College Planning Timeline

College Planning Timeline


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and hope.” Jeremiah 29:11


  • Do well academically; your high school GPA starts accumulating from the first class.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities and join new clubs that interest you.
  • Build relationships with your teachers and counselors.
  • Take note of what classes are interesting to you (possible majors!).
  • Time management is key; develop strong study patterns and habits.
  • Begin building your high school resume.
  • Make your summer matter.  Colleges look for community involvement; get involved at a summer camp, volunteer in your community, make plans to travel and visit a college.


  • National Christian College Fair takes place at Mekeel
  • Plan college tours for winter and spring break
  • Challenge yourself with your course selection.  Do not follow the crowd; individualize your learning experience! Will you take a third year of foreign language? Physics? Fine Arts?
  • A career assesment test is very helpful at this point,;resources are available in the College Counseling Office.
  • Study, study, study. Get all of your work in on time.  Meet with teachers to review homework, notes, or tests.  Mark your improvements and set new goals.
  • Begin to consider the various types of colleges available and the types of programs that they offer.
  • Begin to visit colleges any chance you get.  If you are the oldest child in your family, make sure your parents know you need to get out and experience a college campus!
  • Continue to develop your resume.  Consider running for leadership positions during your junior year.
  • Think about your summer plans.  Interested in a pre-college program? Or starting a job to save up for a car?  Summer program information is available in the College Counseling Office.
  • Review the goals you set at the beginning of the year.


  • Focus on grades.  This is the last year to acquire a strong GPA for college admissions applications.
  • Take the PSAT/NMQST exam.
  • Use the results of the PSAT to determine strenghts and weaknesses in writing, verbal, and math skills.
  • Start doing some self-evalutation and begin thinking about what you want in a college.
  • National Christian College Fair takes place at MCA.
  • Plan college tours for winter and spring break.
  • Sign up for SAT prep courses.
  • Juniors take SAT or ACT test and subject tests as required by individual colleges.
  • Research and review specific course requirements for admission at the colleges you want to attend
  • Register for strong senior classes. Course selection is very important to most colleges; they want to see that you challenge yourself in the classroom.
  • Continue to develop your resume.  Consider running for leadership positions during your senior year.
  • Ask teachers for recommendation letters before the end of the school year.
  • Begin to narrow down choices.
  • Your last summer!  Consider internships, enrichment programs on college campuses, work experiences, and missions trips.


  • Sign up for the SAT & ACT again.  Continue to test prep if appropriate.
  • Finalize a college list by November.
  • Make final visits to colleges you want to apply to.
  • Become aware of application deadlines.  October is the deadline to turn in completed Early-Decision/Early-Action College Applications & Scholarships.
  • Schedule and complete college interviews.
  • November: Deadline for all Applications & Scholarships that need to be mailed out by the December break
  • Check on the financial aid and scholarship process at the colleges you are considering.  Meet application deadlines.
  • Finish your senior year strong!  College admission is based upon a “sucessful completion of high school.”
  • Prepare school letters of recommendation.
  • All college applications should be submitted by February 1.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship search
  • Complete and mail FAFSA (financial aid) as soon as possibe after January 1.
  • You must accept admission to one and only one college by May 1.  Notify colleges that you do not wish to attend.
  • Final transcript request
  • Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
  • Finish up any paperwork required by your college.
  • Complete any necessary pre-registration forms.
  • Pay close attention to any correspondence from your college.
  • Attend freshman welcome sessions.