College Planning Guide

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Planning for College 
Finding a College 
Applying to College 
Paying for College 
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Contact Us

Shippensburg University
Office of Admissions
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
P: 717.477.1231
F: 717.477.4016 
E:admiss@ship.edu 

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Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Summer Hours

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Timeline for College Bound Students

Sophomore Year

  • Make sure you are scheduled to take college prep courses.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT offered in the fall.
  • Begin to think about your college search and major.
  • Make a list of what you are looking for in a future college.
    • Size
    • Distance from home
    • Majors offered
    • Public or Private
  • Call possible colleges and ask about their admissions requirements.  Search the internet for college websites.

Junior Year

Fall  . . .
  • Take the college prep courses.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT offered in the fall.
  • Continue researching colleges. Check your mail and email for college information.
  • Talk with your guidance counselor about what colleges might be suitable for you.
  • Utilize computer programs, internet, and information in your guidance office.
Spring . . .
    • Take the SAT I one or two times.
    • Attend any college fairs in your area.
    • Keep researching schools, you should be starting to narrow your search.
    • Visit any schools you may be interested in, especially if they offer programs specifically for juniors.
    • Be sure to register for college prep classes when scheduling for your senior year.
    • Complete a “resume”.  Record all involvements, accomplishments, and work experience over thepast three years.

Senior Year

Fall . . .
    • Take the SAT’s one or two more times (most colleges will also accept the ACT).
    • Attend college fairs in your area, and prepare a list of questions for each college.
    • Speak with college representatives who visit your school.
    • Narrow the number of colleges down (5 or 6).               
    • Call admissions offices to find out their application process (deadlines, interviews, etc).
    • Visit the schools in the manners they suggest (visitation days, open houses, etc).
    • Make sure you have the current applications.  Visit the college websites and look for electronic applications.
    • Fill out and have your applications completed by December 1st.
    • Pick up the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in your guidance office in December.  This form is required by all colleges.
    • Attend a Financial Aid night with your parents at a school in your area.
Spring . . .
    • Mail your completed FAFSA on or after January 1st.
    • Be in touch with the admissions offices where you have applied.
    • Visit the schools for the first or second time.
    • After receiving your acceptance letter, make a final decision as to which college you want to attend.
    • Make sure to send your confirmation deposit on time (be aware of deadlines).