College bound students must take the right courses, sign up for the right tests, and complete the right forms. The timetable outlined below will help students "stay on track."
College bound juniors need to determine what they're looking for in a college. After they have considered their options, they then need to visit the colleges that they're seriously considering. By the fall of their senior year, students should know which colleges they want to apply to, and they should be ready to fill out applications.
Early in the selection process, parents need to determine how much they are able and/or willing to pay for colleges. Students and parents then need to have an honest discussion about college costs.
October - Take the PSAT/NMSQT. Students with very high scores are considered for National Merit Scholarships.
March - June - Take the ACT and/or the SAT. The ACT is given in April and June. The SAT is given in March, May, and June. Registration deadlines are around five weeks prior to the test dates. You can register for the ACT at www.actstudent.org and the SAT at www.collegeboard.com. For a mail-in registration form, see your counselor.
March - June - Start searching for scholarship possibilities. If you are hoping to receive an athletic scholarship, register wtih the NCAA Clearinghouse after your junior year.
To be eligible for federal aid, eighteen-year old males must be registered with the selective service. Students can register online at www.sss.gov
September - Meet with your counselor to discuss your college plans. Go over your ACT and SAT scores, and determine if you need to retake either of these tests.
September - November - Complete college admissions, financial aid, and scholarship applications. Also complete the PROFILE if it's required by any of the colleges you're applying to. Be sure to apply to at least one "safety school." (This is a college that you're sure you'll be admitted to, and one that you can definitely afford.) Check in your guidance office for information on local scholarships.
October - December - Retake the ACT and/or SAT if necessary. The ACT is given in October and December; the SAT is given in November and December.
November - December - Encourage your parents to get their tax information together.
January - Complete the FAFSA and submit it as soon as possible after January 1. If your parents do not have their tax information ready, they can use estimated figures. Complete a state aid application if necessary.
April - May - Compare financial aid packages and decide which college to attend. Send in your housing deposit, sign and return award letters, and, as a courtesy, notify the other colleges of your decision. You also need to tell your counselor where to send your final transcript.
June - August - Get a summer job. Colleges generally expect students to earn $1,000+ for college during the summer after they graduate from high school.
June - August - If necessary, apply for a Stafford or PLUS Loan.
Be sure to complete and submit all applications before their deadlines!