College Planning Timeline for Juniors


  • Finalize a testing plan for the SAT and ACT tests.



  • Create a brag sheet. This will assist your counselor with their letter of recommendation.

  • Visit schools that you are interested in. Take a tour, go to an informational meeting, sit in on a class, and try to get a feel for what it would be like to go to that school. For schools you are very interested in, consider making an appointment for an on-campus interview or personal tour.

  • Decide which teachers (2) you would like to write your recommendation letters and ask them. Teachers need to know ahead of time in order to be ready for application season in the fall of senior year.


  • Write a draft of your college essay.

  • Compile your resume, audition portfolio or other evidence of your talents for college admissions or scholarship applications.

  • Continue to visit schools.

  • Narrow your list of potential college choices.

  • Begin to research scholarship opportunities.

  • Make a Common Application account on CommonApp


The Common App

Seattle Promise - This program provides the first two years of tuition at Seattle Colleges

UWadmit - Video: Tips from UW on writing your personal statement

College Essay Guy - Video: 7 Great College Essay Tips - SAT - ACT

College Planning Timeline for Seniors


  • Check in with the teachers who are writing your recommendation letters. Give them any materials they need and let them know of any early due dates.

  • Review the list of college reps visiting RHS. Sign up to attend any sessions with colleges that you are likely applying to.

  • Visit college campuses, if you have not already been there.

  • Register for the fall SAT or ACT if you would like to improve your scores.

  • Begin to fill out admissions applications. Continue to work on your application essays.




  • Continue to visit your potential colleges, if possible.

  • Continue to meet with college reps at RHS. Also, consider attending a college fair.

  • Prepare final drafts of your application essay.

  • Take the SAT or ACT, if applicable.

  • Check all application deadlines and submit on time.

  • Request transcripts on Naviance at least 2 weeks prior to any application deadlines.

  • Confirm all early action/early decision materials have been received by each school. Many can be checked online.

  • Remind teachers of deadlines for applications



  • Take the SAT or ACT, if needed.

  • Request transcripts for any regular decision applications.


  • Continue to meet application deadlines.

  • Confirm that all your materials have been received by each school. Many can be checked online.

  • Write thank-you notes to the teachers who wrote recommendations on your behalf.


  • Make sure that you accept an offer of admission before May 1st and send in any required deposits and paperwork. And also notify the schools you will not be attending.


  • Take AP exams, if applicable, and request that your scores be sent to the college that you will be attending

  • Graduate!

Need help with those Essays?

Bonnie Rochman, a Roosevelt parent, is a local college essay coach. Bonnie, a former staff writer for Time magazine and an author, helps with everything from the creative process of brainstorming ideas to selecting a topic, weaving in anecdotes and other storytelling techniques, overcoming writer’s block, settling on a cohesive structure, revising drafts and polishing the final product. She helps students produce essays that are self-reflective and insightful, which can be challenging for students unaccustomed to writing personal essays.


Here is a link to a 2020 Zoom presentation she did for high school students about how to approach the college essay process:


For one on one coaching or group sessions,

Bonnie can be reached at

Common App Essay Prompts 2021-2022
Remember that while 650 words is your limit, it is NOT your goal! Quality over quantity.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.