As the fall begins October is a great time to complete some key action steps in the college process, listed below for grades 9-12.


As the semester continues make sure you are organizing your application process and are aware of all upcoming application deadlines. Complete and review your Common Application, fine tune your personal essay, and make sure you have made progress on all supplemental essays. The October 15th application deadline is rapidly approaching – make sure you confirm that all your materials are ready to be sent in! Take the time to work hard on each of your applications. Ask a counselor, parent, or peer you trust to review your work. However, click HERE to learn about the dangers of getting personal statement feedback from too many sources.

Over the last few years, there has been a growing trend of schools that allow students to self-report ACT and SAT scores, saving applicants from paying additional costly fees. Click HERE for more information and a list of participating schools. For Georgia schools, click HERE to see some key information and application details provided by a conference Kristen attended in September.

If you are interested in learning more about financial aid applications and the process, click HERE for some services and workshops that can provide tips and information. Also, click HERE for advice on how to get started. Remember the work you do this year is the best predictor of the kind of work you will complete in college!

Junior year is a pivotal point in your high school journey as it is the last full year colleges will evaluate prior to making an admissions decision. Click HERE for a checklist on what you can and should be doing this fall to get you ready to apply to colleges next year.

Research and develop the schools on your exploratory list and get to know them in a more meaningful way. Click HERE for more information on tips that could help you get into your dream school. Remember to use all of the resources available to you and see if there are any colleges that will be visiting your school in person or virtually. Click  HERE  to see some of CACG's favorite books and HERE for a list of helpful websites.  If you have the opportunity, begin to think about on campus visits, take virtual tours, attend information sessions, and learn more about college fairs at your school or in your area. Click HERE for a list of questions that can be asked on tours, at info sessions, in interviews, and to current students or faculty.

Remember that the PSAT is offered in October, and now is a good time to develop your testing plan. Top scoring students enter the National Merit and National Achievement Scholars pool. Also, strong PSAT scores can translate into scholarships, click HERE for more information. Additionally, if you have not already, take a practice ACT and SAT or a combination diagnostic test. Also, register to take a real ACT or SAT.  Ask for help when you need it and continue to work hard and remember grades matter!


Seek out opportunities to get involved both at your school, by joining sports, art, and volunteer clubs, or by engaging in your community. Pursue leadership roles and look for ways to distinguish yourself by deepening your involvement. Continue to build out a list of exploratory colleges and conduct preliminary research on schools you might be interested in attending. Click HERE to see some of CACG's favorite books and HERE for a list of helpful websites.  

It is a good time to start thinking about your standardized testing plan and take a diagnostic SAT and or ACT. Click HERE and HERE for resources that offer diagnostic testing and preparation plans. Remember – your grades matter, and so will teacher recommendations. Take time to get to know your teachers and develop relationships with them. Click HERE for some study strategies that may help you perform better on tests and quizzes. 


As the fall begins, make sure you are taking care of school by showing up on time and completing all of your homework. Click HERE for some study strategies that may help you perform better on tests and quizzes. Take a personality, interest, career, or values assessment to learn more about yourself, your strengths, and your natural abilities. Begin to keep track of your high school involvement and accomplishments, including extracurricular activities, summer experiences, and academic honors. Start building out your resume. As the first quarter comes to an end, take some time to reflect on your grades. How were they? Make a plan heading into the rest of the year. Work hard, get involved, and ask for help when you need it!

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