With school winding down and summer break dominating most high school students’ thoughts, it hardly seems the time to think about college. But for high school juniors, the flip of the calendar from May to June marks the steady countdown towards winter’s application deadlines.

Of course the summer is the time to relax, find enrichment, read a good book (or ten), and catch up with friends. For the savvy student, it can also be the time to move the college process forward, by  visiting schools, beginning to draft essays, and filling in applications. This allows students to bank valuable hours that can be used for other activities during the very busy senior fall. If you’re looking to get ahead this summer but don’t quite know where to begin, look no further.

Our own Beth Heaton spoke with Briana Boyington at USNews & World Report helping her to create an interactive college admissions timeline for rising juniors. Don’t know when to start visiting schools? Beth can help you mark the calendar. Not sure where to slot essay writing into your summer plans? August may be the best time to get the ball rolling and maintain your momentum through application season.  Worried about financial aid forms? Create your schedule now to make sure you don’t miss a deadline.

Often the first step to success in college admissions is sitting down with a calendar and planning out the year. Don’t waste another day: click through and get started!

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Written by Ian Fisher
Ian Fisher is an experienced educational consultant, part of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Ian received his master’s in policy, organization, and leadership studies from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining College Coach, Ian worked as a senior admissions officer at Reed College.