Early Decision and Early Action Calendar

This article was originally published on Big Future

If you’re planning to apply early decision or early action, follow these steps to stay on track.

Junior Year

January–June

  • Take college admission tests.
  • Visit colleges during spring break, if possible.
  • Use College Search to see if the colleges you’re interested in offer an early admission plan.
  • Keep working hard and staying involved in extracurricular activities.

Senior Year

September–October

  • Download or request early decision or early action applications from your top-choice colleges and begin working on them.
  • Request letters of recommendation from your teachers, your counselor or other references.
  • Complete and submit any early admission applications that are due in October by the college deadline. Take a college admission test if necessary. (You must take the SAT by October, for example, for your scores to be available in time for early decision and early action programs.)
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens on October 1
  • Register for CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, if necessary.
  • Follow up with your references to make sure they have written and sent their letters of recommendation.

November

  • Submit any early applications due in November by the college deadline.
  • Follow up with any remaining references to make sure they have written and sent their letters of recommendation.
  • Complete and submit regular-decision applications. (If you’re not accepted through an early admission program, you’ll be glad you have a backup plan.)
  • File the CSS/Financial Aid Profile and all other required financial aid forms.
  • Review all requirements and deadlines for financial aid applications and get all your documentation ready to send when requested.

December–January

  • If necessary, compare offers and decide which school to attend.