• Focus and Planning


    • Stay on track with your classes, grades, and extracurricular activities;
    • Take the PSAT. Taking the test in your junior year qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship program;
    • Evaluate your education options. Decide whether you want to pursue full-time employment, further education or training (such as a vocational-technical school, career college, or two-year or four-year college), or a military career;
    • Make a college list. Your list of colleges should include schools that meet your most important criteria (for example, size, location, cost, academic majors, or special programs). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you and develop a preliminary ranking of the schools on your list;
    • Attend College fairs and College visits;
    • Make sure you’re meeting any special requirements. If you want to play Division I or II sports in college, start the certification process and check with your counselor to make sure you’re taking a core curriculum that meets NCAA requirements;

    Winter & Spring

    • Prepare for standardized tests. Find out if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests;
    • Talk to your family about your ideas and options;
    • Prepare a challenging schedule for your senior year;
    • Begin a scholarship search;
    • Contact your recommendation writers;
    • Apply for a summer job or internship;
    • Set up appointments or visits at your top college choices;
    • Get advice from other college students;
    • Organize your financial aid information;
    • Start working on your application essays;
    • Make early decision preparations, if applicable.