Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title

College Planning

The College Application Process:

  • Choose 3-5 schools for which you would like to apply
    • 1 for which you would be easily admitted.
    • 1-2 that is a bit of a challenge
    • 1-2 that are a reach 
  • Get details on those schools 
    • Entrance requirements (GPA/ACT), Application and other Deadlines, Career choice/majors available, Cost to attend. 
    • Recommend keeping track of all the dates so none are missed
  • Take a campus tour
    • Get EHO form from the attendance office, return completed form at least 7 school days before you visit. 
    • While on your visit, get proof you were visiting to return to the attendance office.  If they don’t offer, request it.  
    • Many schools have dates set specifically for incoming students. Check their websites
    • Juniors and Seniors are allowed 3 college visits per year
  • Request letters of recommendation  
    • Allow at least two (2) weeks for the completion of applications and/or letters of recommendation.
    • The resume or student data sheet is most helpful to the counselor in producing the recommendation letter, including activities/hobbies in and out of school.
  • Speak to Admission Counselors from each school you are interested in attending
  • If you are on free/reduced lunch, Fee Waiver for college applications available with your counselor. 
  • Retake ACT/SAT if needed
    • Seniors should take the ACT/SAT in the Fall
    • If you qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch, see your counselor about a fee waiver 
  • Athletes interested in playing collegiately
    • Meet with your counselor if you want to play college level sports to ensure you meet the requirements
  • Early Action vs. Early Decision
    • Early Decision is a binding agreement that you WILL attend that school if accepted.  
    • Early Action just lets the school know you are more than interested and getting your paperwork in early to be considered early
  • Document ALL usernames and passwords for every account you create.  

KEES Scholarship    Website: 

  • Use the MyKHEAA function. 
    • Check accuracy of name, date of birth, address, social security number, and GPA. 
  • Always send ACT scores to your home high school.  Scores are reported directly to KEES by the testing company; however, your home high school needs the scores to post on your high school transcript.

Lots of Scholarships: 

  • School Scholarships
    • Deadlines vary by school. Check their websites
  • Other Scholarships
    • Listed on the Counseling Website. 
    •  Scholarship page on that site has a list of scholarships, scholarship search engines, and links to helpful hints.  Updated regularly. 
  • Ask Employers, Banks, Companies
  • Keep a list of your leadership roles in high school (in school and outside of school) as well as your volunteer work.  Both are beneficial for many scholarships.
  • You can’t be awarded any scholarship for which you do not apply. Apply for LOTS.
  • Most local scholarships have spring or late winter deadlines.  Watch the scholarship page and listen to announcements closely during that time.  There will be many available during that time. 
  • Track all the scholarships you find and submit application.  It will come in handy when calculating what you have earned, and if you still need loans.  Spreadsheet is a good way to do that. 



  • FAFSA = free application for federal student aid
    • It should never cost money to complete a “free application”. 
  • FAFSAs will be available online after October 1 at:
  • Create your FSA ID first at 
  • Keep these accounts recorded, usernames and passwords. 
  • You will not be presented with an accurate financial aid package until the FAFSA is complete and submitted to the schools of your choice.  You can add up to 10 schools.  
  • Any financial aid information given before FAFSA is complete and submitted is only an ESTIMATE. 

Timely Timeline to follow: 

 Junior Year

  •  Complete scholarship applications. Several every month. 
  • Look for the ones that aren’t designated specific to Seniors
  • Begin to narrow your college choices. Visit the campuses, narrow more
  • Remember to get them pre-approved with the EHO from the attendance office if you miss school to visit. 
  • Senior Year August/September
  • Request letters of recommendation
  • Activate your Parchment account with your home high school
  • Have a senior conference with your high school counselor
  • finalize your list of safety, match, and reach schools 
  • Check Early Action and Early Decision deadlines and submit
  • Track deadlines, and keep a record of all usernames and passwords. 
  • If you haven’t met benchmark, register for the October ACT 
  • Make your college visits (visiting to decide)
  • Create your FSA ID and FAFSA accounts
  • Activate or log into your KHEAA account 
  • Attend the Central KY College Fair usually held in the fall at Heritage Hall 
  • Participate in as many college events at your school and college of your choice
  • Senior Year October
      • Submit FAFSA
      • Submit any essays to your English teacher for review, for college apps and scholarships. 
      • Request a copy of high school transcript from your home high school
      • Continue looking for scholarships 
      • Write (handwritten, no email) thank you notes to those who agreed to write positive letters of recommendation
  • Senior Year November
      • Register for the December ACT if needed
      • Keep up with your grades
      • Search for more scholarships 
      • Check your Student Aid Report (SAR) for errors when received (from FAFSA)
      • Track your scholarship applications. 
      • Finish early action applications and submit
  • Senior Year Winter
      • If you were accepted for early decision, follow the directions exactly. 
      • Complete applications for regular admissions. Don’t delay.
      • Continue to apply for scholarships and track deadlines for your schools and scholarships.
      • Register for AP exams if applicable.
      • Some letters may begin to arrive … turn in a copy of all acceptance letters to your counselor.
  • Spring 
    • Compare financial aid packages as they come in. 
    • Continue to apply for scholarships.
    • Attend Open Houses for schools where you were accepted.
    • As you rule out schools who send you an acceptance letter, notify them. 
    • Complete requirements for chosen school--housing, parking, financial aid.  
    • Acceptance letter doesn’t mean stop working. Keep your grades up. 
    • Prepare for any AP exams, if you registered. 
    • By May 1, notify schools your intentions, attending or not 
    • Track and meet all new deadlines … deposits, housing applications, summer programs, etc. School website and your admissions counselor are great sources for that info.
    • Send final transcript to chosen school as “Hold for grades”
    • GRADUATE!!! 

Letter of Recommendation Information 

While a resume is the best option to provide to your recommenders, you can provide the following information.  Be sure to provide this information or your resume at least two weeks in advance of their deadline. 

  1. School Activities/Clubs/ Athletics (be sure to note any leadership positions as well)
  2. School Offices Held
  3. Community Activities (include volunteer work) and part-time jobs
  4. Awards/ Honors Received
  5. Significant or special travel experience/camps? Describe and indicate when.
  6. List your three most distinguishing, most admirable qualities. Explain each with several sentences, including examples. Think about those aspects of yourself that you would like your recommendation writer to stress.
  7. Please describe the single academic accomplishment (e.g., major paper, science project or experiment, artistic project or accomplishment) of which you are most proud and tell why you take special pride in it.
  8. Is there any other information you would like to share so that your recommendation writer can make an accurate appraisal of you to colleges and universities? Here you may write of such things as cultural background, family, crises, etc., that have had a significant impact on your own interests and concerns.
  9. Is it okay for your counselor to share with colleges your answers? Yes or No?