Use This Timeline for Your College Search

Breanna Burkle

Junior Year – Fall Semester

  • Take the PSAT (if available)
  • Consider taking dual enrollment or AP courses (if available)
  • Explore possible majors or areas of study that might be of interest to you
  • Start researching colleges: Create a file or spreadsheet to compare information from and about each school, such as distance from home, application requirements, application deadlines, quality of your intended program/major, total cost, unique scholarship opportunities, student to faculty ratio, and unique clubs/events
  • Meet with college representatives who visit your high school and attend college fairs in your area

Junior Year – Spring Semester

  • Take the SAT or ACT
  • Start planning and attending on-campus college visits
  • Look into any job shadowing or internship opportunities
  • Continue looking for dual enrollment or AP opportunities
  • Continue meeting college representatives and researching/comparing colleges

Summer Between Junior and Senior Year

  • Apply for admission to your top college choices
  • Send your transcript, test scores, and any required essays to your top college choices
  • Narrow down your list of choices and possibly attend a summer visit day at your top picks
  • Talk with your family about who is paying for college and how (you can also start researching scholarships!)
  • Stay involved by participating in a summer program, an internship, or a summer job
  • Create a one-page resume that records your accomplishments, involvements, and work experience

Senior Year – Fall Semester

  • Continue narrowing down your list of colleges and submitting applications, transcripts, test scores, and essays to those schools
  • Be aware of all possible application deadlines
  • Retake the SAT or ACT if needed
  • Attend a second visit to your top college choices; at some schools, you can sit in on a class or spend the night on campus
  • Complete the FAFSA online after October 1
  • Explore all potential financial aid possibilities — your high school guidance office or local community foundation are great places to start, and other potential scholarship opportunities include major/program-specific scholarships, employer scholarships, or scholarships related to your religious affiliation

Senior Year – Spring Semester

  • Most college applications and scholarship applications should be complete by the beginning of February
  • Keep up your second-semester grades — senioritis is real, but keep up the momentum in your academic studies!
  • Review financial aid awards from your top college choices and talk with your admissions counselor or financial aid counselor if you have questions
  • Notify the college you chose of your decision and submit your student deposit (congratulations!)
  • Notify the colleges you did not choose as well (I know this can feel awkward, but I promise that your admissions counselor will appreciate your communication! Once you let them know, they can offer admission to other students and celebrate your college choice alongside you.)
  • Once you have submitted your student deposit, make sure to also submit your housing application, along with any other forms your college needs
  • Attend any “admitted student weekend” or “class registration” type of events at your college of choice

Summer After Senior Year

  • Have your final transcripts sent to your college of choice
  • Finalize your plans to pay for college; this step can include accepting federal loans, securing alternative private loans, setting up a payment plan, sending any local scholarships to the financial aid office, providing the information for your 529 plan, etc.
  • Attend any new student or orientation events your college offers
  • Pack for college and order your books!

Make Huntington University a part of your college search! Schedule your campus visit today at

Written by
Breanna Burkle