College and Career Planning Timeline
PLAN - 7th Grade - Lay Foundations for Success
- Develop strong study skills and habits.
- Learn how to set short-term goals.
- Surround yourself with people, like peers, mentors and counselors, who will guide, motivate and help you succeed. Get involved in sports, clubs, activities and/or community services.
PREPARE - 8th Grade - Get Ready for High School
- Take challenging classes, learn how to calculate your GPA and find out about high school diploma requirements.
- Note what you're good at and what you like to do.
- Take the ASPIRE test and start exploring colleges and careers that would be good fits for you.
- Stay involved.
EXPLORE - 9th Grade - Identify Goals & Resources
- Take the first steps on your pathway by identifying long-term goals and exploring available resources, including tutoring and counseling.
- Do Naviance college and career activities.
- Begin making meaningful connections with at least three teachers for future references.
ADVOCATE - 10th Grade - Start Control of Your Future
- Continue your explorations by interviewing people in careers of interest to you.
- Advocate for yourself with your teachers and counselors as you forecast your coursework.
- Take national standardized tests.
- Use the summer break to further your goals and planning for the future.
VISIT - 11th Grade - Define Your Future
- Develop a list of several colleges you are interested in and start visiting these campuses.
- Register for the SAT and/or ACT.
- Search for scholarships.
- Create a timeline with deadlines for college and scholarship applications.
- Start drafting your personal statements.
- Stay involved!
APPLY - 12th Grade - Make it Happen
- Ask for letters of recommendation.
- Complete applications by their stated deadlines.
- Submit the FAFSA in January.
- Take the SAT or ACT for the second time.
- Review financial aid awards.
- Keep up your grades!
- Choose your college by May 1 and sign up for summer orientation.