Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Grade-by-Grade College Prep Checklist

This article first appeared on on July 15, 2015.

Here’s a handy checklist for 9th-11th graders to ensure you stay on track for college admissions.

9th Grade

  • Take the most rigorous classes you can handle, and review after first semester
  • Understand your GPA and why it matters
  • Understand standardized tests and create a general timeline for taking them
  • Find one extracurricular and one service venue that you will commit to for four years
  • Start a record/hour log of activities, awards and service
  • Explore your interests
  • Visit colleges when your family travels
  • Read for pleasure, keep a vocab log, play family word games
  • Job shadow your parents
  • Athletes and artists- capture video
  • Use your summer well
  • Ask your parents to run college financial calculators

10th Grade

  • Continue to take challenging courses and plot your courses through high school
  • Take the optional PSAT and set a testing timeline
  • Take on additional responsibility in your primary extracurricular and service area
  • Start a college visit journal and visit a small, medium and large school
  • Start attending college admission rep info sessions at your school and in town
  • Attend local college fair
  • Take an interests, values and personality assessment
  • Job shadow at least three family friends
  • Apply for summer internships or a summer job or take a summer community college class
  • Athletes and artists-hone skills, capture video, work on portfolio/sign up on recruiting sites
  • Register on scholarship match websites
  • Do test prep the summer between 10th-11th grade

11th Grade

  • Continue to take challenging classes including honors, AP or IB in subjects that interest you
  • Get your school Naviance login and create account
  • Attend local college fair (again!)
  • Identify college characteristics that are important and create initial list (20-30 schools)
  • Use days off from school for college visits
  • Plan and take a spring break college visit tour
  • Do very detailed school specific research and keep notes
  • Continue attending college admission rep visits at your school and in town
  • Take a benchmark ACT and the PSAT in the fall
  • Prep and take the ACT or SAT in the spring
  • Take SAT Subject tests (only for very selective colleges) in May or June
  • Athletes register with NCAA Clearinghouse
  • Make it a point to get to know at least two teachers very well; request rec letters in May
  • Get a copy of your end-of-year transcript!

If you are a senior and need month-by-month guidance, check out last week’s slideshow.

1 comment:

  1. A college fair is a great spot to learn about many different schools, all in one place.
    There, you will be able to gather information you are looking for on potential colleges from college representatives who are scouting for students that would fit well at their schools.