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.
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.
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.