college application timeline 2020-2021

Your junior year has come to an end and it is time to start thinking about the college application process as it will be approaching fast.  Applying to college is often an overwhelming time for students and their families.  There is much work to be done while continuing to juggle schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities through senior year.


We hope to alleviate some of your stress by providing this detailed, monthly timeline as you tackle the coming months. 

Manage your time well, plan out your process and keep track of all deadlines.  Organization is key and we encourage you to use a platform like excel to map out your plan for the application season.

College Application Monthly Timeline


EA: Early Action

REA: Restrictive Early Action

ED Early Decision (options are ED1 and ED2)

SCEA Single Choice Early Action

June /July 2020

  • Create a resume.

  • Research scholarships.

  • Compile a college list.

  • July 18th ACT test (register by June 26)

  • Register by the 31 for the August SAT test


August 2020

  • August 1- The Common Application opens. 

  • Begin writing your Common Application Personal Statement.

  • Research each school’s deadlines and requirements. 

  • Register by the 14th for the September ACT test

  • August 29th SAT test

  • Register by the 26th for the September SAT test


September 2020

  • Secure all Letter of Recommendations. 

  • Begin writing your EA/ED/REA supplemental essays.

  • September 12th ACT test

  • Register by the 18th for the October ACT test

  • September 26th SAT test

  • Register by the 3rd for October SAT test


October 2020

  • Request test scores be sent to ED/EA schools early in the month.

  • Submit EA/ED apps at least 5 days before deadline (deadline either 10/15 or 11/1)

  • Begin writing RD supplemental essays

  • IF APPLYING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA begin writing insight questions.

  • October 3rd SAT test

  • October 24th ACT test


November 2020

  • ED Deadline, November 1

  • Prepare for ED interviews.

  • Work on ED II essays should you not get into your ED I school choice.

  • IF APPLYING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, submit your application by 11/15. Ensure test scores are sent to the UC system.

  • November 30th-THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA deadline.


December 2020

  • EA/ED decisions released – mid-December (schools release decisions on different days).

    • If admitted to ED school, withdraw applications from all other schools.

    • If deferred, work on deferral Letter of Intent, showing continued interest and commitment.

    • If deferred or denied, work on ED II school.

  • Submit all RD applications by December 10, 2020.

  • Request test scores be sent to RD schools.

  • ED II Deadline, December 15.


January 2021

  • RD Deadline, January 1

  • Prepare for RD interviews. 


February 2021

  • Make sure your counselor sends mid-year reports to all RD schools that require them.

  • ED II decisions released mid-month.  

    • If admitted to ED school, withdraw applications from all other schools.

    • If deferred, work on deferral Letter of Intent, showing continued interest and commitment.


March 2021

  • RD decisions released.

    • If waitlisted, write waitlisted letter.


May 1st- National College Decision Day.  Finalize your school decision if you have not already.   

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We are happy to help students achieve their dreams. We invite you to contact us to receive a Free Consultation.
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© 2020 by Bentham Admissions.