Timeline for Parents

Freshman Year

Your child should schedule a time to meet with his/her counselor to create a course plan that will meet college entrance requirements.

Sophomore Year

Students should meet with their counselor to go over their course plan and make appropriate changes/corrections.
Begin looking at standardized testing options. Tests like the PSAT and PLAN provide valuable practice for students. They should consult with their counselor to investigate ways to improve scores on standardized tests.
Start searching for financial aid. Options include grants, loans, and scholarships. There are a variety of scholarships available to students of all ages.

Junior Year

Have your child meet with their counselor to review their course plan for the school year and plan their senior schedule.
Make sure your student are registered for the October PSAT.

They should take the PSAT. Scores are used to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition and the National Achievement program.
Have your child continue their search for scholarships and other financial aid options.

Receive the results of the PSAT. Have your student consult with their counselor to consider whether an SAT prep course could be a good investment.

They should register for the March SAT and/or the April ACT and contact colleges they are interested in to find out which test is required.

During their spring break, visit schools that interest them.

Have your son/daughter re-evaluate their list of potential schools and eliminate those that no longer interest them.

Students will take AP (Advanced Placement) tests, if applicable.
They should continue to visit colleges. Contact the campuses in advance to schedule appointments with the department of financial aid, admissions, and academic advisors.

Senior Year

Check your student’s course transcript. Do they have all the credits required by schools they are interested in applying to?
Make sure your child has all the applications required and knows the deadlines for financial aid and admission for the schools to which he/she plans to apply.
Have your student register for the SAT, SAT II, and/or the ACT if they have not already taken the appropriate tests.

Have your child meet with their counselor to review their final list of colleges. File early decision applications if they have already made a decision.
Students should attend college fairs to further investigate colleges where they would like to apply.
Your son/daughter should ask people for letters of recommendation if required.

Have official test scores sent by the testing agency to schools on their final list.
They’ll need to start writing and editing their essays. Have your kids complete their college applications (make copies before mailing).
Your child should request that their high school send their transcript to the colleges that they applied to.
Have your child obtain the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) from their counselor and any additional financial aid forms from the college.

Mail all applications. They should meet with their counselor to ensure that everything is on track.
If they applied for early decision and have been accepted, your child should follow instructions for admitted students. If not, they need to submit their application to other colleges.
They should schedule their college admission interviews when needed.

Complete your income tax forms as soon as possible. Have your son/daughter check with the schools’ financial aid office to make sure no additional forms are required.
File all federal financial aid forms, apply for available state financial aid, and complete any other scholarship forms. Students should talk to their counselor about special forms your state might need.
They should contact the colleges and confirm that all application materials (transcripts, recommendations, financial aid forms) have been received.

If your child completed their FAFSA, they will receive their SAR (Student Aid Report) within four weeks of completing the form. Review the SAR, make any corrections, and return it to the FAFSA processor. If they have not received their SAR and more than four weeks has passed, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

Review acceptances and compare financial aid packages.

By May 1, your child should make their decision about which college they will attend and send in their acceptance of the school’s offer along with any other necessary paperwork. They should notify any other colleges that accepted them that they have selected another university.
If their first-choice college placed them on a wait list, have your son/daughter let them know that they are still very interested in attending the school.

Students should ask their counselor to forward their final transcript to the college of their choice and let them know of any additional financial aid they will receive. Finally, have them contact the school and determine when fees are due for tuition, room and board, etc.