Year 13 Preview (Timeline & Successful Ideas)

monsters u

August before Senior Year

  • Register for the September ACT if appropriate (check ACT dates).
  • Come up with a preliminary list of colleges that includes reachmatch and safety schools.
  • Explore the websites of the colleges that interest you to learn about admissions requirements.
  • Check your  year 13 class schedule to make sure you’re taking the classes you’ll need for your top-choice colleges.
  • Look over the Common Application and begin thinking about potential topics for your personal essay.
  • Visit campuses and interview with college representatives if appropriate.



  • Take the SAT, SAT Subject exams, and/or ACT as appropriate.
  • Take advantage of college fairs and virtual tours.
  • Complete your applications if you are applying early decision or early action.
  • Research financial aid and scholarships. Do your parents’ places of employment offer college scholarships for employee children?
  • Get your college essay in shape. Get feedback on your writing from Mr. Gartz and a caring teacher.
  • Request your high school transcript and check it for accuracy.
  • Keep track of all application components and deadlines: applications, test scores, letters of recommendation, and financial aid materials. An incomplete application will ruin your chances for admission.


  • Register for the December SAT or ACT if appropriate.
  • Take the November SAT if appropriate.
  • Don’t let your academics slide
  • Make sure you’ve submitted all components of your applications if you are applying to colleges with November deadlines for early decision or preferred application.
  • Put the final touches on your application essays, and get feedback on your essays from your counsellor friends and/or teachers.
  • See Mr. Gartz’s University Application Guide and continue to research scholarships.

December – January

  • Complete your applications for regular admissions.
  • Make sure you’ve had your test scores sent to all colleges that require them.
  • Confirm that your letters of recommendation have been sent.
  • If you are a USA Citizen you can apply with FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Aid).
  • If you are accepted to a school through early decision, be sure to follow directions carefully. Submit required forms, and notify the other schools to which you applied of your decision.
  • Continue to focus on your grades and extracurricular involvement.
  • Prepare in all ways to send Applications with Mr. Gartz meeting deadlines and scholarship considerations.

February – March

  • If you submitted the FAFSA, you should receive the Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully look it over for accuracy. Errors can cost you thousands of dollars.
  • Contact colleges that didn’t send you a confirmation receipt for your application.
  • Don’t put off applying to schools with rolling admissions or late deadlines — the available spaces can fill up.
  • Keep going strong in preparation for your IB Exams. Colleges can revoke offers of admission if your scores fail to meet predictions.
  • Some acceptance letters may arrive. Compare financial aid offers and visit campus before making a decision.
  • Don’t panic; many, many decisions are not mailed out until April.
  • Continue applying for appropriate scholarships.


  • Keep track of all acceptances, rejections, and waitlists.
  • If waitlisted, learn more about waitlists and move ahead with other plans. You can always change your plans if you get off a waitlist.
  • If you have ruled out any colleges that accepted you, notify them. This is a courtesy to other applicants, and it will help the colleges manage their waitlists and extend the correct number of acceptance letters.
  • Go to accepted student open houses if offered.
  • A couple circumstances may warrant an appeal of a college rejection

May – June

  • Avoid senioritis! An acceptance letter doesn’t mean you can stop working.
  • Most schools have a deposit deadline of May 1st. Don’t be late! If needed, you may be able to request an extension.
  • Prepare for and take your IB Exams. Good Luck!
  • Have your final transcripts sent to colleges.
  • Send thank you letters to everyone who helped you in the application process. Let your mentors and recommenders know the results of your college search.
  • Keep on top of procuring student loans. Notify your college if you receive any scholarships.
  • Graduate. Congratulations!

July – August after Senior Year

  • Read all mailings from your college carefully. Often important registration and housing material is sent in the summer.
  • Register for your classes as soon as possible. Classes often fill, and registration is usually on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If you get your housing assignment, take advantage of the summer to get to know your roommate (email, facebook, the phone, etc). Figure out who will bring what. You don’t need two TVs and two microwaves in your tiny room.
  • Off to college! Visit: