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Freshman Year

  • Do your best academically, your school record is very important.
  • Map out what classes you may want to take the next four years. Colleges recommend students take challenging courses.
  • Join clubs and activities in your area of interest.
  • Begin recording activities in a resume including hours, leadership roles and awards/recognitions.
  • Start building a relationship with teachers. This will help you with letters of recommendation.
  • All freshmen will take the ASPIRE test (pre-ACT) in the spring.
  • Begin family discussion on college costs.
  • Meet with your school counselor to discuss your four year plan.
  • Use summer vacation to get involved in employment, extracurricular activities, and/or volunteer work.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue to complete challenging courses and maintain good grades.
  • Become familiar with standardized tests you will need to take. All sophomores will take the ASPIRE (pre-ACT) in the fall. We also recommend that sophomores take the PSAT in October (pre-registration is required).
  • Look for leadership roles in clubs and activities. 
  • Start thinking about what college/career choice may be right for you.
  • Meet with your school counselor to discuss plans for the summer and next fall.
  • Continue your involvement in employment, extracurricular activities, and/or volunteer work.
  • Update your resume.

Junior Year

  • Continue to complete challenging courses and maintain good grades.
  • Attend a Junior Seminar with your parent/guardian(s) and counselor.
  • Review and understand high school graduation requirements and college admissions requirements.
  • Jumpstart your college search by reading about majors and careers –
  • Visit websites of schools of interest and request additional information as needed.
  • Begin campus visits and meet with college representatives in the student services office.
  • Register for and complete the PSAT/NMSQT (Pre-SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in October (pre-registration is required).
  • Register for the spring administration of the ACT and/or SAT and begin practicing for the tests.
  • Begin to familiarize yourself with college applications, what they require and what they ask.
  • Attend the Financial Strategies for Post-Secondary Education Night in January to review your financial aid options.
  • Do a spring check in meeting with your counselor.
  • In late spring, take the Advanced Placement (AP) exams and/or SAT Subject Tests (if needed).
  • Plan summer activities early. Enrich yourself by volunteering, getting an interesting internship or job, or signing up for special summer learning programs.
  • Continue to develop your resume.

Senior Year

  • Continue to complete challenging courses and maintain good grades.
  • Double check credits/graduation requirements and request any necessary class changes.
  • Attend the senior college meeting in the beginning of the school year.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT/SAT Subject Tests (if applicable) for the September, October or November dates, if necessary.
  • Make an appointment with your counselor before beginning the application process.
  • Create a master calendar of important dates, deadlines, etc. (UW system schools start accepting applications on September 15.)
  • Update your resume/profile of activities, clubs, volunteer list, awards and honors, & work experience.
  • If letters of recommendation are needed, the person should have a minimum of two weeks notice. Follow up with a thank you note.
  • Attend college visits in the student services office.
  • Complete online applications & provide your counselor/teacher with supporting documents (high school report forms, teacher evaluations, etc.). Please allow at least two weeks for student services to prepare supporting documents.
  • Request transcripts through your Parchment account.
  • Each week, review scholarship opportunities and other scholarship searches. Paper copies of some scholarships can also be found in the student services office. 
  • If applicable, begin preparing application for the early decision deadline on November 1st.
  • All college applications should be submitted online by December 1st. Please see your counselor regarding applications submitted after December 1st.
  • Attend the Financial Strategies for Post-Secondary Education Night and complete the FAFSA after January 1st (October 1st starting in 2016).
  • Upon completion of first semester, submit mid-year reports if needed.
  • Submit the local scholarship application to student services.
  • March 1st is priority deadline for filing for financial aid.
  • Make decisions as to which school you'll attend, complete housing forms and other information.
  • Inform the student services office of your final college choice so that a final transcript will be sent. If you will not be attending college, please inform us of your plans after high school.