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Parents Timeline

Junior Year


  • Attend local college nights and college fairs, where many colleges come together to meet informally with students.
  • Start investigating colleges via the Web to learn what makes them unique. Have your student call or email to get on mailing lists of all prospective schools.
  • Visit local colleges (over fall and winter breaks) to start figuring out what size and type of school may be the best fit.
  • Sign up as a parent to use online tools such as Zinch.com, Cappex.com, and CollegeConfidential, to help find schools and engage with admissions staff at different colleges and universities.


  • Encourage your son or daughter to take at least one ACT or SAT exam before the summer.
  • Visit local colleges (over spring break) to continue sorting out what size and type of school may be the best fit.


  • Encourage your son or daughter to participate in a summer program, internship, research project, outdoor adventure, or travel.
  • Continue to research schools on your student's college list. Summer is a great time to get a first look at campuses that may be farther away. Be sure to revisit those that you like best to experience the campus during the academic year.

Senior Year


  • Encourage your son or daughter to register to take a fall ACT or SAT exam. This is often helpful in boosting scores, since your student will have taken a few weeks of the senior year curriculum and will have more confidence.
  • Offer to proofread the college essay and give constructive feedback—but remember that it’s your student’s essay, and we want to get a glimpse into the personality he or she will bring to our campus.
  • Become familiar with the upcoming application and scholarship deadlines so you can help make sure your son or daughter doesn’t miss any opportunities. Review important application deadlines.

December–Early January

  • Begin to compile your tax information from the previous year. This will be incredibly helpful if you plan to submit the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Apply for a PIN to sign the FAFSA electronically.
  • Plan to file the financial aid application (FAFSA) by Transylvania’s “priority” deadline: January 15. Filing the FAFSA early will ensure that you receive all the aid you qualify for.


  • Call the admissions office at each school with any specific questions you may have after receiving your admission and scholarship letters.


  • Revisit favorite schools that have made the cut and are still on your "short list." If overnight and class visits are available, encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of those options and maximize time on each campus. Meet individually with an admissions counselor at each school to make sure all of your questions are fully answered.
  • Compare financial aid awards to see which schools are financially feasible and offer the educational quality and social opportunities your son or daughter wants.

May 1

  • National Candidate Reply Date—the date by which all students must choose a college and confirm enrollment for the fall. Be courteous. Encourage your son or daughter to contact all the schools that offered admission.
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