If this summer was any indication, we’re in for quite a winter this year. Help your students get cozy and ready for college with this month’s College Planning Calendar. We all know there are a ton of holidays to prep for in December, but there's also plenty of college prep work students would be smart to do over winter break. We hope you have the happiest holiday season and a great end to the first semester of the academic year!
General monthly planning
- 9th grade: New high school students should continue looking for ways to look to the future and plan for academic success. These tips for winter break will set them up for a great second semester!
- 10th grade: Have your sophomores started their scholarship search yet? Winter break is a great time to look for awards, even for younger students.
- 11th grade: High school juniors should be looking for ways to improve their extracurricular résumés. Winter break is the perfect time to find volunteer opportunities!
- 12th grade: Most Early Action and Early Decision deadlines have passed, but there are some schools that extend their deadlines into December or have a secondary Early Decision deadline in January. Winter break is also a great time for seniors to revise and improve their college essays for Regular Decision admission deadlines.
Month-long observances and celebrations
- Advent: This is the extended observance most Christian denominations follow in preparation for Christmas, the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. Get your Advent calendars ready!
- Learn a Foreign Language Month: Encourage your students to expand their horizons with these top tips for learning a foreign language.
Friday, December 1
World AIDS Day
First observed in 1988, this day is an opportunity to get educated about HIV and AIDS, plus ways to prevent them.
Free college planning webinars
Moon Prep is hosting a free College Planning: High School Students recorded webinar over Zoom to help high schoolers start the college planning process early. It will take place from 7:00–8:00 pm ET on Friday the 1st, so encourage them to register ASAP!
If your students are looking for specific admission essay help, Moon Prep’s 8-Day Crash Course: Learn How to Write an Effective Personal Statement webinar will also be available to access starting December 1.
Saturday, December 2
SAT test date
This SAT test date is available to all students around the country. (This is still a paper-based test.)
Digital SAT live online trial class
It’s official—the SAT is going digital. Kaplan wants to ensure students are ready for this transition, so they’re hosting their usual free trial courses but shifting their preparation for the upcoming digital changes. This session will take place on Saturday the 2nd from 9:00–11:00 am ET.
Sunday, December 3
Digital SAT live online trial class
For students who miss the Saturday session, Kaplan is offering another free SAT trial course the same weekend on Sunday the 3rd from 5:00–7:00 pm ET.
Monday, December 4
Computer Science Education Week
Computer science is a great field for students to consider! Encourage their STEM dreams by helping them connect with our featured science and engineering schools.
National Cookie Day
Everyone loves cookies during the holidays! Celebrate by baking and sharing with the ones you love.
- How Students Can Give the Gift of Experiences This Holiday Season: Inspire students to get into the spirit of giving by making cookies with or for those they love. Or they can try out any of these other experience-based ideas for the holidays.
Tuesday, December 5
Walt Disney Day
Celebrate all things Disney today in honor of the legendary Imagineer's birthday! Students who really love Disney can even consider joining the Disney College Program as part of their higher education.
Friday, December 8
First day of Hanukkah
We hope the Jewish community has a peaceful and loving eight days of celebrating this year. Happy Hanukkah!
Scholarship search crash course
Moon Prep isn’t just helping students with the college search and applications this month—they’re also sharing their knowledge on scholarships with their free 9-Day Crash Course: The Search for Scholarships webinar. Students can register now for this pre-recorded series starting Friday the 8th from 7:00–8:00 pm ET.
Saturday, December 9
ACT test date
This ACT test date is available for all students across the country.
Sunday, December 10
Human Rights Day
Designated by the UN in 1948, Human Rights Day celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year’s theme is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.”
Nobel Prize Day
Today awards and honors those who are contributing to the progress and success of fields such as physics, literature, peace, medicine, and more.
- The Top 5 Colleges Producing Nobel Prize Winners: Encourage your students to reach for the stars and the greater good by learning about these impressive schools.
Free SAT/ACT score webinar for parents and students
Prep Expert’s Dr. Shaan Patel is offering a free SAT/ACT webinar on 10 secrets to raising standardized test scores and winning big scholarships to top colleges. Parents can sign up now for this session that starts at 6:00 pm ET on Sunday the 10th.
Monday, December 11
CX Gives Back
It’s time for our seventh annual CX Gives Back Giveaway, where we thank our wonderful student community by giving back to them and helping them give back to others! Check out our giveaway page for ways students can enter fun contests every day this week.
Friday, December 15
SAT scores released
Scores for the December 2 SAT test date should be released today and sent to colleges within 10 days.
Tuesday, December 19
ACT scores released
Scores for the December 9 ACT test date will be released between today and February 2.
Rising Researchers course
This intensive winter research course from Moon Prep allows students to participate in online research guided by a STEM mentor for eight weeks. Participants should expect to commit to sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays for an hour and a half until January 12. Spots are limited, so students should apply soon if they’re interested! (Please note that this is not a free opportunity.)
Friday, December 22
College application webinar
Students needing more in-depth guidance on college apps can sign up for Moon Prep’s Crash Course: A Step-by-Step Guide for Applying to College taking place on Friday the 22nd from 7:00–8:00 pm ET.
Monday, December 25
Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate!
Tuesday, December 26
First day of Kwanzaa
Joyous Kwanzaa to the African and African American community!
This holiday is celebrated on the second day of Christmastide in Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and other Commonwealth countries. It’s also known as St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland and the Day of Goodwill in South Africa.
Saturday, December 30
Supplemental essays webinar
This last free recorded webinar for the month from Moon Prep walks students through a Crash Course on How to Write Supplemental Essays for college admission. It will be available starting December 30 from 7:00–8:00 pm ET.
Sunday, December 31
CollegeXpress Winter Break Scholarship deadline
We’re giving away $2,000 this month for our Winter Break Scholarship. From December 1–31, students only have to register on CollegeXpress (or log back in) and answer this question: What’s the best way to spend your time during winter break?
CollegeXpress Scholarship for Students of Color deadline
We have another scholarship deadline on Sunday the 31st. Students of color can apply for this quarterly award by creating a free account or logging back in to CollegeXpress and answering this question in just one sentence: What is your dream career to pursue after high school? They could win $1,500 plus a $500 donation to the charity of their choice!
- Over 60 December Scholarship Opportunities to Apply For: Help your students discover even more awards to apply for this month by sharing our huge list.
New Year’s Eve
Where on Earth did 2024 go? Let’s hope things slow down a bit for everyone and we can enjoy an even better 2024!
Have your students joined the CollegeXpress community yet? Refer them here! You’ll be entered to win our $250 Refer-a-Friend contest, and after they create a free account through your unique link, they’ll have a chance to win not only our easy monthly scholarships but our annual $10,000 scholarship contest as well.