Lesson 1: Know the Timeline

The college process can be big and confusing. One of the most important things you can do when gearing up is to gain an understanding of what you should be doing and when you should be doing it. I encourage you to read through the following resources in order to help understand the process and stay organized.

Khan Academy Master Timeline – College Admissions

Khan Academy is always awesome. Along with having incredible (free!) learning and SAT/ACT prep resources, the site has a wonderful timeline to help you during your high school years.

Staying Organized – How to Never Miss a College Application Deadline

One reason the college application process is so difficult is because of the vast number of tasks and dates you must keep track of. I wrote this article to give you a few tips that I used to keep the business in check.

How to Succeed in College and Beyond – The Art of Learning by Professor Daniel Schwarz (Cornell University)

Professor Schwarz’ book is full of wisdom for students, parents, and teachers on how to prepare for college and receive an education that prepares one for a career. I greatly enjoyed the book for the focus he puts on actionable steps one can take at different points in the college application process to improve your chances of admission and prepare yourself for college and a career.

BONUS: Listen to my interview with Professor Schwarz here!

Just Three Things Every Day: Pat’s To-Do List Strategy

Whether you use pen and paper or Trello, keeping track of your tasks is only half the battle. You also have to get them done! Here’s the strategy that I still use to make sure I get all my tasks done each day.

Success Story

North Dakota to MIT with Video Game Designer Jorrie Brettin

Jorrie Brettin is one of the few kids I met in college who had a smaller graduating class (private schools excluded) than me. His town didn’t even have a stoplight! While up in rural North Dakota, Jorrie always had an eye for learning to create video games. With hard work and some luck he put himself in a position to do just that at MIT!


Trello and/or Asana

Trello and Asana are both great online tools for keeping track of tasks. Think about them like checklists on steroids. Organize, set due dates, and generally stay on top of your tasks. I use Trello every day.

Other Reading:

College Board Big Future – College Application Timeline: 12th Grade

College Board has numerous great resources for you to use to help get prepared for college. Here’s a clickable timeline for high school seniors that’s quite useful.

How did you like this lesson? Send me an email at any time (pat@smalltowntopcollege.com) with feedback and questions!