Writing college applications can be stressful enough without having to worry about deadlines. In your junior year of high school, creating a timeline for your college application process is a great idea to keep everything organized.

What You Need to Know About the College Application Timeline

A clear timeline for college is a great way to keep yourself organized when applying to colleges. Generally, your junior and senior years of high school are hectic and can be easy to lose track of. 

Having a clear timeline ensures you can manage the college application process and helps you plan so you’re not rushing through your applications. It will also help you see what you must do at different times of the year so you can schedule accordingly. 

If you were to rush through your application, you may not get accepted into the college of your desire, which could affect your future. A well-organized college application deadline will help you avoid that.

Many colleges will also require you to take the SAT or ACT. If this is the case, you will want to ensure you take them well ahead of deadlines to avoid delays in your application. So remember to keep these factors in mind.

2023/2024 College Application Timeline

Now that you have decided which schools to apply to, you can start creating your college application process timeline. You might want to put specific deadlines in your calendar when creating a timeline.

September of Your Senior Year

Entering your senior year of high school can be stressful, but by checking these tasks off your college application timeline you’ll be able to stay on track.

  • Get feedback on your personal statement/common app essay and write a final copy.
  • Finalize your top school’s list. 
  • Request that all SAT and/or ACT test scores be sent to the colleges you are applying to.
  • Decide if you want to apply for an early decision.
  • Complete supplemental essays for early decision/early action programs.
  • Check in with the status of recommendation letters.

October of Your Senior Year

Make sure you know the different deadlines for early action or early decision, as this is the time of year when application deadlines start to appear. 

  • Start finalizing and submitting applications for early action.
  • Double-check deadlines before this time.

November/December of Your Senior Year

At this point, you should almost be done with your early action/decision application and should focus on completing supplemental essays for regular decision schools.

If not already finished, you should:

  • Finalize and submit applications for regular decision schools.
  • Consider acceptance for early action or early decision.

Gear Up for Deadlines for College Applications

While senior students approach college applications differently, one thing they all have in common is the desire to pursue post-secondary education. Every step in the college application process brings them closer to unique paths that they can continue to explore as they pursue their dreams.

The first step, however, is to go through the college application process. To avoid unnecessary stress, plan ahead and prepare. It pays to have a timeline ready in the junior year to avoid rushed essays and tests. Research and seek the guidance of school counselors on whether to apply under Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, or Rolling Admission. Ask around and make it a point to get the feedback of those who have already gone through the college application process. Make sure you cover everything in your plan, including financing your college fees.

Dealing with deadlines for college applications may seem daunting but with the right preparation, the student applicant will have confidence in every decision.