Timeline for College Planning

Timetable for Junior and Senior Year College Preparation

 

Fall of Junior Year

 

Ø Start narrowing in on a career/profession that interests you.   Review your EDP matchmaker results.  These links will also help you explore what you want to do post high school.

o   https://www.mynextmove.org/

o   https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

o   https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors-careers

o   https://sjschools.org/guidance/career-info

Ø Sign up to take the PSAT/NMSQT to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship.  If interested, see your counselor for more details.

 

Winter/Spring of Junior Year

Ø Register for the ACT or take the SAT other than during the MME. Dates for both tests are in the Guidance Office or visit or collegeboard.org for more information.

Ø Gather information about colleges from their websites, Career Cruising (your saved EDPs), or from resources in the Career Center of the Guidance Office.  The following links are also helpful:

o     https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges

o     https://sjschools.org/guidance/college-information-guidance/college-search

Ø Choose 4 to 5 colleges that interest you and make plans to visit this semester or over the summer.

Ø Talk with siblings and friends, but make sure you choose what is the best fit for you.  Having trouble?  Try  https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/how-find-your-college-fit

Ø When selecting classes for senior year, choose classes that are academically challenging.  Although it is important to enjoy your last year of high school, it is also important to take class that indicate you are serious about your education and a capable student.

Ø Consider the financial aid for which you may be eligible.  This link can help you get an estimate. https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/f4cForm?execution=e1s1

 

Ø This link takes you to a list of other places to visit regarding how to pay for college.  Share these with your parents.  Make sure you talk with your parents about college choices and how college will be paid for.  https://sjschools.org/guidance/college-information-guidance/financial-aid

 

Summer Before Senior Year

Ø Take the ACT or SAT in June, if you want to test a 2nd time.

Ø Continue visiting colleges.

Ø Enjoy summer, but take advantage of summer opportunities.

Ø Start filling out college applications and work on the college essays before school starts.  We encourage applications be sent out by Nov 1st to take advantage of priority scholarships.  You will also complete the FAFSA starting October 1st.  Fall of senior year is very busy.   The more you accomplish before the pressures of school begins, the better off you will be…especially if schools require more than 1 essay.

 

Fall of Senior Year

Ø Retake the ACT and/or SAT if needed.

Ø Decide on a final list of colleges you want to apply to.

Ø Request any letters of recommendation well in advance; 2 weeks or more preferably.

Ø Be mindful that your application for admission also typically serves as your application for merit scholarships; scholarship deadlines could be considerably earlier.  Visit the college websites and write down deadlines in your calendar so you don’t get caught unaware.

Ø Investigate scholarships and financial aid.

Ø Attend financial aid nights that are offered in the area.  LMC and SMC usually send information to us about these events.  Listen to announcements and make sure subscribed to REMIND.

Ø Everyone complete the FAFSA, which is available October 1st.  It is best to register for you FSA pin number in preparation for filling out the FAFSA.  You and your parent will need one.  FAFSA now links to prior year taxes which helps save time.

Winter of Senior Year

Ø Continue investigating scholarship opportunities.  See handout.  May try googling any unique characteristics or skills.  Community scholarships get updated regularly on the Guidance web page:

o   https://sjschools.org/guidance/scholarships/scholarship-applications-deadlines

Ø Also on Guidance web page are other resources:

o   https://sjschools.org/guidance/scholarships/scholarship-resources-search

 

Spring of Senior Year

Ø Keep track of acceptances and denials.

Ø Compare financial award letters from each college to determine which one has the best financial aid package for you.  Consider the following:

o   How much scholarship and/or grant money (free  $).

o   How much in loans- remember that is debt that MUST be repaid.  Look to see if the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized.

o   Check to see if colleges include housing in the tuition or if it is separate.  See how that impacts the financial award package.

Ø How much money left which is considered out of pocket.

Ø Notify colleges by May 1st of your acceptance or rejection of their admission offer.  Some colleges will require a deposit.  After May 1st, you will not receive a refund of your deposit.

Ø In May during the Senior Meeting, you will get more directions about how to send your final transcripts.  All things graduation will also be discussed.