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Below is a list of tips to keep in mind when embarking on this path. 

1. Think about testing in advance. Would you prefer to take the SATACT, or both and how many times each? Don’t forget to think about SAT subject tests too!

2. Create a list of potential colleges by September of your senior year. This will serve as a solid foundation to build upon if necessary.

3. In the summer, acquaint yourself with the Common Application to see what essays and supplements are required for your application. If a college doesn’t accept the common app, go on its Web site to find the application ahead of time.

4. If possible, visit all the schools you apply to before you start receiving your letters of admission. If you go with friends, don’t let them influence your opinion.

5. is a great resource to learn about schools, plan your college process, sign up for tests, and more.

6. Ask for letters of recommendation in spring of your junior year, especially if you choose a popular teacher.

7. Arrange appointments with your guidance counselor when necessary. It’s your counselor’s job to help you with this process, so do not feel intimidated to go to them for information, from scholarships to Fafsa (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to essays.

8. If you plan to apply to many schools, you’ll be writing a plethora of essays. There’s no need to panic, but you’ll need to be strategic. Are there free choice essays that you can use for multiple schools?

9. Be organized! Expect to get A LOT of mail from colleges. Designate a drawer or file to keep track of all of your college papers.

10. Create a timeline and meet your goals. If you want to complete your college essay by October 15th, do so. Deadlines are a crucial aspect of this process.

For those starting the process — take a deep breath! If you stay organized, you will have little to worry about. Good Luck!