Step 1: Talk to your school counselor and teachers.
Tell them you are considering college and talk about the following:
- Establishing your college preparatory classes. Your schedule should have at least four college preparatory classes per year, including at least:
- 4 years of English
- 3 years of math (through Algebra II or trigonometry)
- 2 years of foreign language
- 2 years of natural science
- 2 years of history/social studies
- 1 year of art
- 1 year of electives from the above list
- Using a planner to keep track of your courses and grades
- Enrolling in algebra or geometry classes and a foreign language for both semesters (most colleges have math and foreign language requirements)
Step 2: Create a Profile in ScholarSwag of the following documents and notes:
- Copies of report cards
- List of recognition, awards, and honors
- List of school and community activities in which you are involved, including both paid and volunteer work, and descriptions of what you do
Step 3: Get involved in other activities you enjoy (such as sports, performing arts, volunteer work )
Step 4: Explore different types of colleges on ScholarSwag’s My College Navigator
Step 5: Find how to save for college and resources available to pay for college from ScholarSwag’s Pay for College.
Step 1: Talk to your school counselor and teachers
about the following:
- High school curriculum needed to satisfy college entry requirements
- Advanced Placement courses:
- What courses are available
- Eligibility requirements
- How to enroll in your junior year
Step 2: Update your “College Profile”, or start one if you have not already. (See 9th grade above)
Step 3: Continue other activities and participation in academic enrichment programs, summer workshops, and camps with specialty focuses such as music, arts, science, etc. – these will help in the college admissions process
Step 4: Take the PSAT in October. The scores will not count for National Merit Scholar consideration in your sophomore year, but it is valuable practice.
Step 5: Register, in April, for the SAT II for any subjects you will be completing before June and take the SAT II in June.
Step 6: Explore different types of colleges on ScholarSwag’s My College Navigator
Step 7: Find how to save for college and resources available to pay for college from ScholarSwag’s Pay for College.
Talk to your school counselor and teachers about the following:
- Enrolling in Advanced Placement classes
- Scheduling to take the PSAT, SAT I and II, ACT, and AP exams
- Signing up and preparing for the exams from ScholarSwag’s Take the Test.
- Take a career assessment on the web or at your school’s career center
- Asking for a preview of your academic record to determine what gaps or weaknesses exists
Step 2: September: Register for the PSAT exam offered in October. Remember that when you take the PSAT in your junior year, the scores will count towards the National Achievement Program.
Step 3: October:
- Take the PSAT
- Create a list of up to twenty colleges of interest from ScholarSwag’s My College Navigator
- Start researching your financial aid options in the paying for college section
- Begin scheduling college campus visits, tours, and interviews with admissions staff
Step 4: November/December:
- Review your PSAT results with your counselor to identify your strengths and areas that need improvement
- You will receive your scores from the October PSAT. Depending on the results, you may want to consider signing up for an SAT preparatory course
Step 1: January/February:
- Take campus tours to further narrow your list of colleges
- Register for the March SAT and/or the April ACT tests. Find out from each college the deadlines for applying for admission and which tests to take
Step 2: March/June:
- Take the March SAT I exam
- If you are interested in taking any AP exam(s), you should sign up for the exam(s) at this time.
- Take the April ACT test
- Talk to teachers about writing letters of recommendation
- Take AP, SAT I, SAT II, and ACT exams
- Add any new report cards, test scores, honors, or awards to your file
- Narrow your list to up to ten colleges
- Visit colleges. Call ahead for appointments with the financial aid, admissions, and academic advisors at the college(s) in which you are most interested
Summer between Junior and Senior Years
- Practice writing online applications, filling out rough drafts of each application, without submitting them.
- Write and re-write some essay drafts
- Review your applications, especially the essays. Ask family, friends, and teachers to review your essays for grammar, punctuation, readability, and content
- Decide if you are going to apply for a college’s early decision or early action programs . This requires you to submit your applications early, typically between October and December of your senior year, but offers the benefit of receiving the college’s decision concerning your admission early, usually before January 1