Applying to College

Applying to college is a huge milestone in your life, but it can also be overwhelming for students and their families. We're here to help walk you through the process, every step of the way!

At WHS, we begin encouraging our students to think future-forward as early as freshman year when review the importance of working hard to meet academic and personal goals in our September seminars. This work continues on with our sophomore seminars during which career exploration tools are introduced to help guide students in determining their strengths and interests, and how they relate to their future plans. However, it is during junior year that the actual college search process officially begins. Here's our suggested timeline for students and families:

December of Junior Year:

    • Parents should attend Junior Parent Night in late November/early December (this event will be publicized late fall when the date is set!)
    • Students attend Junior Seminars during W2
    • Attend the W2 presentation on PSAT scores and learn how to utilize the results to maximize your success on the SATs; create College Board account

January - February of Junior Year:

    • Consider doing a job shadow, volunteer work or other career exploration in a field you are interested in pursuing
    • Tour college campuses & attend Open Houses. February vacation is a great time to visit!

March of Junior Year:

    • Meet with your counselor about senior year schedule, making sure to plan a challenging program of study that encompasses classes from ALL major subject areas
    • Continue with college and career exploration activities
    • Register & prepare for college admission tests (ACT / SAT / SAT Subject)

April of Junior Year:

    • Start your resume on Naviance
    • Tour campuses, attend college Open Houses; April vacation is a great time to visit.
    • Attend college fairs such as the Boston National College Fair at the Boston Convention Center

May of Junior Year:

    • Check in with your counselor about your progress & next steps
    • Consider asking for recommendation letters
    • Work hard to do well on your AP exams (if applicable)

June of Junior Year:

    • Finish the year strong and prepare for final exams


    • Keep busy with summer programs and/or internships, jobs, and community service
    • Continue exploring colleges and careers
    • Finalize resume on Naviance
    • Think about starting college applications
    • Draft a college essay
    • If you haven’t already, think about who to ask for recommendations
    • Register for standardized tests

Fall of Senior Year:

    • Parents are invited to attend Senior Parent Coffee Hour
    • Seniors will attend Senior Seminars during W2
    • If you haven’t already, ask for letters of recommendation. Make sure your resume is completed on Naviance!
    • Continue with college visits and attend Open Houses. Consider attending the Regional College Fair at the Shriners in late October.
    • Finalize your list of colleges in Naviance
    • Finish taking any standardized tests you plan to use in the admissions process. Be sure to send an official score report from the College Board and/or ACT to any schools that require standardized test scores.
    • Complete your college essay and ask a teacher/counselor/parent to review it for you.
    • Prepare and send applications (and fees) directly to the colleges.
    • Give your counselor at least 10 school days notice of any upcoming application deadlines to ensure time to send your transcript and recommendations to the colleges you are applying to.
    • Check for scholarship opportunities and apply for those that you qualify for.

Most importantly, make appointments to see your counselor frequently! We are here to help with any and all aspects of the post-secondary process!