College Timeline Checklist

Saabekun Jutsu
Published on
May 18, 2021

This is a college timeline checklist from November to February of your senior year.

To those who have already been accepted to colleges:

  • Make sure to look through the amount of aid you’ll be getting compared to other schools.
  • Look out for scholarships for accepted students and apply to those.
  • Look through what they need you to verify or complete in order to commit to the school. (Submission Fee, loan verification, accepting the school, etc..)

November and December — Finish your applications

* Most deadlines for Regular Decision are Jan. 1 & Jan. 15*

- [ ] Submitted Applications: If possible, check with each college by going to the applicant portal or contacting the school to make sure they received your materials.

- [ ] Submit the CSS Profile & FAFSA by December 15.

- [ ] Send in your applications 3-5 days before the deadline in case there’s an error or missing documents.

- [ ] Fee waivers - some schools email you fee waiver codes or release them their virtual tours. You can call the schools or ask your counselor if they can provide you a fee waiver code.

- [ ] Note: you can still submit your applications even if your counselor still hasn’t put in their paperwork or your teachers’ recommendation letters. It’ll automatically send to the school once they send their paperwork after the deadline of the schools. (If you don’t believe this, check the FAQ section of Common App).

- [ ] If you applied to Early Action/Early Decision and you were deferred to Regular Decision, contact the school to find out if they need additional information you need to submit to strengthen your application.

January — Financial Aid

- [ ] Create an IDOC Account and start uploading your financial documents for the verification process.

Optional, but beneficial:

- [ ] If applicable, submit the APIA Scholarship (Deadline: Jan.22)

- [ ] Follow-up on your submitted applications to see if each college has received your application.

- [ ] Contact each college's financial aid office to see if they received all of your financial aid materials.

- [ ] Research the interview process for each of your colleges.

- [ ] Apply to at least two new scholarships – find scholarships that best fit you on!

February— Scholarships (Local scholarships have less competition)

Use this time to apply to as many scholarships as you can! Remember even a $50 scholarship can make a huge difference.

- [ ] If applicable, submit the HSF Scholarship (Deadline: Feb. 15)

- [ ] Do more research on the schools you’ve applied to and develop your “Pros and Cons” list for each.

- [ ] Register for college interviews – You can find resources on to help prepare.

- [ ] Keep your grades up! Your spring semester grades still matters since most schools request for your final transcript which shows your grades in the second semester. (If you get Waitlisted, you want to show all that you have accomplished since you applied).

What happens after you submit your college application?

1) They do a quick scan of your application (ex. Name, GPA, SAT/ACT, Rank, major) to make sure that you meet the general academic threshold they’re looking for.

2) If you are qualified academically, they will look at your essays and extracurriculars (1-4 college admission officers will be reading your college essay/s).

3) They divide the applicants into rejection and acceptance categories: "Likely Admits", "Not too sure", "Most likely rejected", and "Definitely rejected". The admission office mostly focuses on the “not too sure” list, which will be sent to another committee to review.

4) Once it’s finalized, the school narrows the applications down based on expected yield and the school’s goals.

*This does look different at every school*


1) How to write Supplemental Essays

2) How to write a Personal Statement

3) How to write a Recommendation Letter

Tip: Prepare at least 1-2 recommendation letters. Due to COVID-19, colleges are looking more on your essays and how you are as a student through recommendation letters. The recommendation letters will benefit you and show how you’re different from other applicants.

4) How to Use Common App

5) Applying to CUNY/SUNY schools

Find more free resources here!


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