College Prep Timeline 7-12

As a counselor, teacher, service provider or other adult in a student’s life, you play a critical role in helping middle and high school students prepare for life beyond high school.

Here are ways in which you can help students in grades 7 through 12.

7th and 8th Grades

  • Encourage students to set college or vocational school as a goal.
  • Help students identify potential career opportunities and make a plan for getting there academically and financially.
  • Encourage students and parents to start saving now.

9th Grade/Freshman Year

  • Help students create a file for their college plan, financial information, etc.
  • Encourage students to enroll in academically challenging courses that will prepare them for their fields of interest.
  • Connect students to college access programs and community resources.

10th Grade/Sophomore Year

  • Encourage students to take the PLAN and/or PSAT tests.
  • Support students in researching colleges and vocational schools, as well as financial aid opportunities.
  • Help students find internships, job shadowing opportunities or summer employment to gain work experience.
  • Encourage students to pursue community service opportunities.

11th Grade/Junior Year

  • Encourage students to take academically challenging courses that prepare them for college.
  • Help students prepare for and take the ACT or SAT.
  • Let students know about upcoming college fairs and encourage students to visit schools of interest.
  • Help students develop a good list of college options and a checklist of deadlines.
  • Facilitate collection of financial information and help students begin searching for financial aid opportunities.
  • Help students develop a college plan and budget that meets their needs.

12th Grade/Senior Year

  • Encourage students to consider AP and dual enrollment courses.
  • Offer to help review college applications.
  • Encourage students to re-take the ACT or SAT if they are not happy with their scores.
  • Help students complete the FAFSA and make sure it is submitted before the deadline.
  • Assist in completing financial aid and scholarship applications. Encourage students to complete the Scholarship Central application to connect to local scholarship and interest-free loan programs.
  • Refer students to the High School to College Center for free college counseling assistance after graduation.