College Planning Resources & Timeline

Home / College Planning Resources & Timeline

College Planning Resources

The Common App

Students have so many choices when it comes to colleges and universities! Filling out applications can be overwhelming for students as they add this endeavor on top of managing their senior year courses. This is where Common App can save a lot of time and stress as it allows a student to fill out one application that can then be submitted electronically to various Common App partner schools.

Common App Ready is a complete toolkit of tips and best practices. These resources can help students complete their applications successfully and on time. 

Explore colleges helps students learn more about colleges using the Common App. Each college profile contains information like application requirements, academic programs, and virtual tours. 

Additional Resources

College Covered — Planning and Paying for College Made Easy

College Essay Guy — Crafting your College Application Essay

Common App

CollegeData.com

NACAC College Planning Resources

Building a Foundation for Educational Success

Setting the Stage for Dreams to Become Reality

Charting a Challenging High School Experience

Follow the Road to College

Paying for College 

College Planning Timeline

Freshman Year

  • Do your best! The work you do right now matters. GPAs are very difficult to improve if you wait until senior year to do your best. Your future self will thank you for putting in the hard work now!
  • Get involved in activities that interest you and align with who you are.
  • Develop good habits — study skills, time management, consistent sleep, nutrition and exercise, regular time with God, etc.
  • Take classes that align with your interests and abilities
  • Create a resume or activities log where you can keep track of your accomplishments, activities, volunteer hours, etc. This will so helpful later on when you are applying to college!

Sophomore Year

  • Continue to do your best, stay involved and maintain those good habits!
  • Start researching colleges that interest you and develop a list of criteria you are looking for in a college.
  • Begin adding schools to “Colleges I’m Thinking About” on Naviance.
  • Begin adding careers to “Careers I’m Thinking About” on Naviance.

Junior Year

  • Continue to do your best, stay involved and maintain those good habits!
  • Take the PSAT in October.
  • Meet with college reps when they visit Denver Christian.
  • Attend college fairs.
  • Visit a college campus and talk to people you know who have gone to college or are currently attending college.
  • Update the schools and/or careers you’re interested in on Naviance.
  • Take SAT and/or ACT in the spring.
  • Be intentional about how you spend your summer — perhaps find a job or volunteer opportunity that aligns with your interests and passions.

Senior Year

  • Visit colleges you’re interested in during the summer. Get started on your college application essay during this time too so that you will be ready to apply in the fall of senior year.
  • Request letters of recommendations from your teachers. Please do this face-to-face and always allow at least 2 weeks advanced notice. Be sure to write a thank you!
  • Retake the SAT and/or ACT in the fall.
  • Fill out the FAFSA which opens up on October 1st.
  • Finalize your list of “Colleges I’m Applying To” on Naviance.
  • Fill out the Common App if multiple schools on your list are Common App partner schools.
  • Complete all college applications and essays by each school’s deadline.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Compare financial aid award letters from the schools you’ve been accepted to and rank your top choices. Make an effort to visit these campuses if you have not already to assist in your decision.
  • Discuss your decision with your parents and your guidance counselor. Pray about it!
  • Try to make your decision by May 1.