As we approach the last of the Round 1 ED/EA deadlines on November 15, we need to switch gears from focusing on early applications to work that needs to be completed for Regular Decision deadlines. This is an important time to stop and reflect on your college list and make sure it still feels right to you.

During September and October, students are often so focused on completing their personal statement and supplemental essays that refining college lists is not a top priority. Now that we are concentrating our efforts on completing remaining essays and applications, students should confirm that each college on their list is still a potential good fit. Before students add or remove a college from their list, they should be able to provide good reasons for making these decisions. As college lists are being confirmed, families also need to make sure that the lists are balanced and include at least two schools (safety schools) that will definitely yield acceptances. Students should not add safety schools without careful consideration and research. Ideally, college applicants should feel just as comfortable attending a safety school as a target or reach college. Students are encouraged to continue visiting colleges and participating in interviews this fall in order to explore their options.

This is the time for college applicants to pause and discuss their college lists with family and their college/guidance counselors. Students should not wait until mid December when EA/ED decisions arrive to make college list changes. At that point, students will have very little time to start new applications and essays that may be due by January 1.

Other priorities to keep in mind this fall include the following:

Fall Grades– Students, please do your best in your classes as 1st quarter/semester grades will be sent to colleges. If you are having any difficulty in your classes, now is the time to talk to your teachers and consider your options for assistance, such as tutoring.

Financial Aid Applications-Please check colleges’ financial aid office websites to learn about their policies and deadlines. While the 2014-2015 FAFSA cannot be submitted until January 1, 2014, the CSS Profile is now available and may be required by some colleges in the coming weeks. To check which schools require the CSS Profile, please visit this link.

Fall SAT/SAT Subject Test/ACT Exams– For those of you planning to take the Dec 14 ACT, please plan to register by November 22. Students who are taking the December 7 SAT/SAT Subject Tests should register by November 25.

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