College Counseling Timeline for Students

Below is an outline of the steps you should be taking with your college search over the four years of upper school.

Freshman Year

  • Make the most of academic opportunities.
  • Explore and get involved with activities, both in and out of school.
  • Choose summer activities that are fulfilling and engaging.

Sophomore Year

  • Remain invested in academic and extracurricular pursuits.
  • Attend the First Timers meeting in mid-March if you would like to be provided with very basic information regarding colleges, college admissions, and applying to college
  • Attend the College Q&A for sophomores and their families in mid-March.
  • Take practice PSAT in the spring (you will be automatically registered for these at Park).
  • Take Subject Tests in the spring if you are in the top level Math class and/or Accelerated Chemistry (consult your teacher for more information).
  • Begin familiarizing yourself with the Park School College Counseling website.
  • Choose summer activities that are fulfilling and engaging.
  • In the summer, visit a few local colleges, take tours, and attend information sessions to acquaint yourself with how colleges differ.

Junior Year

fall

  • Stay focused on academic and extracurricular pursuits.
  • Attend the First Timers meeting in early October if you would like to be provided with very basic information regarding colleges, college admissions, and applying to college.
  • Attend College Counseling Financial Aid Night for 11th and 12th grade families on September 20.
  • Consider test prep for SATs and/or ACTs, and begin studying.
  • Take PSATs in October (you will be automatically registered for these at Park).
  • Sign up for winter/spring SATs and/or ACTs.
  • Attend a College Information Session for Juniors and their Families on either November 28 or 30, 2018.
  • Continue college visits.
  • Think about what you might want in a college (programs, location, size, culture).

Winter/Early Spring

  • Complete Junior College Counseling Questionnaire. The questionnaire will be distributed in December.
  • Set up individual meeting with your college counselor; then set up family meetings.
  • Begin researching colleges and developing a college list.
  • Visit college websites; request and gather information from colleges.
  • Take first SAT/ACT.
  • Discuss Subject Tests and APs with your college counselor.
  • Plan summer activities.
  • Plan spring break college visits, if appropriate.
  • Sign up for Subject Tests (through College Board) and/or APs (through Park), if appropriate.
  • Attend College Counseling Class Meetings.

Late spring

  • Discuss senior year courses with your college counselor and your advisor.
  • Attend AIMS College Fair
  • Select and have conversations with prospective teacher recommenders in May.
  • Attend Senior Panel for Juniors and their Families night in May.
  • Take APs and/or Subject tests, if appropriate.
  • Set up summer visits and interviews, where available.
  • Plan to attend one of the College Essay Writing Workshops offered on June 14, 2018 and August 20, 2018.

Senior Year

Late Summer/fall

  • If you haven't attended an Essay Writing Workshop yet, plan to attend the August 20 session.
  • Attend the College Application Boot Camp on August 24, 2018.
  • Sign up for SATs, Subject Tests, and/or ACTs if you plan to sit for a fall administration.
  • Plan college visits (school professional days are a good time for this); schedule overnight stays where possible. Senior Flex Day is on October 18, 2018.
  • Stay focused on academic and extracurricular pursuits.
  • Sign up for meetings with college representatives visiting Park.
  • Attend College Information Session for Seniors and their Families on September 12 or September 14.
  • Attend in-school college counseling classes in September and early October.
  • Finalize college lists.
  • Make decisions about ED, EA, Rolling, and Priority deadlines.
  • Create a list of deadlines and essay questions for each college on your list.
  • Contact teacher and supplemental recommenders and provide them with a list of schools and deadlines.
  • Begin working on applications.
  • Submit transcript release forms and My Schools forms to Susan Chase.
  • Attend College Counseling Financial Aid Night on September 20.
  • Research financial aid requirements and deadlines.
  • If you are applying for financial aid, make preparations to complete the FAFSA (and CSS Profile for schools that require it), so you can submit your material at roughly the same time you submit your admission application.
  • Attend the FAFSA/CSS Profile “Get it Done” Workshop on October 27 in The Park School Library.

Winter

  • Complete applications for schools with December, January, and February deadlines.
  • Even if you've applied Early Decision, prepare applications for Regular Decision schools.
  • Research and apply for scholarships.

Spring

  • Discuss financial aid packages with your college counselor.
  • Deposit at ONE college by May 1 (you may also remain on wait lists).
  • Write letters of interest to your wait list schools, if necessary.
  • Sign up for and take APs, if appropriate.