Seniors’ University Applications Timeline/Information

It’s an exciting time for you all!! By the time you return to school for your 12th grade year, you should have a “short list” of 5-10 colleges to which you will apply entered in Naviance under “colleges Im thinking about”. Your university list should contain a variety of “realistic possibilities”, as well as “reach” and “safety” schools. This will be the crucial year for selection, application, and acceptance into a college or university. You need to keep your grades up and be sure that you take all the necessary admission tests, such as the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject tests, and TOEFL. You will have to decide where to apply, and then do so meeting all stated deadlines. Finally, you must choose, from among your acceptances, the one school to which you will eventually attend!! Please see the Senior Timeline created for you! Print/Save & reference monthly (printer-friendly version here).

August – September

  • Challenge yourself by taking the most advanced courses that you can handle. Make thoughtful choices/consult with teachers when choosing between Higher Level and Standard Level.
  • Resolve to work hard your 12th grade year. University acceptances may very well depend on what you do during the first semester of your 12th grade year (IB predicted scores/Sem 1 grades).
  • Narrow your final list to 5-10 colleges. Review application deadlines and procedures.
  • Begin electronic applications-Common Application, UCAS, California/Tex, &School Specific apps.
  • Request (2) teachers to write your recommendation and complete online survey in Naviance.
  • Register for the September ACT (by August) or SAT October, November test, and/or Subject Tests. You should plan to take two subject tests in your strongest subjects and/or specific to your intended major and what the universities require (check their websites!).
  • Register for the TOEFL if you still need to take it.
  • Complete Senior Questionnaire in Naviance. Your counselor cannot write you a comprehensive letter of recommendation without it!
  • Register for the October SAT (if full try registering to take at CIC)
  • Attend the “College & University Parents Night” in September.
  • Meet with University reps visiting ECA at lunch!
  • Schedule a follow up conference with your counselor to answer any questions, clarify procedures.
  • Attend Commonapp and UCAS workshop days scheduled in September.
  • Keep your parents in the loop of one thing you did each week regarding college admissions to keep them up to date and happy 🙂


  • Alert your counselor about universities you plan to apply to that have November 1 deadlines; have application to your counselor by October 1. Update your Naviance account-move final list into “Colleges I am applying to”.
  • Register for the TOEFL, SAT & SAT Subject test or ACT if you intend to retake them.
  • Decide if you will be applying for Federal/State financial aid (U.S. only); apply for electronic PIN at
  • Start gathering Certificate of Finances information if needed
  • UCAS applications to Oxford and Cambridge must be completed by October 1! Closing date for applications to Oxford University, University of Cambridge and courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science or veterinary medicine is October 15.
  • Keep working on college/supplemental essays.


  • Retake the SAT or SAT Subject test or the TOEFL last time if you need to; ACT in December.
  • Complete applications with December 1 deadlines to your counselor by November 1.
  • Remind teachers about deadlines for you letters of recommendation.

December (winter break)

  • Plan on having all of your applications completed by December 5 since many colleges have a January or early February deadlines for applications; the counseling office needs time to process/submit your full application before winter break.
  • Finish semester strong! we will send new grades to all universities. Send all official scores to Universities- SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.
  • During winter break, try to visit prospective university campuses and/or have interviews.
  • If you have applied for “Early Decision”, you will probably receive a reply by mid-December
  • Counseling Office Deadline for Priority UCAS applications is December 10.


  • Be aware of deadlines for scholarship and financial aid applications. For US citizens, you can fill out the FAFSA starting January 1. Visit
  • Continue to do your best work during the second semester. University acceptances are usually provisional until the colleges have received final grades in June. UCAS application deadline January 15.


  • By the end of the month, most applications will have been sent. If a university uses the “rolling admissions” procedure, you may have received an answer by now. If the university uses the “common reply date” you will have to wait until late March or early April to receive a decision.
  • Scholarships- research and complete applications- beware of deadlines!
  • Send thank-you notes to teachers who have written your recommendations or anyone who has assisted in your process. (Interviews, etc.)
  • Decisions begin to arrive; notify your counselor of all decisions, and keep your recommending teachers informed, too, as they will want to know how things are developing.
  • Continue performing as strongly as possible in all of your classes, it matters!
  • Updated mid-year reports are automatically mailed to universities as soon as semester grades are in.

March and April

  • Decisions regarding your applications will begin arriving. You will have about one month from the time that you receive your acceptances until the time when you must make a decision and reply.
  • Discuss your options with your counselor and your parents.
  • For UCAS applicants, March 31 target date to have sent decisions on all applications received by 1/ 15.


  • Most U.S. colleges ask you to give a reply to their offer of admission by May 1. A deposit for tuition and/or housing must usually accompany your reply. Deadlines vary in other countries.
  • Request your final transcript and verification of graduation to be sent to the University you have chosen to attend. This is done as part of your final senior checkout process.
  • May 5th is the deadline to reply to admissions offers from the UK. Stipulate one “firm acceptance” and one “insurance acceptance” where you’ve been offered conditional placement.
  • Write to all the colleges to which you have been accepted stating whether or not you will attend and indicate where you have decided to attend university.
  • Complete International Baccalaureate Examinations.


You made it!!!