Dr. Raymond J. Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center and an expert in ACT and SAT test preparation, offers the following calendar to keep parents and students on a steady course to college admissions.



  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors should attend college fairs

  • Seniors should ensure they have character recommendations lined up

  • Seniors who are applying for early decision should apply now

  • Seniors who haven’t taken the SAT Reasoning and/or Subject Tests or the ACT should sign up to take them in December


  • All students in need of financial aid should be searching for grants, scholarships and work-study programs


  • Sophomores and juniors should receive the results of the PLAN and the PSAT

  • Students planning to take the ACT in February should register now

  • Seniors should send official test scores to the colleges and universities they are considering

January – February

  • Complete the FAFSA

  • Continue investigating colleges

  • Juniors who have completed the math courses covered on the SAT Reasoning Test should register to take the test in April

  • Students who have completed the FAFSA may receive a Student Aid Report in February. Review this carefully and correct any errors.

March – April

  • Sophomores should register for the June SAT Subject Tests

  • Juniors should register for the May or June SAT Reasoning Test and/or the May/June SAT Subject Tests

  • Seniors should review college acceptances and financial aid awards

  • Seniors should inform the college of their choice of their decision

May – June

  • Sophomores should be thinking about summertime activities that will build skills suited to the academic track or career they’re considering

  • Juniors should look at activities to strengthen their academic records

  • Seniors should decide by May 1 which college they want to attend

  • Seniors should affirm when payments for tuition, room and board are due

July – August

  • Consider visiting colleges for a good view of campus life


  • Sophomores and juniors should register to take the PSAT or the PLAN

  • Seniors who have not taken the SAT or Act or those who want to re-test should sign up for the SAT in October and November and the ACT in September or October

  • Seniors should ensure they have all of the applications for colleges they’re targeting and the necessary financial aid forms

  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors who are concerned about their test-taking skills should register for a test preparation course
See our full article about how to save for college and apply for financial aid.