Road to College


  • Take (or retake) the SAT or ACT, if the school(s) you are applying to require you to take either test for admissions. Register for tests at: and If English is not your first language you may be required to take the TOEFL. For more info, go to
  • Decide on your top three SAFETY, MATCH, and REACH schools.


  • Decide which colleges you will apply to and track application deadlines and how you are planning to apply.
  • Ask your counselor to submit your transcripts to selected colleges (if required).
  • Send test scores (SAT, ACT, or TOEFL) to selected colleges (if required).
  • Finish college application essays.
  • Research scholarships and start applying.
  • Apply “early” for you reach schools. Deadlines are usually Nov. 1 or 15.


  • Undecided? Visit campuses, check out catalogs and virtual tours, and attend college nights/fairs.
  • Continue working on your college applications and make sure to turn them in before the deadline. Ask your counselor if you need an application fee waiver.
  • Apply for as many scholarships as you can find. These following sites are a good place to start: and


  • Attend a financial aid night at your school or in your community.
  • Finish all remaining college applications.
  • Talk to friends or family members who are home for winter break about what it’s like to go to school on the mainland.
  • Gather materials needed to complete the FAFSA.


  • Complete your FAFSA ASAP at You can estimate tax info and adjust the numbers later after filing taxes. Ask each college on your list if they require any additional financial aid forms (such as the College Board CSS Profile).
  • Attend a College Goal Sunday event in your community (Jan. 13 – Oahu, Hilo, Maui Kauai; Jan. 20 – Kona) to get free help in completing the FAFSA (


  • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for any errors. (If you don’t get your SAR within 3 weeks of filing the FAFSA, check online at
  • Turn in all remaining scholarship applications.
  • Check your email for any notifications from colleges and financial aid providers you applied to.


  • You should start receiving acceptance and rejection letters during this time.
  • If you receive rejection letters, consider applying to other colleges.
  • If you are waitlisted at your first choice school, send the admissions office a letter, making it clear that they are your first choice and that you would attend if they accept you.
  • If you decided on which college you will attend, send in intent to enroll forms and any other important info like housing deposits.


  • Attend a spring college weekend for prospective students
  • Create a budget for college needs.
  • Determine if you need a student loan.
  • Prep for and take any placement exams for college classes.
  • Get a physical and shots.


  • Pick a college and notify their admissions office by the deadline (usually May 1).
  • Make sure to turn in all necessary forms to secure your space.


  • Find a summer job (maybe related to your college major) to help with expenses.
  • Apply now for work study jobs if you qualify.
  • Attend summer orientation on your new campus.
  • Register for classes ASAP.
  • Pack (if you are moving away) and get ready to enjoy your new adventure!


Download and print the Road to College map here.