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Home > Preparing for College > College Prep Timeline

 

College Prep Timeline


 

Use the timeline below as your guide to preparing for college.

In 7th & 8th Grade:

  • Begin thinking about the high school classes that will prepare you for college. Take the most difficult classes you can handle.
  • Ask your parents or teachers to help you develop good study habits.
  • Practice setting and reaching goals.
  • Volunteer in your community.
  • Take interest and skills assessments to help you think about possible career options.
  • Talk with your school counselor and parents about careers that interest you.
  • Create a tentative high school class plan.
  • Enroll in a summer enrichment program.

In 9th & 10th Grade:

  • Take interest and skills assessments to help you explore careers options.
  • Talk with your school counselor about career options and the education required for those careers.
  • Talk with your parents about saving and paying for college.
  • Talk with friends, teachers, counselors and your parents about college.
  • Check if your school requires 10th graders to take the PLAN to prepare for the ACT.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Review your high school class plan. Take the most difficult classes you can handle. Stay focused on your schoolwork.
  • Sign up for classes that will earn college credit during your junior year through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Postsecondary Enrollment Options or College in the Schools.
  • Explore internships and apprenticeships.
  • Enroll in a summer enrichment program.

In 11th Grade:

  • Attend college and financial aid events.
  • Mentor others and have a mentor for yourself.
  • Take the PSAT in the fall to prepare for the SAT, and to identify areas where you need improvement.
  • Consider possible career options and investigate the type of education that is needed.
  • Request materials from schools that interest you and visit their websites.
  • Arrange campus visits to those schools that interest you.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Request admissions and financial aid forms.
  • Sign up for classes that will earn college credit during your senior year through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Postsecondary Enrollment Options or College in the Schools.
  • Register for and take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring.
  • Review your high school class plan. Take the most difficult classes you can handle. Stay focused on your schoolwork. Make sure you are meeting your high school graduation requirements.
  • Enroll in a summer enrichment program.
  • Get a job to earn and save money for college, or explore your skills through an internship or apprenticeship.
  • Research private scholarship options.

In 12th Grade:

  • Stay focused on your schoolwork and take the most difficult classes you can handle. .
  • Take career interest assessments and determine the education needed for careers that interest you.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Volunteer in the community.

September - November

December - February

  • Apply to four or more colleges that interest you. Some may have earlier or later deadlines. (Make copies of each application.)
  • Attend a financial aid event if you haven't already done so. Review a copy of Paying for College.
  • Apply for scholarships offered by the colleges to which you have applied.
  • 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 it.
  • Review you Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy.

March - May

  • Have your final high school transcript sent to the colleges to which you've applied.
  • Choose a college and notify in writing those you don't plan to attend.
  • Send in any required forms or deposits.

Summer

  • Get a job to earn money for college.
  • Review orientation materials from the college you selected.
  • If living on campus, check with the college for a list of what's provided by the school and what the school expects the student to provide.
  • Contact your roommate.