College Plan Timeline:

Colleges have different entrance requirements. Start researching what types of things your colleges might require.

Still confused about the college admissions process? Find out what to expect each year.

It’s very common for underclass high school students to have almost no idea of what to expect when it comes to preparing for the college admissions process. In fact, most kids your age use a take-it-as-it-comes approach to college prep.

While this approach has worked for some, you will have a better chance of success and relieve a lot of the stress if you know exactly what to expect from the college application/admissions process.

Sophomore Year

The rest of your sophomore year will be dedicated to:

  • Attending college fairs and information sessions to begin narrowing your college list.
  • Preparing for the SAT and ACT by taking test prep courses and practice tests.
  • Building your extracurricular and work credentials.
  • Familiarizing yourself with scholarship opportunities and college finances.

Junior Year

As you get into the meat of your college planning phase, you’ll find yourself:

Senior Year

Your final year will see you:

  • Finalizing your college list and taking your last campus visits.
  • Applying to your prospective colleges.
  • Filling out your FAFSA and applying for scholarships.
  • Making your final college decision.
  • Ensuring all your financial aid is in order.
  • Keeping your grades up in order to graduate.
  • Attending summer orientation, scheduling your first year’s classes, and signing up for student housing.

Planning ahead or a little behind?
There's a section for you!

Related Tools and Checklists

High School Sophomore Timeline and Checklist
High School Junior Timeline and Checklist

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Financial Aid Timeline: Junior Year
AP Classes: An Introduction
The Admissions Process: What Are Colleges Looking For?
See All Getting Started with Your College Planning Articles


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