- Review your high school courses and activities. Maintain your extracurricular record.
- Keep in mind that colleges look for the following:
- Challenging course work
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Sports and other extracurricular activities
- Volunteer work
- Church and/or community involvement
- Start reviewing college and scholarship websites.
- Create a list of what is important to you in a college (state; urban/suburban/rural; large or small class sizes; price range; etc.).
- Register to take and study for the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
- If you are still unsure about your future plans or if you plan to join the military, plan to take the ASVAB. This aptitude test can help identify your strengths and careers of interest.
- If you are interested in playing Division I or Division II sports in college, let your counselor know ASAP.
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT.
- Start to visit college representatives in the Counseling Office.
- Make sure you are keeping track of your community service activities and hours.
- Continue to research colleges/careers.
- Register for the required College Admission Examinations (SAT or ACT).
- Put in extra effort to keep your grades up as junior-year grades are extremely important in the college admission process.
- PSAT results arrive. Look at the SAT requirements of the schools you are interested in and compare them to your PSAT results.
- Start making a resume.
- Take Regents for semestered classes.
- Retake any regents that are needed.
- Junior meetings will start to take place. Come to this meeting with a preliminary list of colleges that you may be interested in and possible career options.
- Register for the SAT if you haven’t done so.
- Keep your grades up!
- Begin a search for financial-aid sources. National sources include the College Board’s Scholarship Search and electronic sources. Don’t overlook local- and state-aid sources. (Ask a counselor for help, if needed).
- Start to gather documents for financial aid: Be sure to keep a copy of your tax returns handy. You’ll use these to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens on October 1.
- Narrow your college list down to the ones you are most interested in.
- When making choices for senior year courses, make sure you try to challenge yourself.
- Take the SAT and/or ACT exam.
- Take AP Exams if you have taken AP courses.
- Finish the year strong.
- Attend a college fair to get more information about colleges.
- If possible, obtain a summer job and save the money for college costs.
- Plan to visit your colleges over the summer.
Alphabet Soup of College Admissions
ACT: American College Test. College entrance examination. Tests Math, Social Studies, English, and Science.
ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. This exam is required to enlist in the military. It is also a good tool for helping students decide what kind of career to pursue, based on their interests, skills and values.
CEEB Code: School code number. Sherburne-Earlville’s is 335-180.
Early Action: Similar to Early Decision but is not a binding contract and a student does not need to withdraw other applications if accepted.
Early Decision: A college will decide to accept a student early (usually in December). The student must withdraw any other applications. This is a binding contract.
FAFSA: Free Application Federal Student Aid. This is the required application for most financial aid.
GPA: Grade Point Average. A numeric average of all of a students’ high school grades.
PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. A practice SAT exam taken in October of a students’ junior year. High scores may qualify students for National Merit Scholarships.
SAT I: Scholastic Aptitude Test. College-entrance examination, math and verbal questions only.
SAT II: College-entrance examination. Subject specific. Student needs to research which colleges require these exams.
TAP: Tuition Assistance Program. New York State financial-aid program for New York residents attending a New York State college.