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College application checklist: How to plan your junior and senior years

Posted by Leslie Anderson  August 30, 2013 05:32 PM

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Here is a college application checklist compiled from online resources provided by the Bedford High School guidance department. Guidance director Diane Ryan also talked with College Bound about the application process.


First half of junior year:

-- Sign up for PSATs

Second half of junior year:

-- Sign up for and take the SATs or ACTs

-- Sign up for and take SAT II tests if required

-- Discuss with parents the criteria for choosing a college such as cost, location, size, academic programs/majors, services for students with learning disabilities, athletics, arts and other activities of interest

-- Develop a tentative list of colleges

-- Visit local schools that represent varies sizes, urban/rural/suburban settings so families can begin to narrow the criteria list

-- Schedule college visits and interviews during February or April vacations

-- Attend college fair

-- Take advanced placement exams

-- Complete forms such the online resume, parent “brag sheet,’’ counselor questionnaire and teacher recommendation requests

Summer after junior year:

-- Review college testing scores and make a plan for improving them, if necessary.

-- Begin working on college application essay

-- Continue to visit college campuses


September of senior year:

-- Compile list of reach, possible and safe school choices

-- Consider early action or early decision options

-- Schedule college interviews, if necessary

-- Re-take SATs or ACTs, if necessary

-- Meet with visiting college representatives

-- Continue working on application essay

-- Research and apply for scholarships

-- Be aware of all application and scholarship deadlines

October-December of senior year:

-- Applications for early decision and early action due in mid-November

-- Narrow down remaining list of colleges

-- Notify teachers for recommendations

-- Complete all testing; send standardized test scores directly to colleges

-- Attend financial aid night

-- Complete applications

-- Complete financial aid forms and scholarship applications

April of senior year:

-- Receive notification from colleges

Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at

For more College Bound stories and tips, go here.

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