September Checklist

It may be hard to believe, but summer has officially ended and the college admissions cycle is in full swing. Hopefully, you’ve started to make some headway on your applications, but exactly how far along should you be? Deadlines are deceptively far away at this point (even for all you early action/decision people), but it’s important to not fall behind. At the end of every month, our advice team will bring you the By Now feature, a handy list to keep you on track.

1. The Common App

You should have a draft of the Common App essay and some brainstorming ideas for your supplementary essays. Nothing has to be finalized, but it’s good to have ideas down on paper. Start the proofreading process by asking friends and family for input, and revisit your essay often.

2. Recommendations

You should have asked for your recommendation letters by now. Give the writers a friendly reminder a week or two before the deadline. For those of you who already have your recommendations, be sure thank your writers!

3. The College List

You should be visiting schools you’re interested in and finalizing your application list. Be sure to mark all the different deadlines on your calendar, and be sure to check for applications to scholarships and programs unique to each school.

4. Test Scores

You should have almost all of your test scores, unless you were planning on a last minute fall SAT or ACT. If you’ve finalized your list of schools, figure out which scores you will need to send to each. Pay particular attention to schools that require SAT Subject Tests.

5. Right, High School

It’s easy to get caught up in applying to college, but stay focused on your academics. This semester is very important, so make sure to stay on top of it.

6. Start Shopping

Keep an eye out for sales on interview-appropriate clothing. A sharp blazer or nice skirt goes a long way in making a good first impression!

Enjoy senior year of high school, but don’t assume that everything can be done right before the deadlines. Realize that while this process is stressful, you’ll come out of this it with a much better sense of what you want for the next four years of your life. Being prepared and being proactive is your best plan of action.