Timeline Overview for the College Application Process

Note:  This is an overview and does not cover each/every step!

Strategy: Family Meeting

The family meeting outlines the overall strategy and maps the student's initial desired attributes of a college to create the exploratory college list.

Sophomore or Junior Fall/Winter

College List

Developing a balanced list is one of the most important aspects of finding the right fit.

Winter/Spring Junior Year

Tactical: Game Plan

Identifying what needs to be done when and understanding the complexities of the application process before you begin is critical to success.

Winter/Spring Junior Year

Common Application Essay

Completing a unique essay that expresses who you are in a concise and interesting way is an important step as this is the "face" of the application.

June to July

Complete the Common Application

Completing the Activities Section in the Common Application is more important than most students realize.  The order of the activities, the activities to include (and omit), as well as effective descriptions are important factors in making a Common Application uncommonly good! 


Write Supplemental Essays

One of the most overlooked yet critical components of an application is the supplemental essay questions.  These are often used by highly competitive schools to gauge interest, which is a key factor in admissions decisions. We recommend blocking one hour per weekend to write these in order to be done in time for a "Happy Halloween" (and November 1 deadlines). 

September - October