Whether you’re a student or counselor, everyone loves something about fall! ’Tis the season for cozy sweaters, warm drinks, apple picking, Halloween costumes, and more. But while there’s a lot of fun to be had, there’s also a lot of exciting life changes on the horizon that students still need to plan for. Work these college planning to-do’s into your fall plans and help your students set themselves up for success as we head toward the end of the calendar year.
General monthly planning
- 9th grade: 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.
- 10th grade: Sophomores should think about and/or schedule a time to take the PSAT, especially since the SAT is going digital soon and test-takers will need to adapt their test strategies accordingly.
- 11th grade: If they haven’t already, now is a great time for juniors to start building their college lists. This doesn’t mean they have to conduct all their research now, but thinking ahead and creating a college search spreadsheet will set them up for success.
- 12th grade: College planning is getting real for seniors. They should be arranging letters of recommendation, learning about the upcoming FAFSA changes, refining their college essays, and searching for more scholarships.
Month-long observances and celebrations
- National Bullying Prevention Month: Promote the importance of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion by sharing how students can be advocates for their peers.
- 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.
- Financial Planning Month: Despite the FAFSA not opening this month, it’s still 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 great 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 (ending October 15), Polish-American Heritage Month, Filipino-American History Month, Italian-American Heritage & Culture Month, German-American Heritage Month
Sunday, October 1
FAFSA opening day delayed
Today is normally the first day the FAFSA is available for the upcoming school year, but with some upcoming changes, the date has been pushed to December 2023. Keep an eye on our Articles and Advice page for updates!
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!
- How to Get Organized and Manage Your Time as a High School Student: If some of your students are struggling, these simple tips can help them get organized, complete their homework efficiently, and manage their time better in high school.
World Vegetarian Day
Today’s the day to celebrate and educate others on the vegetarian way of life. If your students are looking for a diet or lifestyle change, they may be interested in The Ultimate Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Good Eating in College.
International Coffee Day
It’s no secret that a lot of students (and counselors) love coffee. Celebrate the beverage that keeps us going by sharing 10 of the Best Colleges and Universities for Coffee Lovers.
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 Sunday 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 October 1.
Monday, October 2
Start of Customer Service Week
This week celebrates the important role customer service workers play in our daily lives. Drop a worker some extra kindness (and maybe an extra tip) this week!
ACT live online trial class
The test prep platform Kaplan is offering two consecutive days of ACT free trial courses, with the first taking place from 7:00–9:00 pm ET on Monday the 2nd.
Tuesday, October 3
Paper SAT live online trial class
Kaplan is also hosting a free trial course this month to start prepping for the paper-based SAT before it goes digital. Students can sign up for this session on Tuesday the 3rd from 7:30–9:30 pm ET.
ACT live online trial class
If they miss Kaplan’s first session, students can sign up the next day for an ACT free trial course from 8:30–10:30 pm ET.
Wednesday, October 4
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!
Thursday, 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.
Regular SAT registration deadline
Today is the regular registration deadline for the November 4 SAT test date.
UC Personal Insight Questions boot camp
The College Essay Guy is hosting two days of webinars on How to Write the UC Personal Insight Questions for students planning to apply to schools in the University of California system. Covering everything they need to know about following UC’s specific essay requirements, sessions will run from 7:00–9:00 pm ET on October 5 and 12. These courses aren’t free, but students can submit a pay-what-you-can request if needed.
Friday, October 6
ACT late registration deadline
Today is the late registration deadline for the October 28 ACT test date (a late fee will apply).
Saturday, October 7
SAT test date
Today is an SAT test date for students across the country.
Sunday, October 8
Start of Fire Prevention Week
Fire safety is important for us all, especially with the Earth’s changing weather patterns. Spread awareness and Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety from the National Fire Protection Association.
Start of Earth Science Week
Celebrate and promote Earth Science education this week! The theme for 2023 is “Geoscience Innovating for Earth and People.”
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 Sunday the 8th from 7:00–8:00 pm ET.
Monday, October 9
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Today celebrates and honors Native Americans while commemorating their histories and cultures.
- College Search Q&A: Partnership With Native Americans: Many Native students think college isn't an option for them. Learn how PWNA and the American Indian Education Fund are helping those students succeed.
Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbors to the North!
Tuesday, October 10
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 “Mental health is a universal human right” in mind, here are some Great Mental Health Habits for Students to Establish.
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!
Wednesday, 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 to provide support for all students. Learn more about them to help you recognize and recommend colleges that will support students for who they are.
Sunday, October 15
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 “The Healing Power of Chemistry” through the American Chemical Society.
Wednesday, October 18
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 3:00 pm ET on Wednesday the 18th.
Friday, October 20
SAT registration deadline for international students
Today is the deadline for international student registration, changes, and cancellations for the November 4 SAT test date.
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. It’s the perfect day to encourage your students to start (or finish) writing their college application essays!
Sunday, October 22
College application webinar
For students needing more in-depth guidance on college apps, they can sign up for Moon Prep’s Crash Course: A Step-by-Step Guide for Applying to College taking place on Sunday the 22nd from 7:00–8:00 pm ET.
Tuesday, 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.
SAT late registration deadline
Today is the domestic student deadline for changes, cancellations, and late registration for the November 4 SAT test date.
Saturday, October 28
ACT test date
Today is an ACT test date at centers across the country.
National Immigrants Day
Immigrants make up an 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 30
Supplemental essays webinar
This free recorded webinar from Moon Prep will walk students through a Crash Course on How to Write Supplemental Essays for college admission. It will be available starting October 30 from 7:00–8:00 pm ET.
Tuesday, October 31
Happy Halloween from the CollegeXpress Team!
- Campus Ghost Stories: Beware of These School Spirits!: Every university should have a good campus ghost. Here are a few scary stories from real college students to get you in the Halloween spirit!
CollegeXpress Candy Corn Contest deadline
This month’s easy scholarship opportunity is a bit of a controversial one! Starting October 1, students can sign up for a free CX account (or log back in) and choose a definitive side: Is candy corn tasty or trash? They have until midnight on Halloween night to enter this $1,000 contest!
Have your students joined the CollegeXpress community yet? Refer them here! You’ll be entered to win our $500 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.