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What is the Best Time to Start the College Admissions Process?

You don’t have to feel intimidated by the US college admissions process, especially if you are the first in your family with a big dream to study in one of the top US colleges. With so many things to do like writing your essay, getting recommendation letters from your school, etc, experts and educators believe that one of the best ways of getting started is by creating a to-do list while you are still in Grade 10 or 11 at High School. If you can visualize the tasks and create a schedule to carry them out, the entire exercise becomes simpler and takes away all the anxiety.

The Earlier, the Better The earlier you start, the better your chances of getting into your dream College or Ivy League University . Although the ACT composite scores recorded a downward trend (dropped from 20.7 to 20.6), Asian students have been consistent from 2018 to 2020, with scores going up from 24.6 to 24.9. ACT administrators stress that preparing for the test while still in high school helps you achieve the college readiness benchmarks. Summer is a good time The best time to get started with the actual College applications is before the actual work gets going in Grade 12 and the September blues set in. Get details of various colleges and the campuses and jot down notes, which will help decide your choices. Decide which teacher will give you the best recommendation letter. Spend some time on Common Application and start brainstorming topics for your personal essay.

Fall through Winter

The four months between October to January is when you’ll be completing most of the college admissions process. Talk to one of our counsellors, who will help you create a calendar of important deadlines and help you stay on track. Have your college essay polished and ready, as well as your ACT and SAT scores. If you plan to apply through an early decision, you need to complete the process by early November. Should you submit an Early Application, the results are available in mid-December. If you did get that Acceptance letter, Congratulations to you!  But if you received a “deferred’ or a “reject” decision, then you will need to complete all the other College applications on your list,  by the end of December.  

The Waiting Period – February to April

By now, you must have completed all the paperwork, though you still need to focus on your grades to keep them high. Falling grades can lead to colleges revoking their offers; hence good grades are crucial. If you did submit an Early Decision 2 application, you will hear back by Mid-Feb. Else  acceptance emails  are sent by late-March, though some colleges mull over the admissions right until April. You need to save all the acceptance letters, waitlist offers and rejections. Even if you have a few acceptance letters from any of the top 100 Universities in the US, you still need to compare all the acceptance offers. Check out the financial implications, campus features, professors, and course options before you make the final decision. Talk to us if you have any doubts or questions, and we will be glad to help. 


The best time to start the college admissions process is while you are still in Grade 10 or 11. US college admissions are a tedious and long-drawn process that calls for meticulous preparation. If you have any questions about the admissions process, talk to us now.