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HS Timeline

 

Freshman Year

  • Enroll in a Career Pathways directed curriculum.
  • Take Career Cruising Interest Inventory.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities.
  • Review academic progress with counselor.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue in Career Pathways directed curriculum.
  • Continue involvement in extracurricular activities.
  • Review academic progress with counselor.
  • Begin the Career Exploration process (i.e. School-to-Work Program, job shadowing, etc.).

Junior Year

Timeline

September

  • Register for the October PSAT. Meet with your guidance counselor to review your courses for this year and plan your schedule for senior year.
  • Attend college visits and representative presentations.

October

  • Junior year PSAT scores may qualify a student for the National Merit Scholarship Competition and the National Achievement and National Hispanic Scholars Programs. So, even though these scores will not be used for college admission, it is still a good idea to take the PSAT. The more times you take standardized tests, the more familiar you will become with the format and the types of questions asked. If you wish to receive free information from colleges, indicate on the PSAT test answer form that you want to participate in the Student Search.

November

  • Junior year grades are extremely important in the college admission process, because they are a measure of how well you do in advanced, upper-level courses. Grades also are used to determine scholarships and grants for which you may be eligible. So, put in the extra effort and keep those grades up!
  • Start preparing for the MME and ACT. There are links to helpful resources under "Testing."

December

  • During December you should receive the results of your PSAT. Read your score report and consult your school counselor to determine how you might improve on future standardized tests.
  • Some colleges require the ACT or both SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests. When you begin to explore different colleges and universities, make sure you double-check to see if they prefer or require the ACT, the SAT Reasoning Test and/or the SAT Subject Tests.

January

  • Begin to make a preliminary list of colleges you would like to investigate further. Surf the Internet and use the college resources in the counseling office or library.

February

  • Decide on a preliminary list of colleges.
  • Write, telephone, or use the Internet to request admission literature and financial aid information from the colleges on your list. There is no charge and no obligation to obtain general information about admission and financial aid.
  • You should be optimistic and realistic when applying to colleges.
  • Register for the March SAT Reasoning Test if you have completed the math courses covered on the SAT Reasoning Test. If not, plan to take the SAT Reasoning Test in your senior year.

March

  • When taking the MME, list your preliminary colleges to receive your ACT score. If you are planning to participate in college sports, also indicate the NCAA Clearinghouse to receive your score.

April

  • When selecting your senior courses, be sure to continue to challenge yourself academically.
  • If you are planning to retake the ACT in June, you must register online at www.actstudent.org. Be sure to take the ACT Plus Writing.
  • Continue to evaluate your list of colleges and universities. Eliminate colleges from the original list that no longer interest you and add others as appropriate.
  • Look into summer jobs or apply for special summer academic or enrichment programs. Colleges love to see students using their knowledge and developing their skills and interests.

May

  • Attend a college fair to get more information about colleges on your list. NACAC sponsors college fairs in cities across the country during the fall and the spring. Visit the NACAC National College Fairs web page to check out the schedule for the National College Fairs and the Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs.
  • Start gathering letters of recommendations from your teachers, coaches, bosses, etc. for the college application and scholarship process in the fall of your senior year. It is a good idea to write "Thank You" notes to each person who wrote you a letter of recommendation.
  • Get a jump start on summer activities. Consider enrolling in an academic course at a local college, summer enrichment programs, applying for an internship, working, or volunteering. If you work, save part of your earnings for college.
  • Begin visiting colleges. Phone to set up appointments.
  • Take the SAT Reasoning Test or the SAT Subject Tests (if required for admission).

June

  • After school ends, get on the road to visit colleges. Seeing the college firsthand, taking a tour and talking to students can be the greatest help in deciding whether or not a school is right for you. Although it is ideal to visit colleges during the academic year, going in the summer will be valuable. Admission offices employ their students to give tours and answer questions from prospective students and their parents.

July

  • Continue to refine your list of potential colleges and universities.

August

  • Complete the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse form if you hope to play Division I or II sports in college (this form cannot be mailed until you complete your junior year).
  • If you are an athlete and plan on playing in college, contact the coaches at the schools to which you are applying and ask about intercollegiate and intramural sports programs and athletic scholarships.

Senior Year

Timeline

September

  • Make sure you have all applications required for college admission.
  • It is a good idea to submit all college applications by the end of October (Halloween).
  • Be sure to send a transcript to each college. This can be done electronically at www.docufide.com
  • If planning to retest, register for the October/November SAT Reasoning Test and/or SAT Subject Tests, or September/October ACT.
  • If the colleges require recommendations, ask the appropriate people to write on your behalf. At least three weeks before the due date, ask your counselor and teachers, employers, or coaches to write letters of recommendation. Provide any necessary recommendation forms and/or any special instructions. Write "Thank You" notes to those who write recommendations and keep them informed of your decisions.
  • Plan visits to colleges (if you didn't get to them during the summer or if you want to return to a campus for a second time).
  • Attend College Visits through the Carlson Counseling Department, so you can talk with college representatives in person.

October

  • Attend a regional college fair to investigate further those colleges to which you will probably apply.
  • Mail applications in time to reach the colleges by the deadlines. Check with your guidance counselor to make sure your transcript and test scores have been/will be sent to the colleges to which you are applying. To do this, you must submit a Transcript Request Form.
  • If applying for early decision or early action, send in your application now. Also prepare applications for back-up schools. Remember, if you are accepted under the early decision option, you are expected to enroll at that college and to withdraw all other applications. Submit financial aid information if requested from early decision/action candidates.
  • Register for the December/January SAT Reasoning Test and/or SAT Subject Tests, or December ACT if you have not completed the required tests or if you are not happy with your previous test scores and think you can do better.
  • Have official test scores sent by the testing agency to colleges on your list.

November

  • Continue completing applications to colleges. Make copies of all applications before mailing the applications.
  • Check to see if the colleges to which you are applying require any other financial aid form. Register for the CSS Profile if required and obtain the college's own financial aid forms, if available.
  • Start consulting the Scholarship Handout. The Scholarship Handout is available in the Counseling Office and online. Scholarship information can also be found in the Junior/Senior Handbook or on FastWeb.
  • Keep all records, test score reports, and copies of applications for admission and financial aid. Do not throw anything away until at least the end of your first year in college. Having detailed records will save you time and effort should anything be lost or should you decide to apply in the future to other colleges and scholarship programs.

December

  • Have official test scores sent to colleges on your list if you have not done so.

January

  • Parents and students, complete your income tax forms as soon as possible. You will need those figures to fill out the FAFSA. Complete and return your FAFSA as quickly as possible after January 1. Priority deadline is March 1. Check to make sure your colleges or state does not require any other financial aid forms. If they do, contact the college's financial aid office.

February

  • Remember to monitor your applications to be sure that all materials are sent and received on time and that they are complete. Stay on top of things and don't procrastinate; you can ruin your chances for admission by missing a deadline.
  • Attend Carlson's Financial Aid Night with a parent/guardian. A Financial Aid expert will be on hand to answer all of your questions. Please review the Fafsa worksheet prior to completing the online form.
  • If you completed a FAFSA, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within four weeks after submitting the FAFSA. Review the SAR carefully and check for any inaccuracies. If necessary, correct any items on the SAR and return it to the FAFSA processor (if a college transmitted your data directly, notify the college of any change).
  • If more than four weeks have passed after sending in your FAFSA and you have not received an acknowledgment, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (319) 337-5665. To identify you, they will need your name, social security number, address, and date of birth exactly as it was written on your FAFSA.

March

  • Review your college acceptances and financial aid awards. Be sure to compare financial aid packages in your decision-making process. If you are positive you will not enroll at one or more of the colleges which accepted you, please notify those colleges that you have selected another college. Keeping colleges abreast of your plans might enable those colleges to admit someone else. If you know which college you will attend, send your tuition deposit and follow all other instructions for admitted students. You must decide which offer of admission to accept by May 1 (postmark date).

April

  • By May 1, decide on the one college that you will attend. By May 1, send in your tuition deposit to the college you will attend. Notify the other colleges that accepted you that you have selected another college.

May

  • If your first-choice college places you on their waiting list, do not lose all hope. Some students are admitted off the waiting list. Talk with your counselor and contact the college to let them know you are still very interested. Keep the college updated on your activities.
  • Take Advanced Placement examinations, if appropriate, and request that your AP scores be sent to the college you will attend.

June

  • Request that your counselor send your final transcript to the college you will attend. Notify the college of any private scholarships or grants you will be receiving.
  • Know when the payment for tuition, room and board, meal plans, etc., is due. If necessary, ask the financial aid office about a possible payment plan that will allow for you to pay in installments.

July

  • Look for information in the mail from the college about housing, roommate(s), orientation, course selection, etc. Respond promptly to all requests from the college.
  • Ease the transition into college. Accept the fact that you'll be in charge of your academic and personal life. What you do, when you do it and how things get done will be up to you. You'll have new responsibilities and challenges. Think about budgeting your time and establishing priorities. Take charge of the changes that lie ahead and eliminate or minimize pressures. Go forth with confidence and enthusiasm, willingness to adapt, and determination to succeed academically and personally.
  • Pack for college. Don't forget to include things that remind you of friends and family. Be prepared for the new opportunities and challenges. Have a great freshman year!