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  • Take the PSAT in October. The PSAT is a preliminary test that will prepare you for the SAT Reasoning Test. Junior year PSAT scores may qualify a student for the National Merit Scholarship Competition and the National Achievement and the National Hispanic Scholars Program. Even though these scores will not be used for college admission, it is still a good idea to take the PSAT. The more times you take standardized tests, the more familiar you will become with the format and the types of questions asked. Sales start Sept.1st and are first come first served until seats are filled. Don't wait!

  • Junior year grades are extremely important in the college admission process, because they are a measure of how well you do in advanced, upper-level courses. Grades also are used to determine scholarships and grants for which you may be eligible. Save your best work for your portfolio.

  • Maintain your co-curricular record.

  • Estimate your financial aid for college by using the FAFSA4Caster


  • You will receive the results of your PSAT. Read your score report and consult your school counselor to determine how you might improve on future standardized tests.

  • Register for the March SAT Reasoning Test or the April ACT with Writing if you are enrolled in Pre- Calculus. If not, plan to take the SAT Reasoning Test in May or the ACT with Writing in June. For step-by-step instructions, read the How to Register for the SAT guide.

  • Prepare for the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT by using the College Board's SAT Preparation Center  or Khan Academy.

    Begin to make a preliminary list of colleges you would like to investigate further. Surf the Internet and use the college resources.

  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your preliminary list of colleges. Discuss whether your initial list of colleges meets your needs and interests (academic program, size, location, cost, etc.) and whether you are considering colleges where you are likely to be admitted. You should be optimistic and realistic when applying to colleges.

  • Ask your parents for your Social Security number (required on many college applications). If you were never issued a Social Security number, contact the closest Social Security office as soon as possible to obtain a number or talk with your counselor to discuss this confidentially.

  • Request admissions and financial aid information from college websites. There is no charge and no obligation to obtain general information about admission and financial aid.


  • When selecting your senior courses, colleges expect you to continue to challenge yourself academically.
  • Look into summer jobs or apply for special summer academic or enrichment programs. Colleges love to see students using their knowledge and developing their skills and interests.

  • Get a jump start on summer activities-consider enrolling in an academic course at a local college, pursuing a summer school program, applying for an internship, working, or volunteering. If you work, save part of your earnings for college. 

  • Begin visiting colleges. Many colleges have Preview Days, overnight stays, and campus tours. Call for information or look online.
  • If you are an athlete and plan on playing in college, contact the coaches at the schools to which you are applying and ask about intercollegiate and intramural sports programs and athletic scholarships. Complete the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse registration if you hope to play Division I or II sports.


  • After school ends, get on the road to visit colleges. Seeing the college firsthand, taking a tour and talking to students can be the greatest help in deciding whether or not a school is right for you. Although it is ideal to visit colleges during the academic year, going in the summer will be valuable. Admission offices employ their students to give tours and answer questions from prospective students and their parents.

  • Visit colleges, take tours, have interviews and ask questions. Make college visiting a family event. Involve your parents and siblings in every step of your application process. Choosing the right college is a tough decision; the opinions of those who know you best can provide helpful insight into which college is best for you.

  • Continue to refine your list of potential colleges and universities.

    Begin preparing for the actual application process:

  • Write your personal statement first draft.