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College Go! August-November is a perfect time to get the college admissions process underway. Get started!

1. Organize
Create a list of at least three and up to five colleges you will apply to, including at least one “reach” school that you might be admitted to based on your test scores; one “probably yes” school that your profile closely matches; and one “safety” school that you are sure to be admitted to.

2. Tackle those applications
Some colleges will require more than others, so prioritize according to deadlines and the amount of time you’ll need to collect recommendations and write essays. Create a resume (learn how at LearnMoreIndiana.org) or at least a list of activities and honors for college and scholarship applications. Ask teachers or coaches for their recommendations well in advance of the deadline. If you need to write an essay, invest the time needed to make it a good one, showing the admissions staff why you deserve to be part of their incoming college freshman class. Before you hit send, ask for help proofreading your essay and double-check your application for accuracy.

3. Keep track of deadlines
Every college has different due dates for applications and, sometimes for financial aid and scholarship deadlines, too. Check out deadlines for Indiana colleges at LearnMoreIndiana.org/college. Keep track of important dates whether you use a planner, paper or smart phone calendar.

4. Take the tests
If you haven’t taken the SAT or ACT or didn’t like your scores, sign up as soon as possible. You can send your scores directly by registering your choices during the test, or send them later through the College Board or ACT websites.

5. Don’t be shy
Ask for help. College admission and financial aid staff are a good source of information, as are parents, a school counselor or favorite teacher.

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