College Checklist

College Timeline

The college application process can be a tricky one. Use the timeline below to stay on top of deadlines and keep track of your progress!
September/October  - Research and Prepare

1. Make an appointment with Ms. Delgado to discuss the college search process. Remember, it is not just about the “brand”
of the school – it has to be the best fit and match for your needs. Things to consider:
  • Do I want to stay in New York, or attend an out of state college?
  • Does the school have more than one major that interests me?
  • What student support services are available on campus?
  • What is the cost of attendance?
  • Do they offer any scholarships/give adequate financial aid?
2. Do your research – online, attending college fairs/open houses, etc. Once you begin choosing colleges you are interested in applying to, make a list of each school’s application requirements. Do they require SAT subject tests? A personal statement? CSS Profile? A portfolio? When is the deadline to apply?
3.  If you have not done so already, decide and ask 2-3 adults for a recommendation letter. Remember, they may be getting the same request from a number of other students, so be sure to ask them early so they have enough time to get it done. Do not forget to give them your resume/”Brag” Sheet! (Need one? Scroll to the bottom of this page to get one!)
4.  Begin working on your personal statement. Have people you trust read it over a few times in order to provide you with feedback on your strengths and where you can improve.
5. Register for the SAT and/or ACT if you have not already done so. Remember you can take it more than once, allowing you to “Super Score” your results and send the highest scores of each section to your chosen colleges.
**Begin memorizing your social security number - applications will ask for it.

6. Finalize college list by mid November!! At this point you should have your set list of colleges that you intend to apply to!

7. Complete FAFSA/TAP Applications  - FAFSA goes live October 1st, and requires the taxes from 2 years prior to fill out the application. Don't wait too close to deadlines to get started! There is no way to know if you will receive any financial aid without completing these applications. Even if you feel that you will not receive much, fill it out anyway, you never know! Funds are limited, so the sooner you complete it, the better chance you have of receiving aid. Each college has its own deadline to submit FAFSA and TAP – be sure to note these deadlines.
  •  Also note that the FAFSA/TAP are FREE applications, meaning you should not be charged to complete them. If when filling this out online you are asked to provide a credit card number to be charged a processing fee, IT IS A SCAM, DO NOT ENTER YOUR INFORMATION.

November/ December – Apply and Submit Applications


1. Work on and submit applications! Christmas Break will arrive in a flash, and by that point, most, if not all of your applications should be completely submitted. Some colleges/programs have even earlier deadlines! You do not want to miss out on an opportunity because you forgot to submit something - stay organized!
2. Do not leave the Common App for last!
If you are applying to any private schools, a number of them use the Common Application. This is a long, time consuming application. Do not wait until December 23rd to begin working on it. Complete each section little by little over time to avoid becoming stressed and overwhelmed.
3. Send your SAT/ACT/AP scores to your colleges. This is a crucial component of your application materials, and colleges will not review your application without this information.
4. Make sure you tell Ms. Delgado or Mr.Pachter all the colleges you are applying to, that way we know where to send copies of your transcript.
5. Show me the money! – There are a vast amount of scholarships out there. Take advantage and apply to as many as you can. While we list some scholarship information on our school website (under College Corner) you can also research scholarships online, or even your local community organizations/places of employment to see if they offer any special scholarships.

January/February – Apply for Financial Aid


1. Complete FAFSA/TAP if you have not already done so!!!


2. Complete the CSS Profile Some, not all, private colleges require this application to determine if you qualify for additional grants and scholarships. Unlike the FAFSA, this application does have fees attached to it. Be sure to check if any of your colleges require this, as submitting it is time sensitive, and once the deadline has passed, they will not accept any late submissions. Check the link below to see if your colleges require it:



March/April – Decision Time


1. Compare award letters – go over and review ALL financial aid award letters your colleges send you. After looking these over, you might find that certain colleges are more affordable than you initially thought. 


2. Get as much information as possible.  Now that you have begun hearing back from schools, you want to make sure that you are making the best possible choice for your needs and aspirations. Do not be afraid to ask questions and speak with an admissions rep, or a representative from the program of study you are interested in. Make sure you have all the necessary facts before making a final decision.



3. Review your acceptance letters – distinguish the pros and cons of each offer. Determine which school is providing you with the best opportunities to learn, grow and be successful. What may be important to you in a college may not be the case for another student, and that is okay! Remember, this decision is about you.



1. Time to Commit! – The national deadline to commit and send a deposit to your chosen college is MAY 1ST. In order to ensure you have a seat, you MUST send your intent to enroll by this date!

If you are dorming – make sure you are aware of your college’s deadline to submit your housing deposit – missing that deadline could mean not having a spot in a dorm!


2. Accept your financial aid  - Simply getting your financial aid award letter does not mean the money automatically appears. You need to accept the offer (either online or through mail), and if you are taking out any loans, you will need to complete online counseling that explains the rules/legal terms/rights regarding the loans.



3. Update your TAP application – Unlike FAFSA, the TAP application only allows you to list one school at a time. Once you know which college you are attending, make sure that college is listed on your TAP application so if you receive any aid, it goes to the right institution.


4. Submit necessary documents to your college – verification forms, your immunization records, your final transcript, etc. Colleges MUST have all these forms in order to process you and allow you to register for classes.



5. Schedule and take entrance exams - every college has different policies around this – keep an eye on your email and mail at home to see if you need to sit for one. If you do, and it falls on a school day, be sure to let the office know so we can excuse your absence.



6. Register for freshman orientation – each college has its own policy regarding this. Again, keep an eye on your email and mail at home for updates on this. Freshman orientation is MANDATORY, so do not make any summer trip plans until you know what dates you need to be at your college.