The college search begins.
- Take the October PSAT. This is the practice test for the SAT. (PLAN is the practice test for the ACT.)
- A particularly high score on the PSAT/NMSQT earns you money from the National Merit Scholarship, National Achievement Scholarship Program (for African-American students), and/or the National Hispanic Recognition Program.
- After you register for the PSAT, sign up for (free) “My College QuickStart” at www.collegeboard.com/quick. It is a personalized online college and career planner. It has four main parts: My Online Score Report, My SAT Study Plan, My College Matches, and My Major & Career Matches.
- College mail will start coming in after you take the PSAT.
- 1180-1320 SAT range (EBRW+math)
- 25-30 ACT range
- 3.67-4.44 GPA of the 19 core classes above, based on weighted 5 pt scale.
- Online, search for the college’s “freshman profile” - this describes the school’s typical admitted freshman to give you an idea of its selectivity. Remember, average scores are different from minimum requirements.
- USC profile (for example):
- Need help with your college search? Big Future by The College Board and College Scorecard by the US Department of Education has college search and planning tools.
- Take the SAT and/or ACT test once or twice in the late fall or spring.
- At your IGP meeting, your counselor will tell you if you are on track with your courses, grades, and testing.
- You can get college credit for AP classes courses, and they look good on college and scholarship applications.
- Request a copy of your unofficial transcript at the end of the year to visit colleges.
- Start thinking about what matters the most to you in selecting a college. Pick about five to ten colleges that may appeal to you.
- Make connections with teachers and counselors. Make yourself known to them so they can write an enthusiastic, illustrative letter of recommendation.
- Reach out to college-educated family, friends, and important advisors.
- Ask for advice and support through the process.
- You may have to tune out a naysayer/negative person. You may even be potentially among the first in your family to apply to college. Do it!
- Keep driven friends close (the ones that are going to keep you on track and motivated).
- There are different types: merit, state, grants, work-study, loans
- In February/March, attend local college and financial aid workshops.
- Discuss financial aid with your school counselor at your IGP meeting.
- Create your Organization/Filing system (on your Google Drive and for papers). Being organized will keep the process from getting unwieldy.
- #1. colleges of most interest,
- #2. Colleges of some interest, and
- #3. Colleges of little interest. I probably would not throw anything away. You may end up switching colleges from one section to others as you go through the process and learn more.
- Make folders on your computer with the following files and file college information into:
- Writing samples - essays resumes biographical narratives
- References - letters of recommendation, student activity info
- Academic documents - high school transcript, original test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT)
- Scholarship outreach - scholarship forms and tracking notes
- college visitation - campus visitation forms and tracking notes
- Financial aid- copy of FAFSA, SAR, supporting documentation
- College notification - all college acceptance and rejection letters
- College selection - college selection forms and notes
- Freshman transition - freshman transition forms and notes
- Miscellaneous - all other documents
- Use your phone’s calendar and on a document for deadlines and important dates of attendance.
- Purchase an accordion file folder for taking specific materials to campus visits
- Keep a chart of colleges for notes at college visits to compare them.
Create Your Road Map Save all your college planning activities by signing into your College Board account.