Application Time- Table for Undergraduates

Preparing for college and pursuing an undergraduate program really gets serious in the junior and senior years in high school. As a junior, students start working on a serious college search list and prepare to take exams like the PSAT and AP tests. As a senior, students narrow their college list to 5 or so and work on taking the SAT or ACT exams early.

NOTE: Parents of seniors should know that they might need to do taxes a little earlier than normal for submitting their child's application for financial aid.

Most undergraduate school applications require the following:

Application online or hard copy
High school and all other valid transcripts
Personal statement (statement of purpose)
Letters of recommendation - normally three are required
Test scores ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, TOEFL etc.
Resume or CV for some programs
Financial aid forms

Majority of application deadlines fall between December and February.Here is a typical application time-table recommended for students applying to undergraduate school:


Shortlist undergraduate schools and desired programs;
Visit the undergrad school websites to see what the application process is like;
Review test dates;
Finalize which fall admissions tests need to be taken or retaken;
Register to re-take SAT or ACT exams if required.
Continue to work on practice essays;
Write or call for required admission materials from target colleges;
Schedule admission interviews and college visits;
Research financial aid sources for grad students;
Find out what standardized tests are required to take and time duration needed to prepare. For example: SAT, ACT, TOEFL, SAT Subject Tests etc.;
Research test preparation courses for select programs;
Start thinking about who should write recommendation letters;
Write a draft statement of purpose/personal statement;Keep application checklists up- to-date for each target college.

Note: If students are applying to schools with Early Action or Decision Plans, they need to ensure that their applications are completed and sent.


Schedule a senior counseling meeting;
Research programs by talking with faculty;
Request select inidividuals for letters of recommendation;
Register for standardized exams like SAT, SAT Subject Tests or ACT;
Begin to develop a personal timeline for the application process;
Write a first draft of application essay;
Take a test preparation course.


Start carefully filling out application forms;
Follow and complete application timeline based on each institution's and financial aid deadlines;
Order transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (If fall term grades are expected, then check with staff in the registrar's office to see if a transcript including fall term grades can be sent in time to meet application deadlines.) ;
Provide recommenders with required information to write recommendation letters;
Also, gently remind instructors (and others) about due dates;
Continue to schedule interviews and visit target schools;
Take required standardized tests;Start search for scholarship opportunities;
Continue to attend college fairs, and meet with college representatives;
Complete personal statement, adjusting it to meet each application's specific needs;Continue to write and review application essays;
Initiate a serious talk with parents about financial aid and cost of college.


Continue to look for scholarship opportunities;
Be prepared as many schools have November 30th deadline for applications;
Check for upcoming college visits or admissions interviews;
Start completing and sending scholarship applications;
Ensure to take SAT standardized exams;
Attend application workshops sponsored by different schools;
Send application forms to target schools;
Check with requested recommenders to ensure they are working to complete and send the required Letters of Recommendation.


Ensure all recommendation letters are submitted;
Continue to discuss and review the financial aid application with parents and counselors;
Continue to make college visits, attend college fairs and meet with college representatives;
Mail applications. Even if deadlines are later, it is good to get the applications in early.


Fill-out financial aid forms provided by target colleges;
Attend (with parents) financial aid workshops at school;
Check deadlines for submitting the financial aid forms;


Check all deadlines and due dates coming up;
Continue to fill-out scholarship applications and send them in;
Continue to research short-listed colleges and schedule all necessary visits;
Complete financial aid forms;Try and submit applications for financial aid;


Look for student aid report in the mail;
Continue to research, evaluate and visit target schools;
Register for re-takes of SAT or ACT exams;
Check for all deadlines and due dates still outstanding';
Check with counselor or teachers about Advanced Placement Tests.


Schedule any Advanced Placement Exams for May
Students should follow-up with schools that have wait listed their applications;
Watch for Student Aid Report (SAR);
Send commitment deposit by the required deadline to the finalized school;
Continue search for scholarships and apply;
If students are applying for need based financial aid programs, they may have to file a copy of their federal income tax return.


Check any deadlines or due dates still outstanding;
Take Advanced Placement Exams based on eligibility;
Make final decision and inform schools. Usually MAY 1st is the deadline.


Contact everyone who helped in the admission process and thank them;
Get prepared to get into undergraduate school.