College Planning Checklist (November)

november-2015

Now is the Time to Focus on Grades and Regular Applications

With November comes the first big wave of early decisions and early action applications. While many deadlines were extended this year, even more were not, so most students applying early to their top-choice school have already completed at least one college application!

But crossing that first finish line does not mean the race is over. There’s still plenty more to accomplish and prepare for this month, whether you’re a senior finishing up applications or a freshman trying to make it through the first semester of high school.

From 9th grade on, here is our college planning checklist for the month of November:

Freshmen

  • Keep studying hard and improving your grades. By now, you should have a good idea of what is expected of you in class, so prioritize your work and seek help in courses in which you are struggling.
  • Continue building your extracurricular profile and explore activities that interest you.
  • Read, read, read! Outside reading is not only going to help you expand your vocabulary in advance of standardized tests, it will also allow you to learn about the things that interest you.
  • If you have an older sibling who is going through the college admissions process this fall, ask them about their journey and how they narrowed down their balanced college list.

Sophomores

  • Keep your grades up! Colleges look for an upward grade trend, so if you struggled freshman year or the beginning of this semester, now is the time to really shine.
  • Tag along on any college visits that an older sibling might be going on this fall. This is a good way to get an idea of what to expect, what to ask, and what you learn about a school while visiting.
  • If you’re having trouble balancing your schoolwork and extracurricular commitments, get organized! This is especially important if you’re starting to take on more leadership roles in your activities outside of school.
  • Remember to think twice about the things you post online. Start being more aware of the things you put on social media as to avoid any troubles later when it comes time to apply to college.

Juniors

  • If you plan on taking the December ACT, be sure to register by Friday, Nov. 8.
  • Continue to study hard and keep your grades up, and prepare for standardized tests.
  • Continue researching schools and developing a balanced college list.
  • Start planning more college visits for when you have free weekends or breaks from school. By planning ahead you will ensure that you have enough time to visit the schools you want before it comes time to apply.
  • Begin studying for any SAT Subject tests you plan on taking.
  • Attend any college fairs in your area.
  • Start communicating with admissions officers/coaches at colleges on your school lists.

Seniors

The next two months are going to fly by, so be sure that you are prepared and making the most of the resources you have in your teachers, counselors, and family.

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