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College Planning Calendar: October 2023

Nothing is spookier than not being ready for college! Use our October College Planning Calendar to beat the admission season scaries with your students.

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

Month-long observances and celebrations

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!

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.

Gif of paper cup of coffee with words need coffee on it
@lehighu via GIPHY

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!

Gif of moose in river shaking water off antlers
@bbcearth via GIPHY

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.

Gif of smoke detector with words: smoke detectors save lives, replace their batteries
@AllBetter via GIPHY

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.

Canadian Thanksgiving

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.

Gif of brain made of diverse people with words mental health for all around it
@IntoAction via GIPHY

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! 

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!

Gif in paint style of hand typing on computer with coffee steaming to side
@carlottanotaro via GIPHY

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.

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!

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!

Gif of little ghost eating candy corn, enjoying and then hating it
@giphystudio2016 via GIPHY

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.

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College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Ashland University

Ashland, OH

Bryant University

Smithfield, RI

Saint John's University

Collegeville, MN

Hofstra University

Hempstead, NY