Timeline for College Planning

  • Freshman Year - Setting the stage for success

    Aug / Jan:

    • Meet with your counselor to develop a four-year plan

    Aug / June:

    • Practice good time management and study skills in high school
    • Work hard in challenging courses
    • Become involved in activities in and out of school
    • Assess your interests and abilities

    June / Aug:

    • Use summer months to broaden your experiences (work, travel, volunteer)


    Sophomore Year - Getting Started

    Sept / June:

    • Continue to practice time management and study skills in high school


    • Take the PSAT for practice (limited tests are available)


    • Attend a yearly college fair


    • Analyze your PSAT results
    • Develop strategies for improving your scores
    • Set up a simple system for organizing college information

    Feb / June:

    • Begin to explore college choices and possible majors


    Junior Year - Exploring The Possibilities
    Sept / June:

    • Continue to strengthen your skills as a student
    • Speak to college representatives who visit the High School - Visit the Counseling Office Website for more information including dates and times


    • Take the PSAT (listen to school announcements for dates)


    • Attend a yearly college fair
    • Continue to research and begin to visit colleges
    • Make contact with college coaches if you play a sport


    • Analyze for PSAT results
    • Develop a plan for SAT preparation


    • Register for Advanced Placement tests
    • Attend College Application Process Night at Elizabethtown Area High School
    • Begin to narrow the college possibilities and find out which tests colleges require
    • Register for SAT and SAT II (www.collegeboard.com)
    • Consider the ACT test as an alternative to the SATs at act.org

    March / June:  

    • Take SAT, ACT and/or SAT II, if necessary
    • Continue to research and visit colleges (admissions and financial aid offices)


    • Take Advanced Placement tests

    July / Aug:

    • Narrow the list of colleges
    • Begin work on college applications (essay, letters of recommendation, resume)



    Senior Year - Pursuing Your Future
    Sept / Oct:

    • Plan overnight visits to colleges and prepare for scheduled interviews
    • Be aware of admission deadlines (Early decision is often Nov. 1)
    • Take SAT and SAT II, if not taken previously
    • Ask for letters of recommendation (Allow at least 2 weeks)
    • Submit applications
    • Request transcripts to be sent to college admissions office (Allow at least 2 weeks)
    • Attend Financial Aid Night at Elizabethtown Area High School
    • File FAFSA


    • Take SAT and SAT II, if not taken previously


    • Submit CSS profile to your university, if required
    • Gather information for financial aid forms
    • Research national and local scholarships

    Jan / May:

    • Consult school Counseling Office Website for scholarship information
    • Reply to acceptances and meet deadlines for deposits
    • Finalize financial aid package
    • Request final transcripts to be sent (Allow at least 2 weeks)