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The California College Guide : A primer on making choices--and making arrangements--for a college education. : COLLEGE CHECKLIST

May 19, 1991

For most people, planning should begin long before the end of the senior year in high school. Here is a timetable of deadlines to be aware of. JUNIOR YEAR September: See your guidance counselor for information about taking the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). The 1991 test dates are Oct. 19 and 22. Also attend college fairs, speak with recruiters and collect brochures. October: Take the PSAT/NMSQT. November: Plan your senior year curriculum. You should already be taking some college prep courses. Set up some informal college campus visits for the spring. December: Review your PSAT results with your counselor. January: Narrow your college choices to 10-12 schools; write for catalogues. Begin preparing to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) conducted in April, May and June of next year, and/or the American College Testing Assessment Test (ACT), conducted in April and June. March: Sign up to take the SAT and/or the ACT. Ask your counselor for test registration forms. The 1992 SAT test dates are April 4, May 2 and June 6; ACT test dates are April 11 and June 13. April--June: Take the college tests. Visit your high school counseling office to look at college brochures and catalogues. Attend more college fairs; sign up with your counselor to meet more college admissions representatives. Also visit college campuses, if possible. Talk with students who attend there. July--August: Write to more colleges for admissions and financial aid information. Make sure you get all the applications you need. SENIOR YEAR September: Begin researching community-based scholarships for college. Load up on advance-placement classes, if possible. Work on filling out your college applications; outline your essay topics. Line up recommendations from teachers, employers, etc. If you have not taken it, or want to repeat it, sign up for the November SAT and/or the October ACT. October: University of California, California State University and other national schools' admissions application packets for the 1992-93 school year will be available at high school counseling offices or at a nearby UC or Cal State campus. Contact independent colleges directly for their admissions and financial aid deadlines. Complete your campus visits. November: Admissions filing period for fall, 1992, begins for all UC and Cal State campuses. For priority consideration, apply this month. The Student Aid Application for California (SAAC) should be available at your high school as well as your library. Get a copy, complete the appropriate sections, but do not file it before Jan. 1, 1992. Check with the financial aid office of the college you hope to attend for deadlines on institutional scholarships and other financial aid programs they offer. December: File financial-aid forms (except for the SAAC) and send in college applications. Jan. 1, 1992: File your SAAC between now and March 2. Many colleges require students and/or parents to submit an IRS 1040 tax return copy to verify financial information on the SAAC. Consult with college financial aid offices for their requirements. February-March: Most community colleges begin accepting applications for admission and financial aid. Check with the specific college for financial aid priority deadlines. This is also the financial aid priority filing date for the UC campuses as well as the Cal State universities. Late financial aid applications to these schools will be considered as long as funds remain. April--June: Results of admissions and financial aid applications should come in the mail.

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