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College Planning Guide

Preparing Yourself For College: A Four Year Plan

 

Senior Year Preparation

High school is almost a distant memory.  Where are you going to be next fall?

Create a:

  • List of colleges that you hope to apply to
  • Calendar with application and scholarship deadlines
  • Checklist of application materials needed for each college
  • Resume (this is great to include with your admission and scholarship applications)

Plan on:

  • Taking a challenging class schedule throughout the year
  • Applying to your top college choices
  • Attending a college fair in your area
  • Meeting with admission representatives at your high school
  • Visiting (or revisiting) college campuses
  • Taking (or retaking) the SAT or ACT
  • Submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January if you are interested in receiving need-based financial aid

Talk with:

  • Your parents, friends, neighbors and pretty much any one else you can think of
  • Teachers, counselors and coaches at your high school
  • Admission representatives and current students at colleges you are interested in
  • College faculty in departments you are interested in
  • Athletic coaches at colleges that have teams you’re hoping to join

Junior Year Preparation

College seems like a long way away, but now is the perfect time to begin your search.

Create a:

  • List of characteristics you want in a college (big school, in the city, biology major, soccer program, etc).  This will help you focus your college search to those you are most interested in.
  • List of colleges you are not receiving information from and sign up for their mailing list

Plan on:

  • Taking challenging courses throughout the year
  • Taking the PSAT
  • Attending college fairs in your area
  • Visiting with admission representatives at your high school
  • Receiving lots of mailings from colleges
  • Visiting college campuses you are interested in
  • Perfecting your time management skills

Sophomore Year Preparation

There are a couple of things you can do this year to help prepare for your college search.

Create a:

  • List of school or community groups that you hope to be a part of and join in
  • Class schedule that is challenging

Plan on:

  • Attending a college fair in your area
  • Receiving brochures and mailings from colleges and universities
  • Strengthening your time management skills

Freshman Year Preparation

Although college is still four years away, you can begin planning now.  Hopefully being prepared will help your college search process run smoothly,

Plan on:

  • Taking college preparatory courses.  Each year, take progressively more challenging classes to help you prepare for the rigors of college academics.
  • Having a course schedule that includes 4 years of English and math, 3 to 4 years of natural science, 2 to 4 years of social science and foreign language by graduation.
  • Getting involved with extracurricular activities and try to strike a balance between your school work, activities and time with family and friends.
  • Maintaining good grades and attendance.  Get into the habit of setting aside study time each day for homework and reading.