Get off to a good start with your grades. The grades you earn in ninth grade will count toward college admission and scholarships.
Explore clubs and activities in and outside of school that will offer you the chance to develop your unique interests and abilities and your leadership skills. Consider becoming a volunteer in your community.
Visit your counselor to plan out a four-year academic plan that will meet college entrance requirements and put you in the most challenging courses you can handle. If you expect to take Advanced Placement courses later, you may need to sign up for prerequisites now.
Begin to research careers and talk to your parents about your interests. Find opportunities to meet people working in fields that interest you.
Begin looking at the college and career information available in the counseling center and library. Use the internet to check out college websites.
Begin compiling a resume of activities, honors, leadership positions, and job experience. Continue with this throughout high school because you will need this information for college applications and scholarship forms.
Read for pleasure.
Register for the PSAT. This test will help prepare you for the SAT I and help identify weaknesses in time to address them. Registration occurs in the counseling center. Test is given in October.
Continue to research careers. If confused, meet with your counselor to complete a Career Interest Inventory.
Meet with your counselor to discuss post-secondary options.
Visit the career/college center in the counseling office to use the resources that are available.
Attend the Council Rock College Fair in March to gather information and meet with admissions representatives.
Get involved in activities outside of the classroom. Work toward leadership positions in the activities you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities. Colleges like to see focus and commitment.
Consider taking SAT II Subject Tests in the courses you took this year while the material is still fresh in your mind. May need to consider for Biology. These tests are offered in May and June.
Keep your grades up.
Read, read, read.
Get serious about your schoolwork if you haven’t already. Junior- year grades are extremely important in the college admissions process, as is the rigor of your coursework.
Stay involved with your activities.
Take the PSAT in October to practice for the SAT I and to qualify for scholarships offered by the National Merit Corporation.
Attend the college visitation sessions offered at the high school.
December/January attend meetings with counselor in small groups to discuss the college search and application process.
Discuss with your parents the information presented in the junior college group meetings. Share with them the information that was distributed.
Review PSAT test results with your counselor and decide whether you would benefit from an SAT I preparation course or from using test-prep software.
Individual research into colleges best suited to your needs by using computer programs and/or writing to colleges for information and applications.
Check with schools to see if they prefer or require the SAT or ACT. Most colleges accept either test and some counselors recommend taking both since many students do better on one than the other. The ACT examines knowledge learned in school. The SAT is an aptitude test.
Take the SAT I at least twice in the Spring. Registration packets are available in the counseling office or register online at http://www.collegeboard.com/ . Test scores are usually not available until 5-6 weeks after test date.
Attend Council Rock College Fair in March to research colleges and meet with admissions representatives.
Consider taking the ACT exam in April.
Consider taking the SAT II Subject Tests in June if required for admission or placement at the colleges under consideration.
In the spring meet with your counselor to develop a preliminary list of college choices. Identify the characteristics of a college that matter to you – size, location, distance, cost, academic rigor, social environment, diversity, major. View college brochures in counseling office or go online to search specific colleges’ websites.
Take Advanced Placement exams if eligible.
Make college visits in spring and summer.
If interested in completing summer coursework or participating in pre-college summer programs see your counselor for information.
Over the summer narrow list of college choices to a minimum of one “reach”, one “competitive” and one “guarantee.”
Update resume of activities, honors, leadership positions, and job experience. This information will be requested on college applications and scholarship forms.
In September schedule a college planning conference with counselor. Decide whether an early decision application is appropriate. Review transcript with counselor to make sure everything is in order.
Stay involved with extracurricular activities.
Register for fall testing before December if needed. List colleges who should receive scores at time of registration.
In fall, meet with college admissions representatives that visit the high school.
Discuss the college essay with an English teacher or your counselor.
File your applications, either by mail or electronically, early in your senior year in order to receive the most favorable consideration from the colleges. THANKSGIVING is suggested as a good deadline for first choice applications. All other applications should be completed prior to December vacation (deadline for transcript requests is usually mid-December). It is your responsibility to pay attention to deadlines. Remember 10 working days are required for transcript requests.
Request SAT scores be sent directly to the colleges. For more information go to http://www.collegeboard.com/. SAT scores will no longer remain on the transcript.
Print extra copies or photocopy every application that you send.
PennState applications should be filed as early as possible after the start of the school year. Although PSU deadline is November 30, applications are processed as soon as they are complete. Standardized tests scores (SAT and/or ACT) must be sent directly from testing center. Failure to do so will delay your application process
Students are requested to bring in their completed transcript request forms to the counselor. The counselor will enclose all necessary materials and send the packet from the counseling office. DO NOT PUT STAMPS ON ENVELOPES. The student should make an appointment with their counselor to turn in the first transcript request form in order to review it and complete the interview for the letter of recommendation.
Students will be charged a fee of $2.00 for each transcript sent. This fee covers photocopying, postage, school profile, and a return post card. You can expect your application to be sent within ten school days.
If a college requires you to obtain recommendations from teachers, it is your responsibility to ask the teacher if he/she would be willing to write one for you. Remember the teacher’s teaching responsibilities come first, so allow plenty of time before deadlines. You should give the teachers a stamped envelope addressed to the college’s admission office. Ask teachers who know you well and who will write positive letters. Letters from a coach, activity leader, or adult who knows you well outside of school are also valuable.
Mid-year grades will be sent to colleges by the counseling office upon request. They are not automatically sent to all colleges to which you have applied.
Inquire about personal interviews at your favorite colleges.
Follow up to make sure colleges have received all application information including recommendations, transcripts, and test scores.
In December attend the Financial Aid night offered at Council Rock.
File financial aid forms after January 1. The FASFA form is sent directly to your home in late December. Visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ for more information.
Check to see if you need to send the CSS profile for financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Check out http://www.collegeboard.com/ for more information.
Watch your mail between March 1 and April 1 for acceptances from colleges.
Watch mail for notification of financial awards between April 1 and May 1.
Make final choice and notify all schools of your intent by May 1.
Let your counselor know your decision where you will attend college so that a final transcript can be sent.
At anytime during this process do not hesitate to ask your counselor questions.