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College Admissions: Step by Step

You're halfway through your junior year and starting to realize that you've got a lot to get done and a short time to do it. Don't worry.

This super succinct little checklist will get you to your goal . . . .

College Admissions!

October 11th Grade - Take Final PSAT NMS
  • Use your baseline from 10th to decide if you should retake PSAT

  • Prep hard, but only if you have a realistic shot at National Merit Scholar

  • Otherwise, relax and use PSAT as a way to prep for the SAT

  • Start doing online college research and visit colleges till next summer.

Fall of 11th Grade - Start Planning
  • Meet with a College Planner

  • Take Aptitude Test to find a Major

  • Research Colleges

  • Take your first SAT or ACT (it's just a baseline)

Jan.-Mar. of 11th - Take 1st real SAT or ACT
  • Pick just one test, not both

  • You should use your baseline to decide which one

  • Sign up for the next test then start prepping

  • Prep at least 4 weeks before your test day

  • Go take the test and wait for the results

April of 11th - Get A Testing Strategy
  • We will analyze the results of both your SAT & ACT.

  • We will tell you which one can be increased the most easily

  • We will tell you exactly how to target your prep for that one test.

  • Then you will retake that one test in August or September.

Spring 11th Grade - College Visits
  • Use your online college research to pick your top 20-30 universities

  • Do virtual visits through each college's website

  • Narrow down your list to no more than 12.

  • Contact colleges to arrange for formal visits

  • Visit each college on your list before summer

June of 11th - Start Your College Essay
  • Write your master essay based on Prompt A of ApplyTexas

  • Trust me, it will work for any college app with just a few tweaks.

  • Get it edited, but don't use AI unless you like to take chances!

July of 11th - Start Your Resume & References
  • Start asking for Letters of Recommendations (LORs)

  • Email 2 or more teachers to write a referral. These will be due 10/1.

  • Email 3 or more mentors to write a referral. These will be due 10/1.

  • Download our Resume Template and start your resume.

August of 12th - Start Your App!
  • CommonApp is now open, start an account and fill in the basics

  • Schedule an Oral Aptitude test by Zoom to pick the perfect major.

  • We will also narrow down with colleges to app to.

Aug/Sept of 12th - Take final SAT or ACT
  • August is last chance to take SAT for most schools

  • September is last chance for ACT for most schools

  • Make sure to do serious prep for this test.

  • This is where you should consider a pro!

October of 12th - Finish Your App!
  • If you just want to get in, then submit before the final deadline

  • If you want to get money, submit all apps by 11/1 for "Priority Admissions"

  • That includes essays, resume, references, and tests scores.

  • Make sure to get your app optimized before you submit.

  • If you need a last ditch SAT, take it in October.

  • If you need a last ditch ACT, take it in October.

November 1 - Everything is Due!
  • Submit your COMMONAPP for each college.

    • Include at least 2 Letters of Recommendations

    • Include high school Transcript

    • Include a Resume in PDF form

    • Include all Essays fully edited

    • Include an dual credit Transcripts

    • Include any optional Scholarship Apps


Watch for emails from each college.

They will arrive within 3 days.

If you don't get one, you need to double check your app.

Then do the tasks outlined in each college's portal.

And now is the time to start all scholarship applications!


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