College Planning Checklist (October)

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Stay On Track Through the Fall With the October Checklist 

As the weather gets cooler, we dive further into admissions season! With school, extracurricular activities, family time, and, for many, college applications, it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s going on.

In our September college planning checklist, we emphasized the importance of starting the new school year off right and getting organized. Now, a month later, it’s time to really get into the bulk of the application process and plan for college, no matter what grade you’re in!

Here’s what you need to do this month to stay on track for a great fall semester and college application season! 

Freshmen

  • Continue to study hard and get good grades. Don’t be shy about seeking help from teachers if you experience academic difficulties.
  • Continue to explore extracurricular activities inside and outside school to find those that interest and excite you! If you can’t find a club or activity on campus that interests you, create your own!
  • Read as much as you can. Continue to explore books and publications outside of the classroom that match your interests and can expand your knowledge and vocabulary.

Sophomores

  • Keep up the good work! Continue to improve your grades, and be sure to seek help from your teachers if you experience academic difficulties.
  • Continue researching possible colleges. Now is a great time to visit a nearby college campus if your family is traveling for Fall Break.
  • Continue your extracurricular involvement and leadership positions, but also seek additional volunteer activities that connect to your core interests. Fall weather presents a great opportunity to volunteer outdoors.
  • Begin a filing system to keep track of papers and other assignments. Save samples of your best papers and work in the arts (if applicable) for potential use later.

Juniors

  • Make sure your resume is up-to-date and continue updating it throughout the year.
  • Keep up those grades and be sure to study hard. Your junior year grades could be the most recent that admissions officers see when you apply to college next fall, so seek help from your teachers if you experience academic difficulties.
  • Buy a copy of a “big book” college guide such as theFiske Guide to Colleges or research colleges online and continue to build your college list. Also follow colleges on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets.
  • If representatives from colleges you are interested in are visiting your area, make time to attend the events or sessions and introduce yourself to the admissions rep.
  • If you are interested in being recruited for athletics, talk to your coaches and explore eligibility requirements.
  • If you plan on taking the November SAT, continue to study and prepare. Seek help from teachers or a tutor for sections you may find difficult.

Seniors

  • You should be in the bulk of your applications now. If you plan on applying to schools early, your essays should be near completed. Be sure to have a teacher or counselor read over your essay to check for grammar and spelling errors. Never rely on spell-check alone!
  • Release test scores to all colleges on your list (be advised of score choice on a school by school basis).
  • Prepare for interviews, if applicable.
  • If you’re applying to a school early action or early decision, be sure that all parts are complete and all materials are ready to be submitted on time.
  • Confirm with your school counselor that he/she has sent the secondary school report and counselor letter of recommendation to the schools to which you are applying early.
  • Maintain your second semester grades and beware of senioritis/laziness.  Colleges can rescind their acceptances if your grades plummet drastically. Seek help from your teachers if necessary.

 

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