College Search Timeline
A Four-Year Overview
- Welcome to the Upper School.
- Take challenging courses.
- Attend Freshman Foundations classes. Learn what it takes to be successful in high school and beyond, and develop an overview for what colleges expect from a student.
- Participate actively in selected interests outside of class. If students are able to develop a high level of competence and passion in an extracurricular area, they should dedicate themselves to attaining true excellence in that pursuit.
- Start an activities list with all your extracurricular accomplishments.
- Pursue an interest over the summer.
- Continue to take challenging courses.
- Maintain participation in select extracurricular activities and add to your list.
- Take the PSAT in October.
- Register on My College QuickStart and meet with your advisor to discuss and analyze PSAT results.
- Consider summer volunteer opportunities.
- Attend the field trip to The College of New Jersey with the college counselor.
- Consider an informal visit to a college campus.
- If appropriate, take SAT Subject Tests in June.
- Continue to take challenge yourself academically.
- Review your academic plans for Upper School and continue to update the activities list you began as a freshman.
- Take the PSAT on the national test date. The test will be given at W-H and you will be automatically registered for it.
- Attend local College Fairs and be sure to visit with at least three of the many college representatives who visit W+H.
- Begin to establish criteria for the type of college that you would like to attend.
- Determine a standardized test game plan and register for the SAT in either January or March.
- College Counseling classes start.
- PSAT student reports are distributed and interpreted.
- Parents are encouraged to attend the Financial Aid Night seminar.
- Register for the February ACT if appropriate.
- Attend the Alumni College Day for Juniors and Seniors.
- Attend the Junior College Night with your parents.
- Plan to meet with the College Counselor and your parents to discuss your college list and have any questions answered.
- Look ahead to spring/summer break as possible opportunities to visit colleges.
- Determine with your counselor whether you should take SAT Subject Tests in May or June.
- Continue your college research.
- Continue researching colleges.
- Register for all remaining junior year standardized tests.
- Utilize your spring break for college visits.
- Consider which teacher(s) will best prepare college recommendations for you and make your formal request in May.
- Attend the field trip to a small private college with the college counselor.
- Take the AP exams given early in May, if appropriate.
- Attend the National College Fair.
JUNE – JULY
- Spend your summer productively.
- Continue to narrow your college list.
- Visit colleges you did not see during the school year.
- Visit www.commonapp.org or individual college websites to preview applications, essay questions and supplements.
- Consider essay topics. Compose rough drafts of essays and supplements.
- Update your final list of college choices.
- Send college essay to college counselor and Writing Lab teacher.
- Attend Common Application workshop.
- Continue to take challenge yourself academically.
- Request teacher recommendations and meet with teachers.
- Attend essay writing workshop.
- Parents attend the Senior Parent Dessert and Coffee.
- Attend College Counseling classes through the first trimester.
- Attend local College Fairs and any college admission representative visits to W+H.
- Make final decisions regarding Early Decision and Early Action options.
- Retake the ACT, if applicable.
- Meet with teachers, peers, and college counselor to perfect college essays.
- Submit transcript requests for Early Decision/Early Action applications and complete these applications for submission.
- If you plan to seek financial aid and any of your colleges require the CSS Profile, apply now.
- Complete competitive scholarship applications with deadlines this month.
- Retake SAT or Subject Tests and/or ACT, if applicable.
- Finalize the remainder of your applications. All transcript requests should be submitted no later than DECEMBER 1.
- Retake SAT and/or Subject Tests, if applicable.
- Complete all remaining applications by DECEMBER 15.
- Parents are encouraged to attend the Financial Aid Night seminar, if applicable.
- Call colleges 2-3 weeks after all materials have been submitted to make sure they have arrived.
JANUARY – FEBRUARY
- Juniors and Seniors attend the Alumni College Day.
- Early Decision/Early Action deferrals should see college counselor and submit additional information to the colleges to update their applications and reiterate interest.
- Complete FAFSA and submit to each college by deadline.
- Complete all scholarship applications that have not been submitted.
- Regular deadline colleges notify students of admission decisions from early March through early April. If placed on the waiting list of a school you would like to attend, speak with the college counselor as soon as possible.
- Attend Career Day.
- Attend on-campus “Accepted Student” events.
- Notify the college you will attend no later than May 1.
- Send your deposit to the college of your choice by May 1.
- Attend the Senior Farewell Dinner with your parents.
Congratulations on your graduation from Wardlaw-Hartridge