Basic Steps in College Planning

After doing research on colleges and universities, programs and degrees offered, and must-haves such as good cafeteria food, a quick walk to the beach, or outstanding student life clubs, what does your high school student do with that information? There are a lot of details to keep track of, and using a spreadsheet will help keep the information easy to access.

Sample of College Planning Spreadsheet

Sample of College Planning Spreadsheet

After your student narrows down the applications to their top selections, they need to know the deadline for applications. Many also have the early admissions deadline, and that can be a great option for students. We recommend you consult your college consultant about the strategy that is best for your situation.

Using the spreadsheet as a to-do list, students should familiarize themselves with the application and its specific requirements, write an incredible admissions essay if required, plus request and obtain their letter of recommendation(s). Mark down dates when those tasks are completed. Once your student submits their applications, keep the spreadsheet with individual folders specific to each college or university application. These folders should contain a copy of the student’s application (if unique to that school), contact names and specific info that the student has gathered in their search. Make sure the folder contains information about the college acceptance result and financial aid.

Keeping organized during this stressful time will help your student navigate easier during the fall of his or her senior year. Pacific Learning Academy tutors help a number of students with the application and essay process every fall, and our college consultant helps guide families through the process so they know exactly what to expect at each stage.

Pacific Learning Academy is a one-on-one school offering single courses and dual enrollment, as well as full-time high school. We also offer tutoring in all subjects from 6th to 12th grade, including SAT/ACT diagnostic testing and prep, either in homes or local libraries across the Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, etc…). See more at

October 21, 2014

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