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High School Senior Year
- Begin narrowing your college choices. Try to pick 3-5 schools that best meet your educational needs.
- Start working on applications for these institutions.
- Make a list of all the admissions, financial aid, and testing deadlines that you will need to meet.
- Take the ACT and/or SAT again (if necessary).
- Talk to your teachers and counselors about any necessary letters of recommendation.
- Attend a college fair and visit with college representatives when they attend your school. Invite your parents to join you.
- Schedule campus visits at the colleges in which you are most interested. Try to visit on a weekday when classes are in session. Also, many colleges host open houses that are designed to provide prospective students and parents with information – attend these if possible. Finalize and submit applications for admission to your top college choices.
- Obtain a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or complete a FAFSA online. Be sure to include the codes for the colleges you are considering.
- Evaluate scholarship and financial aid information offered by colleges.
- Make your final decision based on criteria you feel are important to you and your educational needs.
- Return necessary forms to the college you will attend, e.g., housing contracts, medical forms, admission deposits, residence hall/roommate selection forms. Notify your guidance counselor and all schools to which you have applied of your final decision.
- After you have made your decision on the college you will attend notify other colleges that you will not attend their institution.
High School Junior Year
- Continue with challenging course work and keep working hard to get good grades. Take the PSAT. Some important scholarships are based on this test. (Be sure to talk to your guidance counselor about signing up for this test early in the fall).
- Stay active and involved in your school and community.
- Start researching colleges online and by talking with their representatives and alumni.
- Contact graduates of your high school who attend the colleges you're considering. Ask for their impressions of the colleges.
- Attend another college fair to find out more about different college options.
- Start searching for scholarships.
- Take the ACT and/or the SAT in April or June. Talk to your counselor about registering for these tests.
- Review with your counselor your course schedule for your senior year to make sure you have or will have taken courses required by the colleges you are considering.
- Write, email or call colleges for applications, or check to see if the colleges have online applications.
- Begin visiting colleges. You will want to visit as many of the colleges you are seriously considering as possible.
- Decide whether you will take the ACT and/or SAT again and register for the tests if need be.
- Take Advanced Placement (AP) tests if you qualify.
High School Sophomore Year
- Continue taking academic prep courses in necessary subjects and keep your grades up.
- Keep up with your extracurricular activities and remain involved in your school and community.
- Start keeping track of your activities and honors – it can be hard to remember everything you’ve accomplished if you don’t write it down now!
- Attend a college fair at your high school or in your area.
- Begin preparations for the PSAT, ACT, and SAT test. Check your library for books that will help you prepare.
High School Ninth Grade
- Tell your guidance counselor and teachers that you plan to attend a four-year college or university.
- Plan your course schedule carefully! Be sure to take four years of English, three or four years of math, two to three years of social sciences, three to four years of natural sciences, and two years of a foreign language.
- Get involved in your school and your community.
- Work hard to earn good grades.