The College Application Timeline
By Gabrielle Fox
The Early Bird Timeline Breakdown
Starting your college application search during the spring of your junior year can be beneficial for multiple reasons. If you intend on applying to early action/decision programs this model will help you finish about a month prior to most deadlines. It is also beneficial because it leaves the fall of your senior year open to searching for scholarships and staying on top of your classes. Thus, if financial aid is one of your top deciding factors for colleges, I would seriously consider using this model to be ahead of the curve and ahead of the influx of winter applicants as well as their financial needs.
Spring - Junior Year
The Standard Timeline Breakdown
The standard timeline breakdown differs from the early bird breakdown in that you start later and submit later. This is a good timeline for those who have submission deadlines in late December and early January i.e. those who are not applying to early action programs. I will say that it would be beneficial to begin the application process the spring of your junior year. However, this isn't always feasible or necessary.
Summer - Junior/Senior Year
Fall Senior Year
Fall/Winter - Senior Year
The Right-on-Time Breakdown
The right-on-time timeline is for those who may have started the process late, but are still going to finish right on time! I will say beginning to think about college the fall of your senior year does create a time crunch. However as long as the major tasks are still accomplished applying on time is absolutely possible!