Wednesday, February 08, 2006

College Prep Timeline

High School Freshman

Fall


Map out the classes you’ll need to take for the next four years in preparation for college admissions.
Take the most challenging course of study available.
Join clubs and activities in your area of interest.
Meet with your school’s guidance counselor to discuss courses and extracurricular activities.
Start building relationships with teachers, counselors and activity supervisors. This will help you obtain recommendations for college later.
Select a volunteer organization you'd like to get involved with.
Become familiar with the standardized tests you need to take.
Begin to discuss college costs parents/guardians.
Meet with your school's guidance counselor to discuss plans for summer and next fall.
Apply for summer jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities.

High School Sophomores

Fall

Begin taking on leadership roles in clubs and activities.
Begin thinking about potential colleges to attend.
Sign up for FastWeb’s College Search to find the right school for you.
Register with http://www.fastweb.com/to find scholarship money.
Make an appointment to talk with your guidance counselor.
Strengthen relationships with teachers, counselors and activity advisors. This will help you obtain recommendations for college later.
Become familiar with the standardized tests you need to take.
Attend college fairs and speak to on-campus college representatives.
Research summer programs for college prep.

Spring

Begin to discuss college costs with parents/guardians.
Meet with your school's guidance counselor to discuss plans for summer and next fall.

High School Juniors

Fall

Take the most challenging academic schedule you can.
It shows admissions officers that you're ready for a competitive college environment.
Research prospective colleges. Sign up for FastWeb’s College Search to find the right school for you.
Attend college fairs and speak to on-campus college representatives.
Register, prepare for and take the PSAT/NMSQT.
Begin studying for the SAT or ACT.
Register with http://www.fastweb.com/to find scholarship money.
Take leadership roles in clubs, activities and volunteer organizations.
Begin to consider which teachers, advisors or employers you might use for college recommendations.
Explore financial aid options with your parents/guardians.

February-March

Apply for scholarships.
Visit prospective colleges during spring break.
SAT is offered in March. Get all current school year test dates.
Continue discussing college costs and options with your parents/guardians.
Put together your resume including academic record, extracurricular activities, honors and volunteer work.

April-May

Check academic requirements for your prospective schools. Summer is the best time to fill any gaps.
ACT is offered in April. Get all current school year test dates.
SAT is offered in May. Get all current school year test dates.

June-August

College visits to prospective colleges.
Be sure to talk with current students about the school.
Athletes should register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse at the end of the academic year.
Request applications and brochures from your top colleges.
Get started on college application essays writing sample drafts.
Take some time out to prepare for your standardized tests.

High School Seniors

June – August (after Junior Year)

Need to tour the colleges you are interested in attending.
Use following URL to perform college searches:
http://click.collegeboard.com/8315050.18487.10831166.420
You may also go to US News Best College at:
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/cohome.htm

September

Request applications and brochures from your target colleges.
Sign up for FastWeb's. The website is http://www.fastweb.com/ .
Don’t forget to get the application from your local college.
Create a folders and a filing system for your target schools.
Make a list of application requirements (essays, transcripts, ect).
Note the application deadline on each file folder.
Record the local and/or 800 number for each school.
Schedule college interviews with prospective schools.
Set up a budget for college application costs – they can add up.
Check to see if you can get waivers on your application fees.
Request letters of recommendation with a 2-week notice.
Make sure that the letters are grammatically correct.
Make sure letters are positive.
Work on application essays.
Make sure that you are unique and different.
Create your business cards to be handout.
Make sure that you include your college choices on your ACT/SAT.
Find and apply for as many scholarships as you can.

October

Talk to your parents about college cost.
Decide how much you can afford.
Explore your options for funding.
Request transcripts sent to your target schools.
SAT is offered in October. ACT is offered in October.
ACT URL/website is:
http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/index.html
SAT URL/website info is:
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/calenfees.html

November

If you're applying Early Action or Early Decision, get your application in
this month.
Keep copies of all applications and forms sent to colleges.
Request test scores sent to colleges.
Make sure that everything that is required in the application/scholarship
packet has been done and sent off.

December

Work on college applications!
SAT is offered in December. ACT is offered in December.

January

File or apply for FAFSA after January 1.
Check with your prospective colleges about additional financial aid
application forms and requirements.
Send mid-year reports to colleges, if necessary.
Verify that colleges have received your applications.
Send thank-you notes to your recommendation sources.

February

Review the SAR (Student Aid Report) to make sure it is
correct.

March-April

Check the mail for admissions letters and financial aid awards.
Compare your admissions offers. Ask your guidance counselor to help
you weigh your options.
Contact financial aid office if you have any special financial aid
circumstances.
If waitlisted, notify the admissions office if you're still interested.
Plan your summer internship, job or program.

May

Notify (in writing) the schools you have decided not to attend.
Make sure you've received the necessary forms for housing, health
insurance, financial aid, etc.
Pursue additional student loan options.
Notify colleges of any private scholarship awards.

June-August

Have your final transcripts sent to your new school.
Research banking options near your college.
Double-check any final deadlines for housing, financial aid, etc.
Set up a projected first-year college budget.

2 comments:

Patricia Johnson said...

This is Great-Thank You!

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