College Counseling Timeline for Students
Below is an outline of the steps you should be taking with your college search over the four years of Upper School.
- Make the most of academic opportunities.
- Explore and get involved with activities, both in and out of school.
- Choose Summer activities that are fulfilling and engaging.
- Invest yourself in your academic and extracurricular pursuits.
- Attend the College Q&A for sophomores and their families in Spring 2022.
- Take a practice PSAT in the spring.
- Begin familiarizing yourself with the Park School College Counseling website.
- Choose summer activities that are fulfilling and engaging.
- In the summer, visit a few local colleges, take tours, and attend information sessions to acquaint yourself with how colleges differ.
- Continue to challenge yourself in your academic and extracurricular pursuits.
- Attend AIMS College Counseling Financial Aid Night for 11th and 12th grade families.
- Consider test prep for SATs and/or ACTs, and begin studying.
- Take PSATs in October (you will be automatically registered for this test at Park).
- Consider signing up for AP exams. (Registration is through Park.)
- Sign up for winter/spring SATs and/or ACTs.
- Attend a College Information Session for Juniors and their Families in early December.
- Continue college visits.
- Think about what you might want in a college (programs, location, size, culture).
winter / early spring
- Complete Junior College Counseling Questionnaire. The questionnaire will be available in December.
- Set up an individual meeting with your college counselor; then set up a family meeting.
- Begin researching colleges and developing a college list.
- Visit college websites; request and gather information from colleges.
- Take first SAT/ACT.
- Plan summer activities.
- Plan spring break college visits, if appropriate.
- Attend College Counseling Class Meetings.
- Discuss senior year courses with your college counselor and your advisor.
- Attend AIMS College Fair.
- Select and have conversations with prospective teacher recommenders in May.
- Attend Senior Panel for Juniors and their Families night.
- Take APs, if appropriate.
- Set up summer visits and interviews, where available.
- Plan to attend the College Essay Writing Workshop and the College Application Boot Camp offered in the Summer.
late summer / fall
- Attend the College Application Boot Camp.
- Sign up for SATs, and/or ACTs if you plan to sit for a fall administration.
- Consider signing up for AP exams. (Registration is through Park)
- Plan college visits (school professional days are a good time for this); schedule overnight stays where possible.
- Stay focused on academic and extracurricular pursuits.
- Sign up for in person or virtual meetings with college representatives visiting Park.
- Attend College Information Session for Seniors and their Families in September.
- Finalize college lists.
- Make decisions about ED, EA, Rolling, and Priority deadlines.
- Create a list of deadlines and essay questions for each college on your list.
- Contact teacher and supplemental recommenders and provide them with a list of schools and deadlines.
- Begin working on applications.
- Submit transcript release forms and My Schools forms to Wendy Stevens.
- Attend AIMS College Counseling Financial Aid Night.
- Research financial aid requirements and deadlines.
- If you are applying for financial aid, make preparations to complete the FAFSA (and CSS Profile for schools that require it).
- Sign up to attend the FAFSA/CSS Profile “Get it Done” Workshop on October 9, 2021.
- Complete applications for schools with December, January, and February deadlines.
- Even if you’ve applied Early Decision, prepare applications for Regular Decision schools.
- Research and apply for scholarships.
- Discuss financial aid packages with your college counselor.
- Deposit at ONE college by May 1 (you may also remain on wait lists).
- Write emails of interest to your wait list schools, if necessary.
- Take APs, if you signed up earlier in the fall.