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It’s the end of September! The college admissions process is in full swing! So: where are you in the process? And perhaps more importantly, where should you be?

5 things you should be doing NOW if you want to start college next fall!

1. Finalize a list of about 5 to 10 colleges

  • Visit each in person if you can; if not, there are plenty of online tours available to give you a sense of what life is like on campus.
  • Start filling out applications.
  • Schedule your interviews.

2. Take the October or November SAT or ACT

  • There are plenty of online practice tests, books, and courses to help you prepare. Check out these test prep books and these test prep tips for more.

3. Know thy deadlines

  • Create a calendar of every date and deadline in the process — application deadlines, test dates, financial aid application deadlines, etc., and stay on top of them!

4. Give a “head’s up” to your recommenders

  • As a courtesy, let your teachers know if you’ll be asking them for recommendations. They need to write recommendations just yet, though.
  • Pick someone who knows you well and who’ll be willing to go to bat for you.

5. Write your application essays

  • Work on your college essays — our sister company, EssayEdge, can help you write one that knocks it out of the park


What you should be looking to do, coming up:

o Take (or retake) the SAT and/or ACT

o Finalize your college essays

o Early decision, early action, and rolling admissions — don’t miss the deadlines!

o Scholarships and Financial Aid: where to look for it and how to apply

o Get your letters of recommendation together