What to expect in 12th Grade

August 1:

The Common Application and UC applications become live on this day. Please open accounts and begin completing applications.

Early September:

We have a meeting with all 12th grade students to discuss college application deadlines, instruct students on asking teachers for recommendations, work with them on finalizing a college list to which students will ultimately apply, discuss early application activity, and more. We ask for the return of our college counseling questionnaire. We ask students to provide us essays for review. We continue with additional individual meetings with students and families.  We go over both the Common Application and UC application.


We host an international college fair through the Council of International Schools, with more than 70 college representatives in attendance.


We have nearly 80 college representatives visit our 12th graders on our campus during the day. We also host many evening and weekend programs.


Students use the October SAT date to take the test again. We review all application materials for those students applying early with November 1 or November 15 deadlines. We are available during Fall Break for additional help.

October 15:

This is the deadline to apply to Oxford, Cambridge, medical and veterinary schools in the UK, as well as to apply with an arts supplement to Stanford.


We write detailed and powerful letters of recommendation for each 12th grader and review all teacher letters of recommendation. We ensure that our school documents are valuable advocacy pieces for each 12th grader. We coordinate every part of the application process, and we send documents, including letters, required forms, and transcripts in support of the nearly 1,500 total applications our 12th graders submit each year. We continue to review and revise essays and other parts of the application for each 12th grader. We also help with specialized applications, including art portfolios and music audition pieces.

NovEMBER 1 OR 15:

If a student is applying to a private university early, the student will have a November 1 or 15 application deadline. Student financial aid documents must also be submitted by this deadline. Students will sometimes use the November SAT testing date.

November 1-30:

We offer intensive workshops to provide one-on-one help with the UC application. We review every page of each student’s UC application. The UC application must be submitted during the month of November.  We continue to advise students, review essays, answer financial aid questions, and more, through each and every part of the application process.


The last SAT testing date available for 12th graders.

January 1:

This is the major college application deadline for students applying to private colleges and universities in the United States.

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) becomes available January 1.

January 15:

This is the major deadline for applications to universities in the UK, Canada, and some private colleges and universities in the US.

March 2:

The Cal Grant GPA verification form must be submitted by March 2.


Students receive decisions from colleges and universities. We keep track of this information, and we advise students on their options.

April 15:

All students will receive decisions from all colleges and universities by this date.

May 1:

National deposit deadline. Students must choose which university to attend by this date.


Notes:  Our timeline of activities is similar to the timelines at other prestigious independent schools in the United States, including our peer schools in the Bay Area. January of 11th grade is the perfect time developmentally for the student to understand and to participate in the college application process. Since the student is the heart of the process, the student needs to be ready to understand and to participate in that process.