Student Timelines and Action Plans
Spring - Summer
- Generate a list of schools you are considering with with information about the deciding criteria:
- Major - Does the school offer the major(s) in which you are interested?
- SAT - What are the school's required scores?
- Cost - What is the tuition? Added costs? (Price tags can be deceiving.)
- Location - What is the school's proximity to home? Another city or town?
- Size - Is the school large or small? Will the size affect your interests/activities/opportunities?
Visit the schools
- Call the college admissions office to schedule an appointment. (Try the college’s “1-800” or toll-free number first.)
- Talk to staff members in the financial aid office.
- Talk to staff members in the placement office.
- Look at the freshman residence halls.
- Ask to see the buildings where students attend classes.
- Talk to students. (They will give you the real scoop.)
- Narrow the number of schools on your list to 4 or 5 no later than Labor Day.
- Watch for fall registration programs.
- Listen to the announcements from the High School Guidance Office for scheduled visits by various admissions counselors.
- Register for the SAT and/or ACT tests by the first week of September for the tests offered in October, November and December. Norwin suggests that a student take the SAT or ACT at least once during junior year.
- Obtain an application from the college or from the High School Guidance Office or Online. (Be sure to read through the entire application.)
- Listen to the announcements from the High School Guidance Office for scheduled visits by college and trade school representatives.
- Apply for “Early Action,” if applicable.
- Attend the high school's Financial Aid Night.
- Prepare to file the FAFSA electronically. This can be done at www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Obtain “Teacher Recommendation” forms and allow at least one (1) week for teachers to write recommendation letters.
- Turn in the completed application form, deposit check, and all supportive information to the High School Guidance Office at least one (1) week before the application needs to be mailed. Be aware of application deadlines! The Guidance Office will send applications within five (5) working days of receipt.
- All applications should be sent no later than December 1st. Enclose a return postcard to ensure the application has been received
Throughout the Year
- Read all college acceptance letters carefully as there will be deadlines to observe.
- Review the financial aid package from the college first.
- Watch for scholarship announcements and monthly updates.
- Develop your own Action Plan from the College Board.
College Action Plans
The College Board provides a service that requires you to answer 5 questions. Your answers help develop an action plan for college. It is done according to grade level. It does require you to register an account with the College Board website but the service is free. To being developing an action plan, please click here.
Parent Action Plans
Help guide your student through what should be done each year with these easy-to-follow parent action plans.
BestColleges.com Online Educational Guides
Bestcolleges.com has developed guides to online education options so that working students can keep their professional obligations while advancing their educational credentials. These guides are for students who wish to pursue online degrees after completing high school. To access a particular guide, you will need to click on the guide you are interested in reviewing.
- Guide to Online Associate Degrees
- Online Bachelor's Degree Guide
- Guide to Online Master's Degree
- Online Doctorate Degree Guide