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.