Follow the timeline below to stay on top of your kid’s college prep journey. College Countdown is here to help every step of the way.

College Countdown

Timeline

High School

Junior Year

Socrates’s statement, “Know thyself,” holds true for this year of the college search.

Fall

Encourage Good Study Habits – Keep Grades Up

Consider AP Classes, Dual Enrollment, SAT Prep Courses, College Ready Courses

Register PSAT (Oct.), SAT, ACT, AP

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Set Parent Expectations for the College Selection Process

Schedule College Visits and Attend College Fairs

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Research Careers and Colleges

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Draft a List of Potential College Choices (Appeal, Affordability, Selectivity)

Encourage Your Child to Connect with HS Guidance Counselor, College Admissions Counselor

529 Considerations – Glidepath Adjustments

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Spring

Review HS Transcript

Register SAT, ACT, AP Exam

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Encourage Summer Job, Internship

Continue College Visits (Virtual Visits) – Appointments with FA, Admissions, Academic Advisors

Request Letters of Recommendation

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Summer

Start an Outline for Your College Essays

Family Discussion about Money, 529 College Savings

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Consider Early Action, Early Decision

Review Application Procedures for Top College Choices

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Skills to Teach: Budget, Laundry, Cooking, Healthy Habits (sleep, study, etc.)

Senior Year

Susan Sontag’s statement, “Do stuff. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead,” holds true for this year of the college search.

Fall

Avoid Senioritis

Register and take SAT, ACT

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Obtain FSA IDs for FAFSA

Complete FAFSA, Review SAR

Mental, Physical, Emotional Health, Disability Conversations

Write College Essays

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Discuss Finances with College FA Offices

Apply to Colleges – Common Application, Universal College Application, Coalition Application

Learn Which Colleges on Your List Require CSS Profile, FAFSA, Supplemental FA Forms

Early Decision and Early Action Applications – Oct. 1, Nov. 1

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Narrow College Choices

Submit College Applications

Ask HS Guidance Counselor About Scholarships and Complete Scholarship Applications

Plan for Summer Job, Internship

Family Discussion about Money, 529 College Savings

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Spring

Research Financial Aid Options – Loans, Grants, Scholarships, etc.

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Request Transcripts

Contact FA Office of Colleges Applied to – Make Sure They Have Everything

Decide College – National Decision Day

Complete Scholarship Applications

Financial Aid Calculator

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Review Acceptances, Financial Aid, and Scholarship Offers

Pay College Deposit

Attend Admitted Student Days

Graduation

The Parent

Advisory Council

The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of ScholarShare 529 parents with children already using their 529 savings for college. That means they know a few things about college and are eager to share perspectives and insights with you as your teenager begins their college adventure. This is a group of parents who have been there, done that. Now, they’re ready to exchange stories with you. Meet the PAC.

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