College Prep Timeline

College Prep Planning, Grades 9-12

Grades 9-10
  • Take interest inventory with Guidance Direct Interest based program. Research careers of interest.
  • Annual review with School Counselor.
  • Talk with parents about saving and paying for college.
  • Talk with friends, teachers, relatives, school counselor and your parents about college.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities within your school and community.
  • Take the most difficult classes you can manage. Stay focused on your school work.
  • Sign up for classes that will earn college credit during your junior and senior year, through UHS (University in the High School) and AP (Advanced Placement).
  • Explore internships and apprenticeships if possible.
  • Look for a summer job or volunteer in your community.
  • Visit a college with your 10th grade class. Organized by School Counselor.
  • Attend College Awareness Week in January.
Grade 11
  • Attend College Info Day with School Counselor in October.
  • Take the PSAT in October.
  • Continue researching careers with Guidance Direct Internet based program.
  • Research colleges that offer the major(s) you are interested in. Visit their websites.
  • Visit a college with your 11th-grade class organized by School Counselor.
  • Visit colleges of personal interest with your parents. Arrange visits with Admissions Office. Take notes while visiting.
  • Annual review with School Counselor. Parent participation is strongly recommended.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Sign up for classes that will earn college credit during your senior year through UHS and AP.
  • Register for and take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring.
  • Take the most difficult classes you can manage.· Stay focused on your schoolwork. Make sure you are meeting your high school graduation requirements.
  • Explore internships and apprenticeships if possible.
  • Look for a summer job to earn and have money for college.
  • Start researching scholarships. See your School Counselor for websites. The Guidance Direct Program also has a scholarship search component.
Grade 12
  • Attend College Info Day in October with School Counselor.
  • Stay focused on your school work and take the most challenging classes you can manage.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Volunteer at your school or in the community.

September- November

  • Arrange campus visits with your parents to schools that interest you. It’s OK to visit more than once. Take notes while you are there. What you like, what you don’t like.
  • Annual review with the school counselor. Parent participation is strongly recommended.
  • Select the college to which you will apply. Make a list of deadlines for each college.
  • Create a resume’ of your academic, athletic, clubs, and work activities, as well as other achievements and community service. Prepare a portfolio if you are interested in the arts.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors and others who can comment on your abilities. Make your request at least 2 weeks before you need the recommendation.
  • Attend Financial Aid night in early December, along with your parents.

December- February

  • Apply to 3-5 colleges that interest you. Pay attention to deadlines. Print copies of your applications for your records.
  • Attend Financial Aid Night in early December arranged by the School Counselor.
  • Apply for scholarships. Websites are in the Guidance Office. Also many scholarships are given to seniors in homeroom and the senior social studies classes throughout the school year.
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1. You and your parents will need the previous year’s income tax information to complete the FAFSA.
  • Review the Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy. Make corrections if required.

March- June

  • Have your final high school transcript sent to the colleges to which you have applied.
  • Choose a college to attend and notify in writing or e-mail those you do not plan to attend.
  • Send in your required forms and deposits. Pay attention to details.


  • Get a job to earn money for college.
  • Review orientation materials from the college you selected.
  • If living in a dorm, get a list of what the college provides and what the college expects the students to provide.
  • Contact your roommate, so you can be acquainted before the first day on campus.

See the School Counselor if you have questions about any of the College Prep lists.