Countdown to College

You probably have lots of questions about college. We'll help you think through the application process and help you get ready.

Your junior year in high school is the perfect time to seriously think about your college plans. With this in mind, we've developed a time line to help guide you in your college search.

Junior Year (October)

  • Take PSAT/NMSQT (Pre Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)
    • This is a good practice test. (Remember to take your calculator.) Good scores may lead to a scholarship.

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Junior Year (January - March)

  • Discuss college plans with parents and school counselors:
    • What type of program or major interests you?
    • How much money can you and your family afford to spend on your college education?
    • Would you prefer a two-year or four-year school?
    • How far from home would you like to be?
    • What extracurricular activities would you like to pursue?
    • Do you want a big or small campus?
    • Would you like a school where you can live on campus?
    • Do you need a school that offers academic support services?
  • Job shadow someone working in your field of interest.
    • This will give you a good idea of what it's like to work in your desired field and will confirm for you whether you've made the right choice in a college major.
  • Begin researching colleges.
    • Your school counselor can provide you with many resources (college guidebooks, catalogs, videos, Web addresses, CD ROMS), and your school may also have a computer-aided research program that will help you determine which colleges have what you're looking for.
  • Write for information from schools you're considering.

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Junior Year (March - June)

  • Attend college night programs located near you.
    • College night programs attract many college representatives who can provide you with information and answer any questions. Each representative will likely have a card for you to fill in with information that is needed to put you onto their school's mailing list.
  • Register for ACT and/or SAT I tests to be taken March through June.
    • It's a good idea to take these during your junior year. If necessary, you can retake them as a senior. Alfred State College does not require these tests for associate degree programs, but we highly recommend them. They are required for baccalaureate degree programs and some scholarships.
  • Visit colleges that look interesting.
    • See Tips for a Successful College Visit and Questions to Ask When Selecting a College.
    • Juniors are welcome to visit Alfred State College during our normal Monday - Friday visitation schedule. Arrangements can be made for a general campus tour, academic department tour, and an Admissions interview by calling the Admissions Office at 1-800-4-ALFRED or 607-587-4215. In addition, Alfred State holds spring open house programs which provide an opportunity to see the campus on an informal basis.
  • Plan your course schedule for your senior year paying careful attention to any specific entrance requirements for your desired major.
    • Refer to Alfred State's college catalog or viewbook, available in your local high school Guidance Office, for specific entrance requirements for our programs.

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Junior Year (July - August)

  • Visit schools that you did not have an opportunity to see during the spring.
    • At Alfred State we welcome student visits during the summer. However, be aware that the campus environment is much different than it would be when classes are in session.
  • Save money for college through a summer job.

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Senior Year (September - December)

  • If you did not take the ACT or SAT I tests during your junior year, register for these tests to be given October through December.
  • Once you've narrowed your college choices to two-three, revisit these schools either through an individual visit or an open house program.
    • Again, at Alfred State arrangements for a campus visit may be made through our Admissions Office. In addition, each fall we host Open House programs when students and their families can visit a variety of departments on campus.
  • Ask your school counselor, teachers, or other appropriate people for letters of recommendation to accompany your college applications.
    • At Alfred State these are not required but are helpful in explaining any extenuating circumstances which may have affected your academic performance, or in giving additional information which cannot be obtained from the application.
  • Do you need to write a college essay for the schools you're considering? If so, give careful thought to a topic and begin formulating the essay.
    • An essay is not required for admission to Alfred State, but you are encouraged to provide one.
  • Fill out college applications paying careful attention to any application deadlines.
    • Although there is no official application deadline at Alfred State, some programs fill up quickly. For these programs it is important to complete your application at the beginning of your senior year. Contact our Admissions Office for more information.
  • Attend college night programs located in your area.
  • Meet with college admissions representatives who will be visiting your school.

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Senior Year (January - February)

  • With your family, attend financial aid workshops which may be conducted at your school or in nearby schools.
  • Fill out financial aid paperwork.
    • At Alfred State students applying for financial aid use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to call the Alfred State Financial Aid Office at 1-800-4-ALFRED if you have any questions.
  • Research available scholarships.
    • Thousands of dollars in scholarship money are available for incoming students at Alfred State College. Most scholarships do not require any application steps beyond completing the SUNY Admission Application. Information on Alfred State scholarships can be found in the college catalog and the Financial Aid and Scholarship booklet (sent to senior students on our mailing list as well as to accepted students). Information regarding outside sources can be obtained from Visit the scholarship page of our financial aid pages for more information on Alfred State Scholarships.
  • Begin following our Financial Aid Calendar for detailed information on how to proceed through the financial aid process as you prepare for college.

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Senior Year (March - August)

  • Read carefully all materials received from the colleges. Respond promptly to requests for additional information.
  • Attend any freshman orientation sessions.
  • Best Wishes!
  • Continue following our Financial Aid Calendar in order to get the most from your financial aid package.

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