When Do The Majority Of Students Apply To College
Most students apply to college in their senior year of high school. They graduate in May or June and then start college in September of that same year.
Most schools offer multiple options for when to submit your applications. These different options are known as admissions plans, and each plan usually has its own deadlines, requirements, and, sometimes, restrictions. The admissions plans that youll encounter as you research different schools include the following: early decision, early action, regular decision, and rolling admissions.
Generally speaking, most schools will require you to submit applications for early action or early decision by November of 12th grade . To meet a regular decision deadline, you’d apply a few months later in January or February. Let’s take a look at each deadline in more specific detail, starting with early decision and early action.
When To Begin The Search
Some students wait until just before their last year in high school or even after that last school year has begun to start the college search. That is really a big mistake! Although students can start thinking about college even earlier, I feel that the best time to really begin the search is after the 10th grade. Doing some serious self-analysis is probably the best place to begin. By the end of the 10th grade, students should have a more concrete idea of courses of study that might interest them and the kind of environment they would like to study in, as well as having developed a clearer picture of their own abilities and strengths. Knowing these things will help students limit their own personal college searches and make it easier to focus on the best fits. Starting the search after the 10th grade should give students plenty of time to research institutions of interest in detail and to find out the things that they want to know about various schools. As they focus in on specific institutions, students will then also have time to make sure that they meet various admission requirements.
PresidentIVY Counselors Network
In The Spring Meet With Your Counselor And Draft A College List
Once you have some junior year grades and your PSAT scores, you’ll be able to start predicting which colleges and universities will be reach schools, match schools, and safety schools. Look over the college profiles to see average acceptance rates and SAT/ACT score ranges. For now, a list of 15 or 20 schools is a good starting point. You’ll want to narrow down the list before you begin applying in senior year. Meet with your guidance counselor to get feedback and suggestions on your list.
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When Do You Apply For Early Admissions
Early admissions includes two options: early decision and early action. While early decision and early action differ in terms of their requirements and conditions, they share similar timelines. Both plans have a deadline in November and allow you to hear back about your admissions decision in mid-December.
Some popular schools with early action deadlines of November 1 are CalTech, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, Notre Dame, Stanford, University of Virginia, and Yale. Popular early decision schools with a November 1 deadline include Boston University, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Northwestern, NYU, University of Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt.
Some schools with early decision now also offer an Early Decision II deadline, which is in . Like Early Decision I, this binding option lets you hear back early from your first choice school, usually in February, about whether or not you got in. The main advantage of applying Early Decision II is that youll have a little extra time to polish up your application before submitting it. Some popular schools with Early Decision II deadlines of January 1 are Brandeis, Colby, Emory, NYU, Smith, and Vanderbilt.
Early admissions can be a great option for students who are prepared to apply early and appreciate early notification. If you’re planning to apply early, when do you complete each step of the process?
They Go To The Biggest Event And Only Look At The Best Players
When you are a DI program, you get the chance to recruit the best players in the country. This means they are going to the biggest showcases and tournaments in the country and looking at the best players. Dont expect there to be a big contingent of DI programs at regional or local events unless there are going to be several confirmed DI recruits there.
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Reasons Why You Should Not Be Nervous To Start College
Nervous about starting college? Guess what: you’re not alone! But here are just a few of the reasons why you shouldn’t sweat your freshman year .
Originally Posted: Sep 2, 2014
Do you have the jitters to start college? As a soon-to-be freshman, you may feel like you won’t fit in, since the college scene can seem totally overwhelming. You may be relieved to hear that you are not alone! Almost everybody starting college feels nervous in some way, but here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t:
Assume A Leadership Role In An Extracurricular Activity
Colleges like to see that you’re a band section leader, a team captain, or an event organizer. Realize that you don’t need to be a prodigy to be a leaderâa second-string football player or third-chair trumpet player can be a leader in fundraising or community outreach. Think about ways that you can contribute to your organization or community. Colleges are looking for future leaders, not passive bystanders.
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Athletics And Other Extracurriculars
A lot of your time in college will be spent in activities outside the classroomas it should be!
College extracurriculars span virtually every interest you can imagine, from academic clubs to cultural groups to theater troupes to intramural sports. Campus clubs can also help you figure out what major is right for you or if youre on the right career track. And they can help you develop all kinds of useful skills, from teamwork to creative problem solving .
If youre serious about sports, athletics can also add a whole new dimension to your college search too. Student-athletes should start by realistically assessing their abilities and considering which schools are most likely to give them a team jersey. Talk to the coaches at your high school and at the colleges youre interested in and ask them to evaluate your chances of being formally recruited for your sport.
Questions to ask:
- Does the college offer what Im looking for when Im not in class?
- What kinds of extracurricular opportunities exist on campus in art, music, theater, community service, athletics, etc.?
- How many students participate in extracurriculars?
- Are there clubs or pre-professional associations related to my major or intended career?
- Can students start their own clubs? How easy is it to do?
- What is the athletic recruitment process like?
- What athletic conference and division is the school?
The Benefits Of Starting Early
Starting the college planning process early will give you the best possible chance to build up a compelling applicant profile, compose a competitive and well-thought-out application, and eventually get accepted to a college thats a great fit for you.
When you actually apply to college, youll generally be asked to provide your grades and extracurricular details for grades 9 through 12. Colleges may not be the most concerned with your performance during your freshman year, as we discuss in our CollegeVine blog post A Guide to Freshman and Sophomore Years. However, your performance this year will still be entered into consideration.
What this means for you is that by the time you enter high school, you should have started to think about college. You dont have to get everything right your first year, but you do need to build a strong foundation so that youll have many options available to you later in high school.
If you delve into college planning during your freshman year, youll find that there is plenty of work that can be done in advance. Even if you cant start certain processes quite yet for instance, its too early to actually submit an application you can educate yourself about what to expect later on and ensure that your records are well-organized to give yourself a leg up once your application season begins. Below, well go over a few concrete steps you can take your freshman year to set yourself up for success later on.
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Students Should Begin Their College Search
no later than junior year of high school. They can research via the internet and look up college websites, read helpful student review books like Fiske Guide to Colleges and check out collegeboard.com, unigo.com and whatever resources their high schools provide. Its okay to start with a list with dozens of schools. By the beginning of senior year, the student should have narrowed their list to the schools they will be applying to, which should be from approximately 6-12 schools. Students should keep all of their options open when they begin the college search process. Dont fall in love with just one school! There are 3000 colleges in the country. Its helpful to research schools based on size, majors/minors of interest, admitted student profile. Make sure you have met all of the admissions requirements of the school. Do they require 4 years of English, 3 years of Math, 2 years of History/Social Science, 3 years of Foreign Language and a Visual Arts requirement? If you dont have everything they require, then you dont match their criteria! If its early in the process and you have any credit/class deficits, make them up BEFORE senior year! If you are a 3.0 student applying to a school with an admitted student profile of 3.75 or above, this would be a reach school. Its okay to apply there but you should also add in schools that more closely match your academic record, too.
Head of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School
Summer: Visit Colleges And Work On Application Essays
Visit colleges.Visit the campuses of your top five college choices. Take a tour and speak with the admissions and financial aid staff. You may also be able to talk to students if some classes are in session. If you have an interview, be sure to send a thank-you letter to the interviewer once you return home.
Get advice from other college students.If you have friends or relatives in college, talk to them about what college life is like, especially if they attend a school youre interested in. Although its important to hear what the admissions staff has to say about a school, its also important to get the students perspective.
Organize your financial aid information.Develop a plan that includes a list of the aid sources, requirements for each application, and a timetable for meeting the filing deadlines. Getting organized will make the process of applying a lot easier because youll know where to find important information.
Start working on your application essays.Compose rough drafts of the essays youll need for your college applications. Have a teacher read and discuss them with you so you can see what to work on. Make any revisions to your application essays and prepare final drafts. Dont forget to proofread your final essays a few times.
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Spring Season: January May
The spring semester is really the âhigh seasonâ of scholarships. There are millions of dollars up for grabs throughout these months. Deadlines seem to be evenly spread throughout January to May. Just know, this is prime scholarship time and your child should certainly be working on them during these months!
The end of winter break can be perfect for pinpointing your child wants to apply. They may even be able to submit some applications early. Additionally, spring break is a great time to knock out many of these.
In October Take The Psat
Colleges won’t see your PSAT scores, but a good score on the exam can translate into thousands of dollars. Also, the exam will give you a good sense of your preparedness for the SAT. Take a look at some college profiles and see if your PSAT scores are in line with the SAT ranges listed for the schools you like. If not, you still have plenty of time to improve your test-taking skills. Be sure to read more about why the PSAT matters. Even students who don’t plan on taking the SAT should take the PSAT because of the scholarship opportunities it creates.
You will also find that soon after you take the PSAT, colleges will start sending you recruitment materials via mail and email. This is because colleges rely on the College Board to identify students who might be a good match for them. Schools buy contact information from the College Board based on factors such as PSAT scores, academic interests, and geographic location.
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Learn Everything You Can About The College Application Process
In the case of college admissions, knowledge really is power. The more you know about the college application process, the easier it will be for you to handle what can be a complicated and stressful part of your educational career. Becoming familiar with the admissions world in your freshman year of high school will give you time to learn its ins and outs before you actually have to apply.
Obviously, there are some parts of the college planning and application process that cant be completed, or even begun, during your freshman year of high school. Below, well go over the tasks that you can and should get started on during your freshman year, as well as those that you should reserve for later in your high school career.
Is Applying To 18 Colleges Too Much
The College Board recommends that high school seniors narrow down their application list to five to eight schools. Its okay to stray a little outside this range, but as a general rule of thumb you should aim to reach those numbers because sending more than ten applications can have drastic consequences.
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Beginning Of Junior Year
Its best to start the beginning of junior year with the college search, this way you have an entire year to research schools, meet with admission reps at college fairs and visit the campuses. Senior year can be quite stressful in regards to the college process, so the more you do junior year and the earlier you start the better off you will be. My goal for all of my students is to have their college list finalized by the time they start senior year so we can focus on applications.
choreographer/counselor in performing artsCollege Match, Inc, Performing Arts Specialist
Fall: Take The Psat And Start A List Of Colleges
Stay on track with your classes and grades.Meet with your counselor to see what you still need to take. Check on your class rank and your GPA. Even if your grades havent been that good so far, its never too late to improve. Colleges like to see an upward trend.
Take the PSAT.Taking the test qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship program, which means you could earn money for college. In addition, its a good way to practice for the SAT.
Evaluate your education options.Now is the time to follow a more specific path. Decide whether you want to pursue full-time employment, further education or training , or a military career. If youre interested in attending a military academy, talk to your guidance counselor about starting the application process now.
Make a college list.Your list of colleges should include schools that meet your most important criteria . Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you and develop a preliminary ranking of the schools on your list.
Continue gathering college information.Go to college fairs, attend college nights, and speak with college representatives who visit your high school use an online college finder and search top college lists. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a school to your list.
Organize a testing plan.Figure out when youll be taking important tests like the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP exams, and mark the dates on your calendar. Youll want to have plenty of time to prepare.
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Narrowing Down Your College Choices
While there is no right answer to how many applications you should submit, it’s a good idea to apply to five to eight colleges with a range of selectivityyour matches,reaches, and safeties. There may be times when applying to more than eight schools is appropriate , but for most high school seniors, eight should give you plenty of solid options. If you are struggling to narrow your college list down to fewer than 10 schools, its time to revisit your college search or maybe do more research. You probably want to do a gut check toowhy are there so many schools on your list?
But the most important question to ask yourself when considering where to apply is this: Of the colleges and universities on my list, if only one of them admits me, or only one is affordable, can I go there happily? The answer should always be yes. If you answer no, ask yourself why youre applying to that institution in the first place. Be brutally honest with yourself. With the wide array of colleges in the country, why would you submit an application to a school you would never ultimately attend?