College Search Timeline

At The Governor’s Academy, students engage fully in the college search process in December of their junior year. However, we know that many students and families have college search questions well before then. And some students, including those engaged in the athletic recruitment process, must often complete college search tasks earlier in their high school experience. In this context, the Governor’s college planning timeline for each grade level identifies important tasks and deadlines for Governor’s students within each grade level.

College Search Grade 9 Timeline

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
All-class meeting with College Counseling Office (CCO)
In this meeting, ninth graders are encouraged to reflect on and consider their Governor’s experience to date- and to consider the experience they hope to have and create.

Ninth graders are then guided through self reflective exercises so they may begin to identify their learning style, their role(s) and interactions among their peers, and their role(s) and interactions within the classroom.

College Counselor Assignment
Ninth graders receive their College Counselor assignment in their first semester on campus. And while the college process at Governor’s begins in earnest in December of junior year, ninth graders are encouraged to seek their assigned College Counselor’s advice regarding sophomore year course selections, and guidance regarding extracurricular pursuits.

Recruited Athletes
Potentially recruited athletes receive specific guidance including an accelerated standardized testing timeline. Equally important, students who hope to be a recruited collegiate athlete are encouraged to connect with their assigned College Counselor for more specific guidance and direction.

Email From Assigned College Counselor
Ninth graders and their families receive an email reminding them of their assigned College Counselor’s name and contact information.

FEBRUARY
Second all-class meeting with the CCO
Ninth graders are reminded of themes from their fall all-class meeting, including strategies for making the most of their Governor’s experience, considering their learning style and classroom contributions, and reflecting on their role and influence among their peers (including extracurricular choices and opportunities).

In this meeting, potentially recruited athletes also receive additional guidance, including a reminder to discuss their potential of collegiate play with their Governor’s coach.

College Search Grade 10 Timeline

OCTOBER
All-class meeting with College Counseling Office (CCO) for PSAT
In this meeting, sophomores receive information for the required PSAT.

PSAT
All sophomores take the PSAT on campus.

NOVEMBER
First sophomore all-class meeting with the CCO
In this meeting, sophomores reflect on their Governor's experience to date. They are reminded that their work in the classroom is perhaps their most important effort (in context of the college search process). They also engage in a learning style inventory exercise, gaining a stronger sense of how they learn and process information.  

This meeting also moves to more practical dimensions of the college search, including a preliminary sense of what many colleges look for in their admission applicants.  For example, sophomores learn that colleges are looking not simply for accomplished students, but for students who also appreciate the significance of what they are learning, who are increasingly aware of their roles and influence among their peers, and who are willing to share what they know.

FEBRUARY
Second sophomore all-class meeting with the CCO
In this meeting sophomores are encouraged to continue to reflect on their Governor’s experience to date.

More practically, they receive a preview of a suggested junior year Standardized Testing Timeline.  In this context, some sophomores, in consultation with their College Counselor and teacher(s), may choose to take an SAT subject test at the end of the academic year. Please see the CCO’s suggested Standardized Testing Timeline, here

Winter Family Weekend
Winter Family Weekend includes an information session for parents of sophomores, previewing the year ahead. The meeting (including all presentation materials) is summarized and emailed to all Governor’s parents of sophomores).

APRIL
Email "Check in" From Assigned College Counselor
Sophomores and their families receive an email from their assigned College Counselor, inviting them to discuss their proposed junior year academic schedule (after first discussing options with their assigned Governor’s adviser).

MAY
SAT or ACT
This early test date for sophomores is primarily for potentially recruited athletes who must submit standardized testing for the athletic recruitment process.

JUNE
SAT Subject Tests
Sophomores may choose one or two SAT subject tests after consulting their College Counselor and appropriate teacher(s).

College Search Grade 11 Timeline

OCTOBER
All-Class Meeting with the CCO
This is a brief meeting to review instructions for the PSAT. In this meeting, juniors also review the CCO’s suggested Standardized Testing Timeline. They are reminded of the College Process Kick-Off meeting in December.

PSAT
All juniors take the PSAT on campus.

Fall Family Weekend
Fall Family Weekend includes an information session for parents of juniors, previewing the year ahead, including information sessions on financial aid and athletic recruitment. The meeting (including all presentation materials) is summarized and emailed to all Governor’s parents’ of juniors).

NOVEMBER
ArborBridge (test prep provider) offers full-length diagnostic SAT and ACT exam on campus (at no extra cost) to junior class.

Need-Based Financial Aid
Families should begin discussing college finances and, if planning to apply for financial aid, should complete the FAFSA4caster online to approximate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) towards college costs.

DECEMBER
All-Class College Process Kick-Off meeting with the CCO
In this meeting, juniors are introduced to key college search concepts including the value of research, an overview of the Naviance platform the CCO uses to manage the college search and application process, important dates and deadlines, and standardized testing.  Juniors also receive access to Naviance, including a link to their College Search Questionnaire that must be completed before scheduling their first individual meeting with their assigned College Counselor.

First Individual College Counseling Meeting
Juniors schedule their first individual meeting with their assigned College Counselor. In this first meeting the student and counselor focus primarily on the completed College Search Questionnaire. The conversation centers largely on the student's experiences, including the academic record, overall experience at Governor’s, and hopes and expectations for the ongoing college search. Conversations centered on specific colleges typically begin within the second individual college counseling meeting.

JANUARY
College Search Seminar Series
Juniors begin the College Search Seminar Series (small group classes that introduce various aspects of the college search and application process) including identifying college research resources and strategies, the college essay, the evolving college admissions landscape, and preparing for communication with college admission representatives (by email, in interviews, at college fairs).

ArborBridge (test prep provider) offers full-length diagnostic SAT exam on campus (at no extra cost) to junior class.

FEBRUARY
Winter Family Weekend
The weekend includes a presentation to parents of juniors by the College Counseling staff, as well as an admissions officer or dean at a highly selective university.  The meeting (including all presentation materials) is summarized and emailed to all Governor’s parents of juniors.

Second Individual College Counseling Meeting
In preparation for this meeting, juniors populate their Naviance account with colleges they sense could be an appropriate match, using skills they’re learning both in the College Search Seminar Series and in individual conversations with their College Counselor.

MARCH
College Visits
When possible, juniors are encouraged to visit a range of college options (rural, urban, large, small, specialized academic focus, liberal arts focus, etc). In addition, juniors are encouraged to visit colleges with varying rates of admission for the broadest (and fullest) sense of their collegiate options.

APRIL
Mock College Admission Program
In this weekend program, juniors are assigned to mock “admission committees” led by current college admissions officers at leading colleges and universities and simulate an admissions committee meeting.

Boston Regional College Fair 
Juniors meet and interact with representatives from over 130 colleges and universities.

Teacher Recommendations
Juniors make teacher recommendation requests with the guidance of their College Counselor.

Individual College Counseling meetings
Juniors continue to meet individually with their College Counselor.

MAY
Final Individual College Counseling Meetings
Juniors meet a final time with their College Counselor in preparation for college search tasks during the summer months.

Final College Search Seminar Series meeting
In this meeting, the CCO guides juniors through creating a Common Application account and populating the application form.

JUNE
Individual College Process Summary
Each junior’s assigned College Counselor emails a college process summary to both the junior and her or his family. The summary includes specific college process benchmarks as well as the working college list with expected selectivity (chance of admission) ratings.

SUMMER (BEFORE SENIOR YEAR)
College Visits
When possible, rising seniors are encouraged to visit colleges on the working college list, focusing particularly on those where admission is rated as likely and/or possible.  In consultation with their College Counselor, they may also interview if the college offers a summer college interview.

Standardized Test Prep
Rising seniors are encouraged to schedule and complete standardized test prep as needed (and as discussed with their College Counselor).

The Common Application
Students should continue work on the Common Application; and begin any individual (non-Common App) college applications (i.e. the University of California schools, Georgetown University, etc.)

Portfolios and Auditions
Artists, musicians, dancers, and actors should review portfolio and audition requirements for each college of interest and begin preparing required materials in consultation with their teachers and counselor.

Recruited Athletes
Recruited athletes at Division I or II colleges should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

College Search Grade 12 Timeline

AUGUST
SAT
For most seniors who will submit SAT scores with their college admission applications.

SEPTEMBER
ACT
For most seniors who will submit ACT scores with their college admission applications.

All-Class Meeting
This meeting is in preparation for the fall application season. Seniors submit a printed copy of their Common Application, and are reminded of college process benchmark events including necessary Naviance updates, communicating appropriately with their teacher recommenders, and reminders on the process of sending standardized test scores to the colleges.

First Fall Individual College Counseling Meeting
Seniors schedule their first fall individual meeting with their assigned College Counselor.  In this meeting, seniors review their completed Common Application and essay with their College Counselor and refine their final college list as necessary.

First College Mini Fair at Governor’s
Seniors visit with college representatives from select colleges and universities.

OCTOBER
SAT or SAT subject tests
For seniors who, in consultation with their College Counselor, have registered.

ACT
For seniors who, in consultation with their College Counselor, have registered. Governor’s is not a test site for this ACT administration, so student must register for an alternative site, and arrange their own transportation.

Second Individual College Counseling Meeting
Seniors schedule their second fall individual meeting with their assigned College Counselor.

Second College Mini Fair at Governor’s
Seniors visit with college representatives from select colleges and universities.

College Search Workshop and Third College Mini Fair
Seniors meet as a class to review final points in preparation for early application deadlines. Seniors also gain insight from select college representatives on topics including the college interview, the importance of Common Application writing supplements, and scholarships and financial aid. Seniors then meet with college representatives at their third and final College Mini Fair.

NOVEMBER
SAT or SAT subject tests
For seniors who, in consultation with their College Counselor, have registered.

Early Application Deadlines
Seniors who will submit an early application (early decision, early action, etc.) prepare for the three major early deadlines: November 1, November 10, and November 15.  For these deadlines, families applying for need based financial aid also submit required forms (the FAFSA, College Board CSS Profile, etc.).

DECEMBER
SAT or SAT subject tests
For seniors who, in consultation with their College Counselor, have registered.

ACT
For seniors who, in consultation with their College Counselor, have registered. Governor’s is not a test site for this ACT administration, so student must register for an alternative site, and arrange their own transportation.

Early Application Notification
Colleges release Early Decision and Early Action decisions (typically by December 15).

Prep for Regular Decision Applications
Seniors who will submit Regular Decision applications continue to meet with their College Counselor to refine their college list and to review application supplements, complete mock interview sessions, etc.  

JANUARY
Regular Decision and Early Decision II Applications
Seniors submit Regular Decision (and Early Decision II, if applicable) applications (most deadlines the week of January 1). For these deadlines, families applying for need based financial aid also submit required forms (the FAFSA, College Board CSS Profile, etc.).

FEBRUARY
Early Decision II Notification
Colleges release Early Decision II decisions (typically by February 15).

MARCH
Regular Decision Notification
Most colleges release Regular Decision notification (typically within the third or fourth week of March). Virtually all colleges release decisions by April 1.

APRIL
Waitlisted Students
Students who will pursue admission from a college admission waitlist send an email of continued interest to the college(s) at which they are waitlisted.

College Revisit Programs
Seniors may miss two (total) school days to attend college resivit programs (at colleges to which they are admitted).

MAY
National Matriculation Deposit Deadline
All seniors should have made a deposit to one college by the May 1 deposit deadline.

JUNE
Final Transcripts to Colleges
The CCO sends final transcripts to the one college at which the student has deposited.

CALENDAR
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