The following monthly listing of events and expectations mark the college process for our juniors and seniors. While general in nature, the college planning timeline below should provide a useful overview of how the college process unfolds.
December-June of the Junior Year
- Juniors assigned a college counselor;
- Small group meetings with the College Office to disseminate general information about the upcoming process;
- Junior Parents’ Day to kick off the process for the parents;
- Juniors sit for SAT I;
- Juniors complete “Knowing the Possibilities” survey on the Naviance Family Connection before meeting with their individual counselors;
- Juniors self-schedule consultations with their counselors as needed;
- Juniors visit colleges during spring break;
- Juniors sit for appropriate standardized testing (SAT I/II, ACT, AP, TOEFL) in March, April, May and June as determined by their counselors;
- Attend Blair Spring Fair in late April to meet with college representatives;
- With the help of their college counselors, select an appropriate senior-year course schedule;
- Secure at least one junior teacher recommendation; and
- Finish out the junior year strongly!
By the close of the junior year, every junior should have met with his or her college counselor at least three times, sat for an appropriate battery of standardized testing, and prepared a relatively expansive college list. By mid-June, you will be receiving your child’s Summer Parent Letter, an overview of where he or she stands at this juncture of the process and suggestions as to how to proceed with the process through the summer and into the fall.
The Summer Vacation
- Visit colleges;
- Work on personal statements and individual school supplements;
- Read for pleasure…read some more;
- Test prep if appropriate/necessary;
- Work on the Common Application when it goes live in August; and
- Have a productive and enjoyable summer!!
September Though January of the Senior Year
- Continue with consultations with their college counselor to finalize college lists;
- Take appropriate standardized testing (SAT I/II, ACT, TOEFL) as needed;
- Secure any necessary recommendations and prepare any tapes, auditions or portfolios for the appropriate schools;
- Work with counselors on essays and supplements as needed, and take the time to review completed applications before submitting them when possible;
- Keep the Naviance Family Connection updated and current…manage all of your college affairs online;
- Endeavor to submit all applications online and in a timely fashion…meet submission deadlines and completed Transcript Request Forms (aka Pink Sheets) for each and every application submitted;
- Submit appropriate standardized testing via the testing services to those colleges that require it. Remember, you are responsible for doing so, not the College Office, your counselor or Mrs. Byrne; and
- Students applying for financial aid must have their parents complete the necessary financial aid forms (FAFSA, CSS Profile) as soon after January 1 as is possible.
April of Senior Year
Typically, most college decisions are received by April 1. Unless they have committed to a school via an early program (such as early decision), seniors will have the entire month of April to decide where they will enroll. Therefore, the month of April is typically the time when seniors will revisit their schools in an effort to make a final choice. April can also be a time of anxiety as well, as those seniors who have been placed on waitlists hope for good news toward the end of the month and into May. Some important guidelines:
- Deposit at ONE school by May 1, the Common Reply Deadline;
- Respond to all other offers of admission, thanking the colleges for the offer and indicating that you have chosen to enroll elsewhere;
- Send back waitlist offers (hopefully no more than two), indicating an interest in enrolling there should an offer of acceptance come; and
- Update waitlist college(s) in mid-April of your progress/accomplishments and of your desire to attend.
May & Graduation
For the great majority of seniors, the college process ends by May 1, but seniors are hardly done with school. For those students taking AP exams, strong scores could mean college credit and/or placement advantages. Recent studies indicate that eighth-semester performance (senior spring) is the best predictor of success during the first year of college—again, another important reason for seniors to finish strong.
- The College Office sends final, official transcripts to your college; and
- Student athletes intending to play Division I or Division II sports in college must register with the Initial Eligibility Center before leaving Blair in late May.