Home : Admission : First-Year Students : Checklists & Timelines

Ashley Browning
Director of Admission
(540) 362-6401

Mary Ellen Apgar
Transfer Student Admission Coordinator

Chloe Landon
International Student Admission Coordinator

Mary Ellen Apgar
Director, Horizon Program
(540) 362-6609

Checklists & Timelines

The following checklists and timelines give you specifics to consider during your junior and senior years of high school.


Your junior year is the time to find out everything you can about all the colleges you're interested in. Request information, visit colleges, go to college fairs, and talk to the people around you about their college choices.

  • Identify the sources of information about colleges available to you.
  • Go to college fairs and find out about visits by admission representatives.
  • Make an appointment with your guidance counselor and parents to talk about your college plans.
  • Obtain a social security number if you don't have one.
  • Concentrate on your schoolwork. Your grades will make a difference in whether or not you are eligible for merit-based scholarships.
  • Take the PSAT (register early).
  • Consider and list the academic and extracurricular activities you might like to pursue in college.
  • Ask your senior friends where they are applying and why they are applying there.
  • Plan to take the SAT/ACT (register early).
  • Write to the colleges you're interested in.
  • Request information about academics, the admissions process, college visits, financial aid, scholarships, etc.
  • Review the admission requirements for these colleges to ensure you are on the right track.
  • Begin discussing and planning how you and your family will pay for your college education and attend the financial aid meetings held in your area.
  • If you want to take AP exams this year, ask your teachers for advice and information.
  • Develop a rough list of colleges you're considering.
  • Identify people who know you academically and professionally and could write letters of recommendation.
  • If visiting colleges, be aware of their spring breaks.
  • Visit colleges. Be sure to make your appointments ahead of time. Take tours and have interviews when possible. Ask questions when visiting. Schedule a visit to Hollins.

You have started the process. You know more about yourself. You know more about the schools that interest you.

  • Remember that selective colleges are interested in your senior year grades. (Keep working hard.) Narrow down your list of colleges to four to eight. Be realistic, but also look at a "reach" school.
  • Continue to request information from these colleges.
  • Write down application deadlines on a calendar. Take the SAT and/or the ACT again. Most colleges take the highest of all your scores. Begin planning college visits for the fall. Sign up for email or text message reminders of Hollins admission deadlines!
  • Begin developing an outline for your college application essay.
  • Ask your teachers, counselors, supervisors, coaches, etc. for recommendations. Be sure to give them an addressed, stamped envelope and the proper recommendation forms.
  • Try to attend overnight open houses at the colleges you're considering.
  • Fill out applications for early action, early decision or rolling admission.
  • Give applications to your guidance counselor at least three weeks before the college's deadline.
  • Wait to hear from the college about their decision on your early decision application. If you are deferred/postponed until regular decision, begin filling out other applications.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Mail the financial aid form early or fill it out online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Call the college's financial aid office if you need assistance.
  • Finish all your applications and give them to your guidance counselor to complete and mail. (Do not procrastinate!)
  • List the pros and cons of each college to which you have applied. Save the list!
  • Consider taking AP exams in your strongest courses.
  • If you are visiting colleges, be aware of their spring break holidays.
  • April 15 is the notification deadline for most colleges. If you have not already heard from the colleges you applied to, you should within the next week.
  • Look over the list of pros and cons you made earlier. You must now decide which college offers you the most of what you are looking for.
  • Go to admitted-student programs at your top-choice schools.
  • May 1 is the date by which you are to notify colleges about whether or not you will be attending. Let schools know even if you are not going to enroll.
  • If you are waitlisted by the college you hope to attend, contact the admission office in writing to ask how you can strengthen your application. If that school is your first choice, let the admissions office know.
  • You will receive housing forms. Fill them out and return them promptly. Be honest! Don't say you're neat if you're really not.
  • Work. You'll be glad to have the work experience and the extra money.