College Planning Timeline

  • It is in your best interest to plan early for the college admission process. Consult with your school counselor once a year at a minimum to ensure that you are on track for graduation and admissions to the college/university of your choice. The following are some college planning timeline suggestions by grade level.

  • 9th Grade

    Meet your school counselor.

    Create a program of study that best aligns to your interests, skills and aptitude.

    Earn the best grades that you can.

    Get involved! Join a club or sport.

    Take PSAT 9.

    Register for 10th grade courses.

    Make summer count by volunteering or participating in a service project. Make up any failed courses in summer school.

  • 10th Grade

    Consult with your school counselor to ensure your schedule meets your academic needs and interests. If interested in a military academy, start discussing your interest now.

    Update your program of study and ICAP while you continue to earn the best grades that you can.

    Stay involved and grow. Volunteer or participate in a service project.

    Take the PSAT 10 

    Attend college fairs. Tour college campuses. Start conversations about financing your college education.

    Make summer count by working, volunteering or making up any failed courses in summer school.

  • 11th Grade

    Consult with your school counselor to ensure your schedule meets your academic needs and interests. In the spring of junior year discuss your ideas about careers and/or college options with your school counselor and family.

    Continue to increase the rigor of your courses and earn the best grades that you can.

    Learn about majors, colleges and programs that interest you by using Naviance Student.

    For athletes, consider registering for the NCAA clearing house or other smaller athletic clearing centers like NAIA.

    Take on a leadership position in a club or sport that you are passionate about.

    Take the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, ACT and SAT subject tests if required.

    Attend college fairs, visit campuses, estimate financial need, research and organize scholarships that you plan to apply for.

    Attend a junior conference with your parent(s)/guardian(s)/school counselor.

    Consider asking teachers for letters of recommendation for college admission prior to going on summer break.

    Make summer count- work, save, volunteer or make up any failed courses in summer school.

  • 12th Grade

    Meet with your school counselor to review your post-secondary plan.

    Stay organized and prepared to meet deadline.

    Create a FAFSA ID.

    Continue earning the best grades that you can.

    Begin applying to college in the fall and request that your transcripts and letters of recommendation are sent to schools of your choice. Follow up with teachers about letters of recommendation.

    Apply for scholarships, FAFSA and/or CSS profile in October.

    Take your leadership to the next level, become president of your club or sports team.

    Take any additional college admission exams early in your senior year.

    If admission interviews are required, schedule them early.

    After admission decisions are made, make a plan to visit your top 2-3 schools before making a final decision.

    Share your admission decisions with your school counselor and keep track of scholarships that you earn.

    Stay active with colleges/universities if you are waitlisted.

    Commit to your school of choice on or before May 1st.

    Graduate from high school!

    Make summer count- work and save for college.

    Consult the academic calendar of your college and plan your travel and move-in plans accordingly.

Last Modified on April 7, 2022