College Planning

 

 

Yearly College Planning Calendar

 

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • Construct a daily time management calendar
  • Focus on doing your best in each class
  • Select a strong college prep curriculum for high school

 

 

FRESHMAN

  • Select challenging courses and strive for your personal best
  • Continue to work on daily time management
  • Investigate and participate in extracurricular opportunities inside and/or outside of school
  • Begin learning college admissions information – read articles, talk to friends/parents about their college experience, visit colleges when travelling, etc.
  • Investigate summer enrichment programs
  • Begin a resume and update as you complete activities

 

 

SOPHOMORE:

  • Maintain good study habits and good grades in classes
  • Maintain involvement in extracurricular activities and investigate leadership roles
  • Register for rigorous college prep courses for the junior year
  • Look for summer volunteer opportunities
  • Include college visits when traveling, or utilize up to 2 school day approved absences for college visits. Check college website for daily visit/tour options. A note from the college visited must be submitted upon return. 
  • Participate fully in your College Readiness class! This will lay the groundwork for all college testing, selection, and applications to come in the next two years.
    • Prepare for the PSAT and Practice ACT and use results to guide you in preparation for the SAT & ACT to be taken in junior year
    • Become familiar with general college entrance requirements
    • Begin researching colleges and building a potential college list

 

 

JUNIOR: Do ALL of above PLUS:

 

     Fall:

  • Attend fall College Fairs; note the “College That Change Lives” meeting in August
  • Check the Meridian website for announcements regarding college visit opportunities and attend sessions of colleges and universities of interest
  • Keep a list of college representatives’ names
  • Create files for college information
  • Take PSAT in October
  • Use holiday breaks to work on practice ACT & SAT materials
  • Use PSAT and Practice ACT results to assess weaknesses and strengths before spring testing; also compare your scores to desired college admission requirements
  • Register for spring ACT, SAT and SAT Subject Tests (if needed-check individual college admission policies for details)

 

Spring:

  • Choose senior courses with a strong college prep program in mind
  • Use student holidays to make college visits, or use up to 4 approved college visit days to visit on school days. A note from the college visited must be submitted upon return.
  • Seek summer job during spring break
  • Review practice ACT and SAT materials two or three times a week
  • Take ACT and SAT (also SAT Subject Tests if needed)
  • Attend spring NACAC College Fair in Austin; register in advance at www.gotomyncf.com
  • Start to identify junior teachers whom you will ask for letters of recommendations

 

SENIOR             

 

August

  • Begin looking at college application materials online (Common App opens August 1; ApplyTexas opens July 1)
  • Attend Colleges That Change Lives presentation to continue college research
  • Make a calendar to keep up with admissions, housing, scholarship, and financial aid deadlines
  • Update resume to be ready to submit with college applications
  • Attend Senior Conference with your counselor; check credits to be sure everything is in line for IB Diploma and graduation
  • Register for fall ACT, SAT and SAT II if you want to retest from spring
  • Watch for scholarship announcements

 

September

  • Attend college representatives’ presentations at the high school or evening sessions offered locally
  • Continue working on essays and find someone to proof and to give feedback
  • Continue working on applications
  • Order transcripts as necessary
  • Pay close attention to updates emailed/announced from your counselor
  • Spend time on weekends reviewing SAT or ACT practice materials if retesting
  • Attend Financial Aid Information night with your parents

 

October

  • Attend College Fair(s)
  • Keep up-to-date on scholarship opportunities
  • Keep working on applications
  • Double check all application deadlines for your colleges
  • Be sure to review practice test items for any October testing
  • Give teachers, counselors, and other adults necessary recommendation forms

(and attach a resume)

  • Make a college visit on a student holiday, or utilize up to 4 approved college visit days. A note from the college visited must be submitted upon return.
  • FALL BREAK:  A great time to work on applications! 

 

November

  • Finish applications with final essays
  • Double check on recommendations, transcripts and deadlines
  • Write thank you notes to people writing recommendations
  • Write a thank you to any college rep who has been especially helpful
  • Regularly check scholarship listings
  • Celebrate at Thanksgiving break (and give THANKS) that you finished all your apps before December 1!!!!!

 

December

  • Study early for exams to avoid last minute cramming (good practice for college)
  • Remember that these first semester senior grades will be seen by most colleges
  • Submit mid-year report transcript requests to the registrar
  • Complete scholarship forms on winter break
  • Have some fun over the holidays!

 

January

  • Check on ordering graduation announcements, cap, gown, etc.
  • Assist parents, as needed, with FAFSA
  • Check to be sure all necessary Mid-Year Reports have been submitted

 

February

  • Continue working on scholarship applications
  • Check on any senior events that require $$$$ deposits

 

March

  • Take final college visit(s), if needed (max 4 excused college visits days for the year). A note from the college visited must be submitted upon return.
  • Work over spring break for extra cash or start looking for a summer job - or enjoy the Senior Trip!

 

April

  • Receive final letters from colleges. Focus on your successes!
  • Have a talk with parents regarding college choice and financial aid offers, and

come to a final decision

  • Respond, in writing, by May 1st to all colleges with accept or regret
  • Be sure to check that all necessary tuition and housing deposits were made
  • Prepare for IB exams

 

May

  • Order final transcript for final choice college
  • Take IB exams and final exams
  • Be sure you have signed up for summer college freshman orientation session
  • Wear T-shirt and carry around plastic cup of chosen college and develop allegiance to new school community!
  • Write your parents a thank you note for the first 18 years!! (And your teachers!)
  • Thoroughly enjoy graduation and all accompanying activities!!