College Planning Timeline

High School Career

  • Challenge yourself with appropriate courses
  • Seek extra help when needed
  • Get involved!

    Sophomore Year
  • PSAT in October (Register at BHS)
  • Results of PSAT emailed to students in December
  • Apply for extended time on standardized tests (see your counselor or Special Educator if you think you might be a candidate)
  • If you are taking AP Physics, AP US History you may consider taking the SAT Subject test in May or June. If you are taking Pre-Calculus H1 you may consider taking the Math 2 Subject test in June. Registration for Subject tests is done at 

    Junior Year - Fall
  • PSAT/NMSQT in October (Student can qualify for National Merit Awards)
  • Attend a College Fair 
  • Results of PSAT to students in December
  • Utilize the resources available through College Board (My SAT Study Plan, My Online Score Report, My College Matches, My Major and Career Options/MyRoad). A code to access these resources is in the bottom right hand corner of the PSAT score report.   
  • Sign in to Naviance (Family Connection). It is the best website for college exploration because it compares you to other BHS students who have gone through the college application process.
  • Take challenging courses and earn the best grades that you can. Your GPA at the end of junior year is the GPA that will be sent to colleges.
  • Build relationships with your teachers. You will need to ask two teachers to write you a letter of recommendation in the spring.

    Junior Year - Spring
  • Make an appointment with your counselor (come prepared!)
  • Register for SAT Reasoning Test/SAT Subject Tests/ACT/TOEFL (online)
  • Think about the classes you like the best and consider potential college majors
  • Research a variety of colleges using Naviance as a starting point 
  • Make arrangements to tour college campuses
  • Talk to two teachers about writing recommendations
  • Fill out and submit the Student Questionnaire form to your counselor (available online and in the guidance office)
  • Add the guidance page and your class page to your favorites and check them periodically

    Summer Between Junior and Senior Years
  • Continue to research and visit colleges
  • Compile a list of potential colleges and request applications
  • Begin to explore potential topics for application essays
  • Write a rough draft of at least one essay…you won’t regret it!
  • Start working on the common application online  
  • Prepare resume / list of activities 
  • Find an interesting job / travel opportunity / research position / volunteer opportunity
  • Study for the SAT/ACT! The more time you spend the better your scores will be.
  • Register in August for the October SAT/ACT. Slots at Belmont High School fill up quickly.

    Senior Year – Fall
  • Finalize a comprehensive list of schools (8-10 colleges is typical)
  • Guidance will meet with senior English classes in September to have students complete the Naviance college registration and have students link their Common App account with their Naviance account 
  • Students must list all colleges they are applying to in Naviance and Common App if applicable
  • Early Decision / Early Action candidates – see your counselor September / October
  • Bring Transcript Release Form, pay transcript processing fee 3 weeks before deadline/December vacation
  • Student needs to fill out yellow sheet for teacher recs and be sure to provide teachers with stamped addressed envelopes for schools whose applications must be submitted via mail – make sure to follow up with teachers at the beginning of the year to ensure they will still be able to write your rec
  • Attend College Fair (October) and speak with representatives from colleges of interest
  • Prepare/request applications – Many students are applying online at or through the college’s individual website (, etc.). 
  • Go online to or to have your testing scores sent directly to the colleges to which you are applying. 
        (Colleges require official score reports sent directly from the testing centers)
  • Work on your essay(s) at home and in English class
  • Attend Financial Aid Evening in November

    Senior Year – Winter
  • Financial Aid Forms (FAFSA form at – not!!) need to be completed between January 1st and February 15th and CSS Profile is needed for some schools- must be done online-at 
  • Complete all applications              
  • 1st and 2nd quarter grades sent to colleges 
  • Begin Scholarship search – Info available on Naviance for many scholarships
  • Apply for Belmont Town & School Scholarships; applications will be available in the guidance office in February.
    ****if you do not fill out the application you CANNOT be considered for the Town & School Scholarships

    Senior Year – Spring
  • Decisions from colleges will arrive throughout the course of the spring
  • Weigh options and select a college
  • Send deposit to school of your choice – Most schools have a May 1st deadline.