It’s time to start preparing for the college application process. Here’s how to be prepared for your school’s College Application Week in the fall of your senior year. Download a PDF version of this checklist.

___Explore college majors. Many applications will require that you choose a major or specific area you will study. Think about your interests and pick your top three college majors.

___In Career Cruising, use the Career Matchmaker, My Skills, and Learning Styles inventories to explore your interests and learn more about possible majors and careers.

___Create a list of colleges where you would like to apply. Consider school size, location, cost, academic majors, or special programs. To gather information about a variety of colleges and start your search, visit:

___Visit colleges. Visit colleges over the summer or take virtual tours to get a feel for what it’s like to be on campus. Check online to see when tours and information sessions are offered and plan to participate in both when you visit.

___Prepare to fill out applications.

___Create a calendar of deadlines so that you know when the applications are due.
___Review the application steps for the colleges you are applying to and work on your application materials.
___Compile a list of all of the documents you will need. Visit

___Start working on your application essays.
Draft the essays you need for your college applications. Identify individuals who can proofread your essays.

___Sign up to receive text messages from the Department of Education.
Get tips on getting to college and preparing for a career after high school. Sign up today:

___Students (grades 9-12), text Student to 302-273-5310.
___Parents, text Parent to 302-273-5320.

___Estimate your financial aid. Use the FAFSA4caster to compare the cost of specific colleges and estimate your financial aid eligibility.

___Explore scholarship opportunities.
Use these links for help:

___Register for exams for college admission. Check with the colleges you are interested in to see if they require the ACT, or SAT subject tests. Plan to take them in the fall. You can retake the SAT to improve your scores.

___Ask your counselor about fee waivers.
Use fee waivers for the SAT, SAT subject test, ACT, and college applications. Many Delaware colleges waive the application fee during College Application Month.

___Consider individuals you can ask to write your recommendation letters.
Ask your teachers, coaches, and mentors early so they have time to write a good letter. Make sure they know you well and can speak about your strengths. Provide your résumé to help them with specifics.

Need information about how to pay for college? See the Financial aid 101 page.