College Plan Timeline:


If you can only come up with 3 or 4 schools, it’s time to broaden your college search. This is the moment for considering all your options...enjoy it!

What interests you most? Narrow your list to 10-20 schools that meet your educational and social needs.

While the weather is cooling down, your college search is just heating up. It’s time to make your very first official college list. Hooray!

You might have had some schools in mind but it’s time to put your thoughts down on paper. Remember, you’re only a year away from filling out applications to these schools.

1.Write down the schools you’ve had in mind from the beginning. Dream schools, the school down the street, and safety schools included.

2. List the colleges you found after completing a college search based on your personalized preferences. Complete additional searches if your priorities have changed.

3. Factor in feedback from your most trusted advisors. This can include counselors, teachers, family members, friends, or community leaders.

4. Think about the colleges you’ve dismissed in the past. Why did you dismiss them? Because they cost too much? Because they are too hard to get into? Because they are too far away? Be honest with yourself and determine whether these are really limiting factors based on what you’ve learned about financial aid and admissions in the past few months.

5. If in doubt, write it down. You can always remove them later. 10-20 schools is optimal but if you have more or fewer, it’s no big deal.

6. Do a quick Campus Explorer college search and click on the "Save This School" link to save all your prospective school to your profile. This will ensure that no colleges are forgotten and when the time for serious decision-making comes around you can compare schools side by side.

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

Related Tools and Checklists

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

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