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College Timelines

Year by Year College Planning Guide

FRESHMEN- Click here for 9th Grade Timeline

•  Get involved in activities that interest you.  Make sure you keep a written log of your activities, honors/awards, and community service.

•  Attend your school’s annual college fair.

•  Visit colleges if you are in a new area.

SOPHOMORES- Click here for 10th Grade Timeline

•  Continue your involvement with extracurricular activities.  Try to become a leader in at least one of the activities.

•  Review course selection with your Counselor.

•  Do well in your classes! 

•  Study for the PSAT.

•  Take the PSAT and review results with your counselor.  Develop a plan for studying for the SATs/ACTs.

•  Research opportunities for summer programs (community college courses, internships, volunteer opportunities).

•  Visit colleges over the summer or while on breaks.

•       Complete self-assessments and college match assessments to determine what you are looking for in a college.

•  Attend college fairs.

JUNIORS- Click here for 11th-12th Grade Timeline

•  Make sure you are taking as rigorous of a course load as you can handle and do well in your classes.

•  Continue with extracurricular activities and leadership experience.

•  Complete PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).

  • Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.  Winners are selected from the approximately 15,000 finalists. National Merit

•  Study for standardized tests.

•  Take AP exams if applicable.

•  Visit colleges and begin your college list.

•  Complete SAT/ACT/SAT Subject exams.

•  Summer leading into Senior year – work on Applications/Personal Statements

SENIORS- Click here for additional 12th Grade Timeline

•  Finalize list of colleges and visit your top choice schools.

•  Research and apply for scholarships.

•  Continue your involvement in extra curricular activities.

•  Research admission requirements for schools and deadlines.  Create a timeline for yourself so that you don’t miss any deadlines.

•  Decide if you are going to do early action or early decision for any schools.

•  Retake the SATs/ACTs if applicable.

•  Complete the FAFSA starting October 1.

•  After receiving acceptances, attend preview days if campuses are holding them.

•  Mail in your Intent to Register and deposit.


College Planning Timelines