College Four Year Planning Timeline


    • Meet with your guidance counselor to determine a four year course plan
    • Learn about college acceptances
    • Set academic goals
    • Become involved in extracurricular activities: seek leadership roles whenever you can
    • Discuss how to pay for your college with your parents
    • Start gathering information on career fields that interest you


    • Register for the PSAT ($25 cash or check to OASD, send to Mrs. Auch in the guidance office)
    • Make a list of features you want in a college
    • Start searching the internet for schools that interest you
    • Examine college information resources in guidance and the library
    • Start making a list of schools to exam more carefully
    • Contact admissions offices and ask for brochures and information
    • Consider a job or volunteer experience in your field of interest



    • Register to take the PSAT (in preparation for the SAT in the winter and/or spring) (this can be done in guidance).
    • Check dates and locations of local college fairs (Chester County College Fair is held in November of every year at the Exton Square Mall)
    • Sign up for College visits at Oxford Area High School (see guidance for more information)


    • Attend College Fairs
    • Take the PSAT to be considered for National Merit Scholarships


    • Refine your list of schools; eliminate the ones that do not meet the criteria
    • Request catalogs for schools remaining on your list
    • Compare and contrast admissions policies, academic programs and placement opportunities for each school


    • Examine PSAT results to determine areas that need improvement
    • Request catalogs for schools remaining on your list
    • Compare and contrast admission policies, academic programs and placement opportunities for each school

    January and February

    • Continue narrowing the number of schools in your file
    • Talk to your counselor and gather information on the application process


    • Start preparing for Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
    • Register to take the SAT or ACT (Taking them early will allow you time to retake them if you are not satisfied with your scores)


    • Take the SAT and/or ACT or register for the May tests


    • Final opportunity to take required tests for those applying early decision


    • Start visiting colleges or universities that interest you
    • Consider a summer job or volunteer experience in your area of interest
    • Study for the SAT or ACT. Consider taking a test preparation course, online tutorial or self-help books
    • Review common or universal application; complete short answers (
    • Draft application essays. Ask your parents, counselor or English teacher to review your essays and make comments for revision
    • Finalize your list of 6-10 favorite colleges or universities
    • Determine how you will meet costs at selected schools
    • Note all admission deadlines
    • Continue to visit schools that interest you. Arrange for interviews while on campus or with assigned alumnus at home
    • Start filling out admission applications
    • Develop a resume
    • Decide which teachers and other people you would like to write letters of recommendation.  It is best practice to use a resume or brag sheet so the teacher can reference all your amazing accomplishments in their letter!  Feel free to use the resume feature on Naviance or the attached student brag sheet!




    • Register to take or retake the SAT and/or ACT
    • Request that official test scores be sent to schools where you are applying
    • Meet with college representatives (there are several opportunities to meet representatives for colleges at Oxford Area High School. See your counselor for more details)
    • Check dates and locations of college fairs and parents nights in your area


    • Take or retake SAT and/or ACT
    • Make a final list of your six top college choices
    • Attend College Fairs
    • Finalize application packets
    • Send early decision or early action applications
    • Request high school forward official copies of transcript and counselor recommendation to schools where you applied
    • Promptly respond to any request from admissions officers
    • Starting October 1st, you can submit the FAFSA


    • Submit admission applications


    • Request transcripts of first semester grades be sent to select colleges/universities
    • Apply for outside scholarships


    • See if mid-year transcripts have been sent


    • Register and start studying for advanced placement tests


    • Expect to receive letters of acceptance or non-acceptance
    • Review all acceptance packages carefully
    • Make final visits to schools that have sent acceptance letters to make final decision
    • Select the school you plan to attend and send a deposit by specified deadline
    • Notify schools of your decision
    • Send thank you notes to those who wrote you recommendations
    • Register to take advanced placement tests


    • Take any remaining Advanced Placement (AP) tests
    • Request that your final transcript be sent to the college you have selected