline and Checklist
High School Senior Timeline and Checklist

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