College application checklist

College application checklist
iStock / LawrenceSawyer

For high school seniors, now is the time to start narrowing down their college lists and start getting serious about applying. To help you get organized, take a look at the following checklist to make sure you are on track.


– Try to finalize the list of colleges you want to apply to.

– Arrange campus visits to any colleges you want to apply to but still haven’t seen.

– Look at the application deadlines for each of the colleges you want to apply to. Also look at the early-decision deadlines.

– Finalize your college essay. Also check to see if the colleges you are applying to require additional essays.

– Request recommendations from teachers and guidance counselors.

– Start looking into scholarships.

– Take the ACT or SAT if you still need to.


– Send in early-decision applications.

– Talk to your guidance counselor about how to get copies of your transcript sent to colleges.

– Have your ACT or SAT scores sent to the colleges you are applying to.

– Collect recommendation letters.

– Start to apply for regular-decision admissions to colleges.


– Apply for regular-decision admission to colleges. Most colleges have a Jan. 1 deadline.

– Obtain financial aid materials to start getting the needed paperwork in order.


– Submit applications for any remaining schools you didn’t already apply to.

– Start applying for financial aid.

– Based on where you’ve been accepted, start to narrow down college choices.

February – May:

– Narrow down college choices. Most schools will require a decision by May 1.

– Apply for financial aid.

– Apply for student housing.

– Apply for scholarships.