January 1st: New Years Day! Crank up some U2, sleep in 'till noon, and enjoy your final day of Christmas-break freedom.
It's about time to start thinking about your future college plans; while you still have some time left in high school, the preparation now will make the transition a smooth one.
January 15th : Martin Luther King Day. The man made a movement and deserves a day to remember his message.
February 2: Groundhog Day. Whether he sees his shadow or not, you've got a spring full of college related events right around the corner.
If you started preparing as instructed last month, you should have a good idea of your possible major and it's related classes; take a good hard look at where you're at as far as grades are concerned and take the extra effort to excel at any classes that will affect your admission into college.
February 14th: Valentines Day
February 19th: Presidents Day
Do some research and learn about the differences between the SAT and ACT college placement tests.
SAT/ACT Prep. You're going to be taking your SAT in the spring, and you better study well in advance if you want to do a good job on the test; plan specific dates and times well in advance so as to have the right amount of study time scheduled for the months ahead .
Study time begins on March 1st.
Begin the search for any free scholarships that you qualify for; if you can get some of these early on, you'll have more time in the future to work on more involved scholarship requirements or other aspects of the application process.
Begin studying for your SAT/ACT. You'll need to make sure you allow enough time to study for the different aspects of each test. If you seem to have a strength in one area, spend a little more time in your weaker areas of knowledge.
Get your appointment books out! Spring break should give you and your parents enough time to visit and tour some college campuses; don't forget to make plans with the college ahead of time to meet those who can answer any questions you may have about the school.
March 11th: Daylight Savings Time Begins.
March 17th: St. Patrick's Day.
Have any older friends in college? Get 'em on the phone or hang out and discuss what's its like; many students sometimes discover things about their college decision making only after they've experienced it for a bit.
March 21st: 1st full day of Spring.
If you can't make it to a specific school, don't fret. You'll have plenty of time to visit more in the future. Just be sure to gather information to any of the other colleges you plan on attending by visiting their websites and requesting literature about the school.
Make sure you register for any Advanced Placement exams you'll be taking in May.
March 7: Registration for the ACT is due you slacker.
March 10th: SAT (without SAT subject test) test day. Don't forget to bring the required materials.
Begin narrowing the number of colleges you plan attending to a reasonable amount. If you have 100 colleges you're thinking about attending, then you're only going to overwhelm yourself and aren't planning efficiently; get your list to under 10 if possible. A good way to figure out which ones to keep is to create a checklist of the things you want from your college experience.
After you narrow down you list, you'll want to begin contacting collage financial aid offices and begin discussing your possible financial aid options, as each college will cost more or less than the other. Make sure your parents are involved; even if you think you can make these decisions yourself, you will need their wisdom and guidance through the money maze involved.
If you're taking your test later in the spring, your study time begins now. Begin preparing for June 2th SAT or June 9th ACT. By now you should have figured out which of the two tests you're going to be taking.
Spring should mark another round of local college fairs.
April 8th: Easter Sunday.
April 11th: For the procrastinating student, today is the late registration deadline for May 5th SAT (with Subject Tests).
April 14th: The moment you planned all winter for (we hope, anyway!) ACT test given today.
April 27th: For the last round of tests, today is the deadline for the June 2 SAT (with SAT Subject Tests).
Now's the time to begin selecting your senior year classes; make sure you pick any classes that may be required depending on the major you're planning for.
The weather should be getting better, so you might ant to take any free weekends to visit some more colleges that you couldn't get to last time.
It has to be stressed again that, in the midst of all the hoopla about deciding on a college, you can't forget about what you're also doing in school right now. Make sure you don't fall behind just because spring is here. What you do in school now will affect where you get placed in college.
Begin to write a resume, documenting any work experience, job skills attained, or extracurricular activities you may have obtained so far. You'll need to include it on some applications in addition to obtaining a summer job. - help.org
Take any Advanced Placement exams you need in preparation of your upcoming senior year (that's right! it's right around the corner!)
Visit more colleges! Seriously, you can't base a college just off some pretty pictures on the back of a glossy brochure. Get your butt into the center of it all and make sure you enjoy all the little details. Breathe the air, check out the town, and see what's around; these are often overlooked details when deciding where to go.
Plan for summer out now. You've got a lot on your plate coming on your senior year, but you still need to enjoy your time off. Plan out any vacations (you may want to combine these with any campus visits) or apply for a summer job now so you'll be ready to go after school lets out.
Continue to refine your list of colleges, with the help of your parents and school counselors (and don't forget your teachers - they may be the one's who know you best!)
May 4th: June 9th ACT registration deadline; if you haven't taken it yet, now's the time to get it done and over with.
May 5th: SAT test date/SAT Subject test dates; again, DO NOT forget to bring the right tools with you on test.
May 9th: June 2nd SAT (with SAT subject tests) late registration, for all the "cool" kids who are the biggest slackers of them all (you know who you are).
May 13th: Mothers Day
Discuss any Military or ROTC scholarship options with your counselor as the school year winds down in June.
May 13th: Mothers Day
It's definitely a good idea to consider applying for Early Decision or Early Action. These are programs colleges set up to ease the college application process, and will be due on the fall if you want to apply for them.
College applications are more than just filling out some forms, especially for art and creative degree students. Now's the time to prepare websites, portfolios, compact discs and writing samples to send out with your applications.
In addition to your applications, you'll also have to write some essays to get into certain schools. Begin the writing process now so you can get them completed in a reasonable amount of time.
If you are planning on being an athlete in your chosen college, now's the time to register with NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.
June 2: SAT and SAT subject tests; end your school year with an academic bang by being prepared, on time, and in the zone.
June 9th: ACT test, if you're taking this instead. Again, make sure you've done your homework so you can take the test with confidence, just in time for summer.
June 17th: Fathers Day
June 21st: First full day of summer!
By now you should have taken your SAT or ACT placement test; if you haven't you NEED to do it now. If you did already, you may have not received the score you were anticipating. Now's the time for you to register for a second chance in fall.
You've probably gotten a pretty good grasp on what colleges you're likely to attend; now's the time to schedule the interviews you're soon to be having with them. Continue to refine the list.
July 4th: Celebrate your Independence, while you have it!
If you have any friends who are sending off to college this summer, play catch up and pick their brains with any advice they may have for you.
Remember that resume you were supposed to write a few months back? Well, you should go ahead and add any other achievements you've accomplished since then and keep it as up-to-date as possible.
As you begin writing your college application essays, think about learning more vocabulary so that you can showcase diversity and sophistication to the colleges you'll be sending them off to.
Begin to find mentors and those with careers who interest you. While it may be some time before you decide exactly what you want to do, the more you know about a career or industry, the more you will be able to plan out what options lie ahead in your future.
Don't forget, you're going to need Letters of Recommendation to go along with your college applications. Now's the time to figure which teachers to approach to assist you.
Head to the web and download any newly available college applications, in addition to the Common Application, and order any college application packets you'll need to get the process rolling along.
By now you should have begun writing any essay questions; if you're struggling with them, a good way to tackle them is to come up with multiple responses to each question and see which argument best suits what you are capable of writing at.
You've already taken the tests; now, it's time to decide on any up-and-coming Advanced Placement Courses.
A good time to see a college is at the end of the month, when new freshman are just beginning to populate the campus, and you'll get to catch that fresh new school year vibe, see the surroundings, and decide if you'll fit into the social scene at that location.
September 3rd: Labor Day
Finish up any campus visits you'll need to make as you prepare to begin making your final decisions on where you hope to begin your degree at.
FINAL SAT / ACT dates!
September 11th: Patriot Day
September 13th: Rosh Shashana
Continue on your quest to find any scholarships, grants, and other methods of paying for your college; don't forget to include money needed to sustain your quality of life in addition to your tuition payment. There's a lot of information online available to help you in your search for tuition compensation.
Now's also the time to submit a CSS/Financial Aid profile, if it is a college admissions requirement.
It's important to keep yourself as organized as possible. By now you're probably swimming in copies of applications and correspondence. Make sure to keep them file accordingly and to have a calendar updated to keep track of all your important dates and requirements.
September 22th: Yom Kippur
September 23th: First Full Day of Autumn
Take the time to go over and review your high school transcripts, making sure the information available is correct and up-to-date.
October 8th: Columbus Day.
With the help of your parents and school counselor, send your reviewed and completed transcripts to the final schools you are applying for.
Make sure you are filling out and using the correct applications and following each colleges specific application processes.
Gather your final letters of recommendation, as these will be necessary for most of the grants and scholarships you will be applying for.
Final decisions and applications should be made for any students interested in any Early Decision or Early Action programs; make sure you understand the option completely, including the timeline involved.
October 28th: Daylight Savings Ends.
October 31st: Halloween! This is probably the last time you'll where a costume for candy (don't worry - Halloween gets more fun as you get to college!)
November 4th: Daylight Savings Ends.
Most colleges offer pre-college classes and events, so it's a good idea to plan these out within sufficient time as to not miss these important dates.
Now is the time to hand in your final applications to any colleges you may have not communicated with. While a little late in the game, options may have presented themselves that weren't there before. Get 'em in!
Make sure you have filled out the correct financial aid forms required by each specific college; your financial aid office should be able to assist you with figuring these issues out. Continue to fish around for any other additional sources of funding as well.
November 22th: Thanksgiving - Get together with the family and enjoy - you deserve some time off with all the hard work you've put in recently.
If you haven't begun estimating your Expected Family Contribution, now's the time to get started figuring it out.
December 5th: Hanukkah
You've been writing essays for quite some time now, but you should have your scholarship essays ready by now. Make sure you've taken the time to hone your writing skills, study some sample essays, and do the best you can to show them all why you deserve a free ride.
All school applications should have been signed, sealed, and delivered by now. Any other letters in the mail should only be ones sent to Santa Claus.
Determine any financial aid eligibility, and understand the process involved in completing and submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Important: Don’t submit your FAFSA before January 1—it will be returned not processed.
December 22th: First Day if Winter
December 25th: Merry Christmas!
December 31st: New Years Eve - Don't party to hard!
Continue to stay organized and on top of your game; it's been a long year, and the next six months will be important ('cause next year you're going to college!)