College Planning

Posted on 09. Mar, 2012 by in Organize

I’ve pulled together this list from various sources — books, websites, school counselors, my list of things we didn’t do soon enough!  Hopefully this give you a running start, enjoy.

This checklist is split into your high school years.  It’s hard to believe there are items for high school freshman, but you can’t start planning early enough.

High School Freshman

  • map out your HS years, plugging in the recommended courses colleges require: 4yrs English, 3 yrs Math, 3 yrs Science, 3 yrs Social Studies at a minimum
  • consider tutors in subjects you are weak in
  • take lots of different courses, explore and find what you like and what you don’t like
  • not thinking about college — realize that college grads make twice at much money as non-college grads — go that extra mile with your education
  • talk to your parents about saving for college


High School Sophomore

  • it’s not too early to visit college campuses, maybe travel along with older siblings making that decision soon
  • pull out your map of courses and make sure you are still on track
  • consider things about a college for you — such as location, size, admission requirements, housing, academics, and cost
  • talk to your school counselor about career planning and tips for college bound students
  • get a summer job to start paying for all the extras at college


High School Junior

  • keep up your grades
  • take the ACT and SAT in the spring
  • start visiting colleges
  • investigate scholarship opportunities (see and for help)
  • get involved with clubs and activities that interests; everything you explore now helps in making career choices
  • shadow someone that works in a profession that interests you
  • if you are involved in sports, talk to coaches about scholarship options (sports recruiting happens early in junior year)
  • consider taking Advanced Placement exams (AP) for foreign language, math/science, and history/social studies for advanced placement and college credit (talk to your high school AP teacher for details)


High School Senior

  • review your HS courses with your counselor for graduation requirements
  • apply for colleges August – December
  • keep your grades up, scholarship decisions are still be considered thru the end of the year
  • pay attention to financial aid deadlines
  • by November, send your ACT & SAT scores to colleges for early consideration
  • in January, complete your FAFSA application important for college aid and scholarships
  • continuing visiting colleges, even ones you hadn’t considered
  • keep track of your scores, login info, colleges you sent scores/applied/visited
  • by May 1, you must let your college know, usually in the form of a deposit for room & board
  • after graduation, ask your high school to send your transcription to your new college


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