Monthly Newsletter & Yearly Checklists
November Newsletter 2023
Yearly Checklists: They say failing to plan can lead to a plan that fails.
So When Should You Start?
You can start planning as early as middle school or as late as 12th grade to plan a path to college. Starting earlier can be an advantage in that you have more time to research and prep with the right courses and activities. Starting later in high school can also be an advantage as the student is older and has more of an idea of what they want out of a college experience. Either way, starting and planning at any stage will get you further in the right direction.
- Ace your classes from the beginning! Trying to recover your freshman GPA from a bad start is an uphill battle.
- Create a plan with Honors and AP courses. Getting those prerequisites scheduled in order to fit in desired AP’s is key.
- Get active in clubs and extracurriculars. Now is the time to establish roots and set yourself up for future leadership positions.
- Take a language – selective and highly selective schools will want to see up to 4 years of a foreign language.
- Get to know your school counselor!
- Explore your interests – always be curious to opportunities where you can learn something new.
- Enjoy high school! This time of life flies by and we want you to enjoy this time without focusing entirely on the next chapter!
- Speak to your parents about how college will be paid for. This will help you prepare for where best to look.
- What do you want out of a college experience? So many options exist! Think about socially, academically and financially.
- Set up an email that will ONLY be used for college “stuff” – this helps clear the clutter from your personal emails.
- Do some virtual college visits and attend any local college fairs.
- Start your college resume aka “brag sheet”
- Practice the PSAT – lots of information is out there to help practice.
- If you are able to take on any leadership roles – go for it!
- Develop a summer plan. Explore summer opportunities such as internships, camps, volunteer opportunities, summer jobs, and programs on college campuses.
- Increase your class rigor. If you haven’t already taken an AP class, now is the time to start. Consider subjects you are interested in.
- Create a test prep plan for the SAT and ACT.
- Create a college list you will want to apply to.
- Think about those teachers who you would want to ask for a “letter of recommendation”.
- Organize everything. Start the habit of making a good calendar. Include application due dates, essays, scholarships, test scores, passwords, etc.
- Start researching scholarships – some may even let you apply now.
- Visit as many colleges as possible. Plan ahead so you can see the campus while classes are in session. Summer works but it’s not the full picture.
- Start brainstorming essay ideas! There will be lots of essays, just a forewarning.
- Leadership roles within any clubs or sports should be something to go after.
- Make this next summer count the most! This is essentially your last chance to show some great extracurricular activities.
- Finalize the list of colleges you will want to apply to.
- Continue to visit colleges or contact admissions officers with questions.
- Take another SAT/ACT in the fall to help improve your scores if needed
- Do NOT slack on your grades – many colleges will want to see first semester grades!
- Continue with extracurriculars and leadership positions
- Have a good application strategy. Will you apply ED, EA or regular?
- Apply for scholarships where you can.