College Prep Guide 2017

by Hannah Johnson

This guide will give you an idea of the timeline for things you need to accomplish if you are planning to apply to college. It’s important to stay on track with deadlines to make sure you don’t miss something that could put you behind in applying for schools.



Fall semester

-    Research and get a list started of schools you might be interested in applying to. Take note of their admission requirements and application deadlines.

-    Research some scholarships. Keep a list of scholarships you qualify for.

-    Study for and take the PSATs.

-    After you get your PSAT results, meet with your guidance councilor.

-    Pick up a SAT study book from the library or book store.

-    Register for the SAT. Take the earliest test possible so you have time to retake it.

-    Start saving for school

-    Start working on your LinkedIn profile


SPRiNG semester


-    Take the SAT.

-    Go to at least one or two college fairs and bring a tote bag for information packets and business cards.

-    Put together a resume. Start developing portfolios or writing samples if required for admission or scholarships.

-    Make plans to visit some campuses on your list of schools. For a tour, you should call ahead and make an appointment, especially in the summertime.



Fall semester

-   Retake the SAT if you think you’ll be able to get a higher score. If you do retake it, make sure you study. There is a myth that simply taking itagain will increase your score.

-    Continue to visit colleges. Really start to narrow down your list of choices. Include “reach schools” (the ones you most likely won’t get into) and“back-up schools” (schools you will almost definitely get into) in your list.

-   Think about teachers, bosses, youth group leaders, coaches, etc, who you have developed a relationship with over the past few years, and ask them if they would write you a recommendation. Give them a month notice to complete recommendation forms or letters. Provide them with addressed and stamped envelops.

-    Apply to schools. Applying early is not a bad thing and there is never a time too early to start preparing.


SPRiNG semester

-    Once you are accepted to college, continue to keep your grades high. Colleges and universities can retract their offer of admission if your grades fall.

-    Send thank you notes to all of the people who wrote you recommendations.

-    Apply for financial aid.

-    Work with guidance councilors, if your top choices are not available, to find colleges and universities with openings.

-    Attend “accepted students” days to help make your final decision.

During any part of the college search process, you can always call up or email colleges with questions.

Choosing your college is always a very big decision. It is important to pick a place that best fits you. That may not always be the highest-ranking school. Choose a school that offers opportunities that will benefit you. From clubs on campus, to the surrounding area. You’re going to college to get an education and to find a job so keep this in mind when applying.