It’s officially fall and students should be all settled in at school. Help them focus on the big picture with these general tasks and resources to plan for the college search and admission process, plus specific calendar dates to track throughout the month for October holidays, test prep, and more. Happy college planning!
General monthly planning
- High school freshmen: Get involved! Now that freshmen have gotten the hang of things, they should start joining clubs and getting involved at their school and in their community.
- High school sophomores: Sophomores should think about and/or schedule a time to take the PSAT. Although they can still take it junior year, taking it this year gives students much more time to work on any test weaknesses they may have.
- High school juniors: If they haven’t already, now is the time for juniors to start building their college lists. This doesn’t mean conduct all research now, but thinking ahead and building a college search spreadsheet will set them up for success.
- High school seniors: This month is when college planning gets real for seniors. They should be arranging for their letters of recommendation and filing the FAFSA on October 1 or as soon after as possible while building a strategy to consistently refine their college essays and search for more scholarships.
Month-long observances and celebrations
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Learn more through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and find resources you can share to help people recognize and stop domestic violence.
- National Bullying Prevention Month: Promote the importance of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion by sharing how students can be advocates for their peers.
- Financial Planning Month: October isn’t just the time for seniors to file the FAFSA—it’s also the perfect occasion for families to openly communicate about finances and college costs.
- National Book Month: Celebrate reading this month by encouraging your students to pick up a new book with these recommendations.
- National Pizza Month: Celebrate a month’s worth of one of the most universally loved foods. Be sure to give our quick homemade microwave pizza recipe a try!
- Diversity recognition: LGBT History Month, Global Diversity Awareness Month
- Health awareness recognition: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Blindness Awareness Month
- Cultural recognition: Hispanic Heritage Month (continued), Polish-American Heritage Month, Filipino-American History Month, Italian-American Heritage & Culture Month, German-American Heritage Month
Saturday, October 1
The FAFSA opens
Today is the first day prospective college students can begin filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid! If you have students who will be in college next year, remind them to submit the form ASAP.
- How to Fill Out the FAFSA, Step-by-Step: Encourage your students to start thinking about the FAFSA now with this step-by-step guide to completing their forms.
SAT test date
Today is an SAT test date for students across the country.
SAT live online trial class
The ACT and SAT prep platform Kaplan is hosting three free trial courses this month to start prepping for the SAT. Students can sign up for the first session on Saturday the 1st from 2:00–4:00 pm ET.
World Vegetarian Day
Today’s the day to celebrate and educate others on the vegetarian way of life.
- The Ultimate Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Good Eating in College: If your students are looking for a diet or lifestyle change, here’s an article that walks them through vegetarianism in college.
International Coffee Day
It’s no secret that a lot of students (especially tired college students) love coffee. Celebrate the beverage that keeps us going by suggesting 9 of the Best Colleges for Coffee Lovers to your students.
Sunday, October 2
Start of Get Organized (GO) Week
Observed since 1991, this week is the time to stop putting off those projects you’ve been meaning to do and get organized!
- Video: Organization and Time Management Skills: Students can boost their organizational skills with this helpful video from college student Jordan-Paige.
Monday, October 3
SAT live online trial class
The second SAT free trial course from Kaplan will take place from 9:00–11:00 pm ET on Monday the 3rd.
Start of Customer Service Week
This week celebrates the important role customer service workers play in our daily lives, especially during the pandemic. Drop a customer service worker some extra kindness (and maybe an extra tip) this week!
Tuesday, October 4
SAT live online trial class
Students can sign up for the last of the SAT free trial courses from Kaplan today. This one will be between 7:30–9:30 pm ET on Tuesday the 4th.
World Animal Day
Find ways you and your students can help the environment for all the other creatures that live on the planet with us today. Learn more about the movement and some ideas to get started!
Wednesday, October 5
World Teachers’ Day
Sponsored by UNESCO and Education International, World Teachers’ Day is observed to help the world better understand the role of teachers in the development of students and our society overall. If you have students who want to go into teaching, be sure to share our lists of colleges with great Education programs.
Thursday, October 6
Free recommendation letter workshop for counselors and teachers
College Essay Guy Ethan Sawyer is offering a free webinar this month on How to Reduce Bias in Recommendation Letters for counselors, teachers, and others. You can sign up for one of two sessions on Thursday the 6th either from 1:00–2:30 pm ET or 7:00–8:30 pm ET.
Free SAT/ACT score webinar for parents and students
Prep Expert’s Dr. Shaan Patel is offering another free SAT/ACT webinar on 10 secrets to raising standardized test scores and winning big scholarships to top colleges. Parents can sign up for this webinar that starts at 6:00 pm ET on Thursday the 6th.
Friday, October 7
Regular SAT registration deadline
Today is the Regular registration deadline for the November 5 SAT test date.
Sunday, October 9
Start of Fire Prevention Week
Fire safety is important for us all. Spread awareness and Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety from the National Fire Protection Association.
US National Archives via GIPHY
Start of Earth Science Week
Celebrate and promote earth science education this week! The theme for 2022 is “Earth Science for a Sustainable World.”
Monday, October 10
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Today celebrates and honors Native Americans while commemorating their histories and cultures.
- 3 Scholarship Action Steps for Native American Students: Since it’s also Financial Planning Month, encourage Native students to take these steps to help them win more money for college.
Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbors to the North!
World Mental Health Day
Let’s draw attention to the importance of mental health and facilitate conversations with students on how to improve theirs. With this year’s theme of “Making Mental Health & Well-Being a Global Priority” in mind, here are some Great Mental Health Habits for Students to Establish.
Tuesday, October 11
National Coming Out Day
Coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, or however you identify can be hard and scary. Let’s support students together to help them find comfort and confidence in their identities and sharing it with the world!
- Resources and College Search Tips for LGBTQ+ Students: Most colleges offer LGBTQ+ resources that are there to provide support for all students. Learn more about them here to help you recognize colleges that will support students for who they are.
Ada Lovelace Day
Named after the English mathematician and writer, Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM!
Friday, October 14
SAT scores released
Today is the projected release date of the October 1 SAT test date scores. Scores will be sent to colleges within 10 days.
Sunday, October 16
Start of National Chemistry Week
Chemistry is an incredibly important subject students should consider pursuing in college. They can learn more about National Chemistry Week and this year’s theme of Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics through the American Chemical Society.
Thursday, October 20
National Day on Writing
As designated by the National Council of Teachers of English, today celebrates the beauty of writing and all the ways we engage with it in our lives. Today is the perfect day to encourage your students to start (or finish) writing their college application essays!
Saturday, October 22
ACT test date
Today is an ACT test date for students across the country.
Monday, October 24
United Nations Day
Today celebrates the 1948 founding of the United Nations, an organization dedicated to world peace and the protection of human rights.
- Why Model UN Is the Perfect High School Extracurricular: If your students are looking for a fun and impressive activity to put on their college applications, Model UN could be a great option.
Tuesday, October 25
Late SAT registration deadline
Today is the Late registration deadline as well as the deadline for changes and cancellations for the November 5 SAT test date.
Thursday, October 27
Free recommendation letter workshop for admission reps
This second webinar on How to Reduce Bias in Recommendation Letters is specifically for college admission representatives. They can sign up for one of two sessions on Thursday the 27th either from 1:00–2:30 pm ET or 7:00–8:30 pm ET.
Friday, October 28
National Immigrants Day
Immigrants make up a good (and important) percentage of our population, making the US the melting pot country that it is. Acknowledge the day by learning specific tips for the college search for undocumented students.
Monday, October 31
Happy Halloween from the CollegeXpress Team! Share your costumes with us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- A Killer Playlist for the Spookiest Time of Year: Get in the holiday spirit with this awesome Halloween-themed playlist on Spotify.
CollegeXpress Scary Stories Scholarship deadline
In honor of spooky season, students have a chance to win $1,000 with our Scary Stories Scholarship starting October 1. All they have to do is register on CollegeXpress by Monday the 31st and answer this question: What is your favorite scary movie, book, or legend?
Have your students joined the CollegeXpress community yet? Refer them here! They can also check out our Ultimate College Search Guide series on YouTube for quick college planning videos covering all four years of high school!