University Applications by Month
Step by step to reach your goal
BIS students have many resources to research and prepare their university applications. They also receive much guidance in this process, starting in Grade 6 and intensifying as they approach and enter the Diploma Years.
To make this process more transparent and easy to understand, our Universities and Careers Advisor has broken the milestones down into monthly milestones.
The guide below provides an overview of tasks and deadlines relevant to the preparation and application to universities/colleges in various countries. Countries particularly popular with our students are Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While this list covers the main countries where our students choose to study, the list is not exhaustive and goes over time.
· Register for the PSAT test if you would like to practice for the SAT test or qualify for the national scholarship program.
· It’s never too early to start researching your university options and develop a long list of possible universities, taking into account your budget, location, course structure etc. Attend university open days, speak to university representatives, start to learn more about the schools that interest you.
· It's not too early to work hard and develop good study habits. Your grade 11 grades count toward university admission and scholarships.
· Take the PSAT test this month if you have registered.
· If you wish to apply for an athletic scholarship at a US university, contact the NCAA to double-check you meet their requirements, complete an online recruitment form to register your interest, and prepare your sports resume.
· Your University Advisor will invite you to a career meeting to discuss your higher education/transition plans.
· For Art & Design courses, research the portfolio requirements and start creating your portfolio and audition materials.
· If you are required to take the SAT to support your university applications, consider signing up for the March test (please note: as of May/June 2021 the College Board has permanently cancelled SAT Subject Tests and the essay).
· If you are required to take the SAT to support your university applications, consider signing up for the May test. This is the last chance in grade 11 to take the test.
· First round application opens for grade 11 students who wish to apply to Bocconi University, Italy (deadline in June). Please note that the Bocconi online test or the SAT/ACT test needs to be completed to support the application.
· Start working on the ‘All About Me’ and ‘Roles & Responsibilities’ forms ready to return to the University Advisor after the break.
· Register an account with UCAS if you are applying to universities in the United Kingdom.
· Test registration for UCAT opens this month (for medical courses in the UK).
· Prepare to narrow down on your university options over the summer break.
· Hopefully you have researched possible universities and courses during your summer break. Now work on finalising your list of universities. Be sure you list “safety” universities, as well as “probable” and “reach” universities. Review university applications and informational materials. Organise materials into separate files by the university. Consider at least five university options.
· You can connect with your chosen universities through social media, just ‘like’ their Facebook page or “follow” them on Instagram. It’s a great way to receive information.
· Contact your University and Careers Advisor for any assistance you may need. Your advisor plays a big role in helping you get into higher education. Meet to talk about your university plans and review your transcript and other academic documents.
· Start listing the universities you are considering and definitely applying to in MaiaLearning. Keeping MaiaLearning updated is very important for communication between you, the University and Careers Advisor and the Universities.
· If you plan to apply through an early decision or early action program i.e. medicine, veterinary or dentistry in the UK, get started on your applications right away. Deadlines for early applications begin in October.
· Begin working on your personal statement/motivation letter/college essays and request your other academic documents i.e. teacher recommendation letters. You will need to complete the All About Me and the Roles & Responsibilities forms. You started these forms at the end of grade 11.
· You can begin preparing your UCAS (UK universities) profile using the UCAS online system from June (in grade 11) onward. You can apply for a maximum of five courses. Applications can be submitted from October onwards.
· Start working on your Common Application (US Universities) if you haven’t done so as yet.· If you haven’t completed your standardised test i.e TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT UCAT, LNAT etc. you need to register for the tests (registration dates are available online). Registration is online via the respective websites.
· Register for BMAT and Cambridge/Oxford Entrance exams at the careers office, deadline 30th September. These exams are offered in-school.
· Begin to consider and request your teacher recommendation letters to support your US applications. This can only be done after the All About Me form has been completed.
· OUAC application portal (for universities in the Ontario Province, Canada) opens, along with the portal for universities in the Alberta Province (Apply Alberta) Universities in other Provinces usually have direct applications.
· Deadline (15th) for receipt at UCAS of applications to the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, and all with choices for courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine/science.
· The Studielink portal (for Dutch university applications) will open on 1st October. Register a Studielink account if you are applying to Dutch universities.
· Request teacher recommendation letters if you haven’t done so as yet by completing the All About Me form and returning to your University and Careers Advisor.
· Discuss your options with the University and Careers Advisor if you are still not sure.
· If you take the SAT or SAT subject tests or TOEFL/IELTS this month, make sure your scores are sent to each of your universities/colleges.
· Have your first draft of your personal statement/motivation letter/college essay/resume ready for proofreading. These are important documents when universities are assessing your ability and potential, not just your examination performance. Further information has been provided separately about writing these documents.
· Extended essay and TOK predicted grades will be made available.
· Continue to attend university open days.
· There is a 1st and 15th November deadline for many of the early decision and early action applications to U.S. universities. Make sure these are submitted on time.
· Many Australian universities have deadlines during November and December for February entry.
· The CAO application portal (for application to universities in the Republic of Ireland) will open on the 5th of November.
· The University of California (all campuses) has an application deadline of 30th November. All other US universities follow closely behind this deadline.
· BMAT and Oxford/Cambridge Admission testing (3 Nov this year).
· If applying to Humanitas University (Italy) for medicine, register for the HUMAT medical test.
· Work hard at completing your personal statements and college essays. They need to be proofread and rigorously checked for mistakes and grammar corrections.
· Follow up to ensure that letters of recommendations are sent on time to meet your deadlines.
· Send applications as early as possible for universities/colleges with rolling deadlines (that is, admission decisions are made as applications are received). Start a file for each of the universities you have applied to.
· Many universities required electronic documents to be uploaded as part of the online application
. Make sure you arrange copies of the documents to be sent to you.
· Continue to attend university open days.
· Try to wrap up university and college applications before the winter break.
· Your personal statement/college essays need to be finalised this month.
· If you take the SAT or SAT subject tests or TOEFL/IELTS this month, make sure your scores are sent to each of the universities/colleges you have applied to.
· Contact the financial aid office at the universities/colleges on your list to ascertain what financial aid forms they require. Also, investigate scholarship application opportunities.
· Some U.S. universities/colleges have their general admission deadlines this month.
· If you wish to study medicine in the Republic of Ireland, registration is open for the HPAT test.
· Continue to perform well in school and don’t get complacent; universities/colleges want to see strong second semester grades.
· UCAS deadline (26th) for all courses except those listed with 15th October deadline and art and design courses with 24th March deadline.
· Numerous Fixus deadline for Dutch universities (15th).
· Many European universities have a 15th January deadline.
· Some US universities/colleges have their general admission deadlines this month.
· There are January deadlines for some Canadian universities (BC and Toronto).
· Students applying for medicine will start to receive offers for interviews. Arrange interview coaching with your University and Careers Advisor.
· Deadline for HPAT and TMS test registration.
· The CAO application (universities within the Republic of Ireland) closes on the 1st.
· Have your University and Careers Advisor send your first-semester grades to universities/colleges that require a midyear grade report (particularly U.S. and Dutch universities).
· Contact the universities/colleges that you have applied to and confirm that all necessary application documents have been received.
· There are February deadlines for Canadian and U.S. universities.
· UCAS: If you are eligible to use Extra, you can refer yourself to another choice.
· 24th March deadline for the receipt of applications at UCAS for art and design courses except those listed with 15th January deadline.
· 15th March deadline for bachelor degrees in Denmark.
· Read carefully any admission decisions that arrive this month; some may require action on your part.
· There are some March deadlines for Canadian and U.S. universities.
· Keep studying as universities want to see strong semester two grades.
· Round two applications for Sweden open (16th). Applying to round one application in Sweden is only an option if you have already obtained your IB Diploma.
· Dutch universities will release the admission decision for Numerus Fixus programs.
· Deadline for many universities in the Netherlands (no restricted courses), Czech Republic and France.
· Start pre-enrollment for Italian public universities by registering at Universitaly. Private universities may have a separate process and their own deadlines. Please check carefully.
· Read carefully any admissions decision and compare the financial aid award letters that arrive this month, some may require action on your part.
· Make a final decision and pay the deposit to the university/college you have selected before the 1 May enrolment deadline (for most colleges).
· Notify each of the universities/colleges that have offered you placements that you do not wish to attend. This will ensure that the placement can be offered to other students.
· If you’re on a waiting list, contact the admissions office and let them know of your continued interest in the university/college. Update them on your spring semester grades and activities.
· Inform your University and Careers Advisor of your acceptances.
· Australian and New Zealand applications open this month.
· German national students should submit their application for IB Diploma Certificate Recognition Düsseldorf district government office (Bezirksregierung).
· Prepare for your IB/BIS exams.
· UCAS – If you have received all your decisions by 31st March, you will need to reply to any offers by 8th May. If you do not reply, UCAS will decline your offers on your behalf.
· UCAS – If you applied by 15th January and are waiting for decisions, universities and colleges need to make their decisions by this date. If they don’t, UCAS will make any outstanding choices unsuccessful on the universities behalf.
· Deadline for many universities in the Netherlands (non-restricted courses).
· If you have received a university offer and have accepted the offer, you need to start your student visa application. Please visit the respective embassies. Also, look at possible accommodation options.
· Many universities in France and Hungary have deadlines this month.
· UCAS – If you have received all decisions from your universities/colleges by 9th May, you will need to reply to any offers by 6th June (unless you are applying through Extra). If you do not reply, UCAS will decline your offers on your behalf.
· UCAS – Any applications received after 30th June will be entered into Clearing.· Applications open in Austria (varies by the university).
· Deadline for Belgium universities for EU citizens.
· Before you leave school, make arrangements with your University and Careers Advisor to send your final transcript to the US universities.
· 30th September is the last date UCAS will receive applications for courses starting in the same year.
· Some embassies run pre-departure student orientation workshops. Book into the orientation workshops this month.
· Sign up this month for university first-year orientation week.
· Make sure you complete your enrollment into university and choose the subjects that you wish to study in your first year. This is all done online through the university portals.
· Many Spanish universities have deadlines this month. Apply via UNEDasiss for public universities.