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End of Freshman and/or Sophomore Year

  • Consider taking SAT for which you are prepared.

Winter of Junior Year

  • Starting as early as winter break of
    junior year (if this works for your family)
    visit college campuses, preferably when in session.

Spring of Junior Year

  • Develop a tentative list of colleges. The www.embark.com website can help you develop an initial list based on size, location, etc. Your counselor can then help create a list with "reach," "possible," and "safety" possibilities. Register for SAT I and/or ACT spring testing dates. See information in the Counseling Office.
  • Does your tentative list of schools include some that require the SAT? If so, register for a spring testing date for this.
  • If you are completing courses that you will not be taking next year, take these SAT's on the June testing date.
  • Testing from junior year is used to meet the earliest early decision and early action deadlines.
  • Because of a documented disability, have you had available to you, and used, an extended time testing option in school? If so, see your counselor to see if you are eligible for extended time testing for SAT's or ACT 's. (This process takes several weeks to complete!)
  • Obtain recommendation forms from the Counseling Office. Ask two teachers who know you, or who know your best work, if they are willing to write a recommendation for you. Attend college fairs offered in the fall and the spring.

Summer Between Junior and Senior Year

  • Continue to visit some college campuses. Use these visits to help you decide the importance to you of factors such as size; urban/suburban/rural setting; and kind of campus. Make sure you return to the campuses you like when school is in session to see an active campus.
  • If you are unhappy with your spring SAT/ACT test scores, study over the summer on your own or take a course

September of Senior Year

  • Bring your tentative list of colleges to your counselor and review it. Make sure there are "reach," "possible," and "safe" choices.
  • Have you identified a school, where you are a reasonable candidate, where you would really like to go? If so, research whether the school offers an early decision or early action choice. (Deadlines for these applications can be as early as November 1). Early decision would mean a binding commitment.
  • Schedule interviews for schools where required or recommended.
  • Sign up for a second round of SAT or ACT tests, unless you are satisfied with last spring's results. Colleges generally like testing to be completed BEFORE January.
  • WORK ON CREATING YOUR SENIOR COLLEGE FOLDER IN THE COUNSELING OFFICE. THE STUDENT CREATES AN ACTIVITY SHEET AND A LIST OF SENIOR SUBJECTS. COPIES OF ANY TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS, WHEN THEY ARRIVE IN THE COUNSELING OFFICE, ARE ALSO PLACED HERE.
  • If a college admissions representative of a school to which you are applying is going to visit IWA, make sure you speak with that person. Sign up in the Counseling Office.

October of Senior Year

  • You can download applications for many schools from the Internet, including the Common Application.
  • Check to see if any of the schools to which you are applying uses the Common Application. The common application simplifies the application process, though many schools do add on requests for extra essays or information.
  • Begin to fill out applications. USE BLACK INK. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!
  • Take the college essay questions seriously. Give yourself time to write a thoughtful and interesting essay.
  • Attend college/Financial information night.
  • Early decision/early action deadlines can be as soon as sometime in October.

November of Senior Year

  • Continue to attend meetings with college representatives.
  • Conclude college visits and interviews.
  • Work on your applications.

December of Senior Year

  • Complete SAT/ACT testing
  • Be aware of college application deadlines
  • APPLICATIONS DUE JANUARY 1 MUST HAVE ALL MATERIALS READY FOR MAILING BY DECEMBER 15. (The Counseling Office is closed over Winter Break.)
  • Obtain financial aid forms - the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile, if needed - from the Counseling Office. Colleges may also have their own financial aid application for you to complete. The Profile can and should be done before January 1. Carefully observe the colleges' FINANCIAL AID DEADLINES. JANUARY OF SENIOR YEAR
  • Complete remaining college applications and financial aid forms on time. The FAFSA may be filed after January 1. FEBRUARY OF SENIOR YEAR
  • Unclear about your future direction? Take advantage of a wealth of information in the Career Center in the Counseling Office.

March of Senior Year

  • Investigate and apply for LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS, an important source of financial aid.

April of Senior Year

  • Many notification dates for college acceptances or rejections are in April.
  • Deadlines for submitting application and additional paperwork for local scholarships.

May of Senior Year

  • Fill out paperwork, mail deposit, for the college you plan to attend.

June of Senior Year

  • Graduate, CONGRATULATIONS!
  • Write a sincere thank-you note to each teacher who took his or her time to write you a recommendation or help you out in this lengthy process.

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