Oh boy - I know so many people whose kids are juniors in high school. The kids are still in junior year mode - working hard, school year winding down, looking forward to the summer, having taken the SATs for the 2nd or 3rd time and not really serious about college yet. Their parents, however, already have that deer in the headlights look in their eyes. Let's not even talk about parents of students who just started college this past fall and the financial situation that created all that extra stress. Yow!
What a difference a year makes. However, it has gone back to the usual stress of where should my child go to school, where will they be accepted, what can I afford, will it be the right fit, etc.
I'm here to tell you that as long as you make those application deadlines, your child will be fine! I have been working with The College of Westchester in White Plains NY for many years. Working in the college "business" for so long really helped me get past the parental anxiety that creeps up on so many folks. Also, I've been through it. One of my daughters received her undergrad degree in May '08 and is now pursuing a masters, and my younger daughter has just finished up her junior year in college, so we know the drill. It can be fun, and good for your relationship, as long as you know that it will all be okay.
College application deadlines truly depend on the school (some have early decision or early application - usually Nov 1 or Nov 15, rolling admissions - they accept application all year, regular application usually Dec 31). Many schools are now offering a test optional policy, which means that they do not require a student to submit SATs or ACTs. Check with the school websites for their policies and deadlines.
And, most importantly, don't sweat it. Your kid is great. You are great. It's all good - really. There is a great school for everyone, and I mean everyone.