Graduation cap toss

A College Planning Timeline from Freshman Year to Graduation

March 8, 2022

by Bryan Wendell

Nearly 900 graduates launched the next phase of their lives at Bucknell's 169th Commencement Ceremony.

Applying to college may seem like one big step toward your future, but you'll be more successful — and less stressed — if you instead see that journey as dozens of smaller steps.

True, the actual application window won't open until the fall of your senior year, but the best-prepared students build the foundation for their application beginning in their freshman or sophomore year.

By planning your college journey as early as possible, each milestone along the way will be easier to reach — and you'll actually improve your chances of getting into your top-choice schools.

Before 9th Grade

9th Grade — Fall

9th Grade — Winter

9th Grade — Spring

Summer Between 9th and 10th Grade

10th Grade — Fall

10th Grade — Spring

Summer Between 10th and 11th Grade

11th Grade — Fall

11th Grade — Spring

Summer Between 11th and 12th Grade

12th Grade — Fall

12th Grade — Spring

Summer Before Your First Year of College