High School Planning Guide

  • Meet with the counselor to go over your 4-year course schedule
  • Make a list of academic and personal goals. Review them at least once a year.
  • Check out web sites of your ‘dream’ colleges. What are their admissions requirements? Are you taking the right courses?
  • Create a file. Get a milk crate and some folders. Keep all your important papers, grades, magazine articles, scholarship opportunities….whatever.
  • Find fun and interesting ways to volunteer.
  • Start a portfolio to keep track of your activities, volunteer work, jobs and who the contact person is. Write down your impressions, especially what you do and don’t like about each activity. Gradually, you may begin to see where your interests or potential college major may become.
  • Talk to your parents about how much money may be available for your college education. Not a lot? No problem IF you plan ahead.
  • Join a sport, club or student government. It’s never too early to begin a resume or potential references/recommendations for college.
  • Set short and long term goals for yourself
  • Take the PreACT
  • Focus on your GPA
  • Start a list of colleges to consider. Be sure to go to any college fairs in your area
  • Start a scholarship search
  • Update your records of activities, volunteer work, programs, classes, and traveling. File information you receive on colleges, scholarships and tests. Your interests may change as you get older and getting more experience may help narrow your career focus. These activities are also great to list on resumes and college applications.
  • Review and revise your goals
  • Think careers! Talk to people about their jobs.
  • Concentrate on your GPA.
  • Juniors take the ACT and/or SAT
  • Get information packets from the colleges you’re considering
  • Intensify your scholarship search. Keep track of deadlines and requirements.
  • Attend career days, college fairs and financial aid workshops
  • Meet with your counselor. Be sure your classes are on the right track for the colleges you’re considering and that you’re meeting graduation requirements.
  • Talk to your coach if you want to play for a college team or apply for an athletic scholarship
  • Take AP exams for any AP classes you’ve completed.
  • Create a master calendar of deadlines. Include college applications, test registrations and test dates, scholarships applications, housing, and financial deadlines
  • Zero in on what teachers you want to ask for recommendations
  • Work on your resume


  • Last chance to take the ACT or SAT. Register early.
  • Complete college applications, financial aid and housing applications.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Make sure your high school transcripts and records are correct and up-to-date.
  • Attend college fairs and financial aid workshops.
  • Ask for letters of recommendations from teachers, employers and coaches.
  • Finish essays for college applications and scholarships.
  • Update your resume.


  • Decide on a college and notify the admissions office by May 1st of your acceptance.
  • Create a budget to determine your needs
  • Determine if you need a student loan. File your application.
  • Take AP exams.
  • Have your final transcript sent to your college