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When should I start applying for colleges?

When should I start applying for colleges?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kerri’s Answer

It’s never too early to start researching colleges on line! Students often begin college tours and visits during their junior year in high school and then start applying to their top choices in the summer before senior year. A lot of colleges offer early admission which means the application is generally due by November instead of January and you can get a decision sooner!
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Warren’s Answer

Senior year in High school AT THE LATEST... If you have a "Running Start" Program at your school GET IN IT! Your guidance counselors at your school should help you with this endeavor.
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Arabhis’s Answer

Hey Reagan!

It truly depends on what grade you're in and how close you are to graduating from High School.
But I wrote a mini-guide to help you get started. Truly hope this helps!

For JUNIOR YEAR(11th Grade)r: Make sure you are proactive in your college search

#1) Look at your after school activities, make sure you are involved in one or two activities that can add to your applications and make you a stronger candidate.
#2) Make sure your grades are up to par, and you have balance in your studying and self-care days- take breaks! (getting ready for college can be a lot to manage, but you got this!)
#3) Check in frequently with your career counselor or guidance counselor. Ask questions, and work with them to keep you on track with your goals
#4) Going into Senior Year, have an idea of the college you want to early apply to, make note of all deadline for each University or college & stay organized

For SENIOR YEAR(12th Grade): Become a little more aggressive in the college application journey

#1) The Summer before you start Senior Year, research colleges that stand out to you and have the majors and programs that line up with your future career goals. Then narrow down your list of top 10-15 colleges. If you are already in your senior year, that’s fine, just get on this asap! The early bird gets the worm. 10 of those colleges are your top choices, the other 5 colleges from that same list are just backups in case you don’t get into your top choices. Create document to track all deadlines and application due dates for each of the colleges. The key is to stay organized!
#2) Meet with your guidance counselor or career/college counselor at least once a month to keep yourself focused and accountable to application goals. Ask them for advice, and any other pressing question around the application process.
#3 Keep track of all of your school accomplishments, and anything you have created or achieved in your extra curricular activities. Start Collecting a list of things you’ve done throughout High School, and your proudest moments and accomplishments. This can later be used in your college essay.
Make a list of 3-5 Colleges you want to tour. Then plan a trip with friends, or ask if your school offers college tour trips. This will help you decide which college you want to go to.

Here is a great place to start in researching colleges: First start with each college's official website. Then go to the following website(copy and paste) to review all the numbers regarding cost of tuition, class sizes, location/area and other key information. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

You’re all set! Best of Luck!
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DaSabria’s Answer

No matter your current grade, it's never too early to begin exploring colleges that align with your passions, desires, and necessities. Once you've fine-tuned your list, delve into the specific requirements of each college and strategize ways to shine brighter than your peers.

Initiating this process early can significantly enhance your preparation. For instance, you can work towards boosting your GPA, participate in extracurricular activities, and familiarize yourself with important deadlines. This way, you won't risk falling prey to procrastination or missing crucial application deadlines for your preferred colleges.

Stay proactive and strive for excellence, but always with a positive and determined mindset. Wishing you the best of luck on this exciting journey!
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Mackenzie’s Answer

The timing for applying to college during your senior year of high school depends on the type of application deadline and your own preferences. Here are some general guidelines:

1. **Regular Decision**: For most colleges, the regular decision application deadline falls in the late fall or early winter of your senior year of high school. Typically, regular decision deadlines are in January or February. It's a good idea to start working on your applications in the summer or early fall of your senior year to ensure you have ample time to complete them thoughtfully.

2. **Early Action and Early Decision**: Some colleges offer early action (EA) or early decision (ED) application options with deadlines in November. Early action is non-binding, meaning you can apply to multiple colleges and receive your admissions decisions early without committing to attend any particular school. Early decision is binding, meaning you commit to attending that college if admitted. If you're considering early action or early decision, start working on your applications during the summer or early fall of your senior year.

3. **Rolling Admissions**: Some colleges have rolling admissions, which means they accept and review applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year. In such cases, it's beneficial to apply early, as spaces in the incoming class may fill up.

4. **Scholarship Deadlines**: If you're applying for scholarships, check the deadlines for scholarship applications. These deadlines can vary significantly, and some may be much earlier than regular college application deadlines.

5. **Special Programs**: Certain specialized programs or colleges within universities may have unique application timelines. Be sure to check the specific requirements and deadlines for these programs.

6. **Test Scores**: Consider the timing of standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. You may need to take these tests during your junior year or early in your senior year to meet college application deadlines.

7. **Letters of Recommendation**: Request letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or mentors well in advance of your application deadlines. Give your recommenders ample time to write and submit their letters.

8. **Financial Aid**: If you plan to apply for financial aid, be aware of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and CSS Profile deadlines. These may differ from college application deadlines.

9. **Visits and Research**: Before applying, it's a good idea to visit colleges and conduct thorough research to ensure they are a good fit for you. These visits and research should ideally begin in your junior year.

10. **Application Strategy**: Develop a strategy for your college applications. Decide which colleges you want to apply to, whether you'll use common application platforms like the Common App, and how you'll manage your application workload.

In summary, it's advisable to start preparing for the college application process early in your high school career, ideally during your junior year. This includes researching colleges, taking standardized tests, visiting campuses, and considering your application strategy. The actual application process typically begins in the summer or early fall of your senior year, with deadlines ranging from the fall to early winter. Be sure to check the specific requirements and deadlines for each college you plan to apply to, as they can vary. Planning and staying organized throughout the process will help you manage your college applications effectively.
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