December – January
- PSAT results are distributed prior to winter break. Use this information to evaluate what you need to work on to score your best on the SAT this spring.
- Correct answers will be on the results sheet along with an access code so you can review your results and receive further information online.
- Research possible college choices – start this if you have not already done so. This is the perfect time to start asking questions about the college process.
- All students should take the ACT / SAT in the spring. Most colleges will accept either and there is not a way to predict which test will be best for which student.
- Create academic resume and list all extracurricular activities from high school.
- Visit colleges – Juniors have two excused college visit days for the year. Prior to attending the college visits, students must get the absence form from the front office. The form requires a signature from the college administrator, parent, and student and then turned in to the attendance clerk when you return in order to receive an excused absence.
- Prepare for dual credit classes senior year (Apply to Collin College, take the TSI, and complete your paperwork before you can register).
April – May
- Some select out-of-state schools will want you to take one or more SAT subject tests as part of the admissions process. Look at taking a subject test or tests in June, if needed, while the material is still fresh in your mind. Register now for those.
- Take AP tests for any AP course. Registration for AP tests is done at the end of March. Pay attention to announcements.
- Contact teachers, coaches, or community members and ask if they are willing to write a personal recommendation on your behalf. Have 3-5 willing to write a recommendation.
June – August
- Visit college campuses.
- Finalize Top 10 list of colleges you would like to attend. Record the application deadlines, minimum ACT/SAT scores and GPA, scholarship process, and cost of attendance.
- Start applying for colleges once their application opens for the next school year.
- Work on college essays and have several people including friends, teachers, and adults read them for accuracy.
- Contact recommenders to write your letters and include in your request a copy of your resume and provide them with your GPA and instructions for how to submit recommendation.
- If you are considering playing Division I or II sports in college, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
September - October
- Check for scholarships at school(s) in which you are interested.
- Check application deadlines for schools you are interested in and begin ApplyTexas or CommonApp applications.
- Register for the October ACT/SAT if you need to improve your scores for admission and/or scholarships.
- Attend college fair at high school.
- Seniors have two excused college visit days each semester. Prior to attending the college visits, students must get the absence form from the front office. The form requires a signature from the college administrator, parent, and student and then turned in to the attendance clerk when you return in order to receive an excused absence.
- Begin FAFSA (fafsa.gov) process. Student and parent create FSA ID and then enter financial information starting on October 1st.
November - December
- Many college applications to selective schools are due in early December. If that application requires a letter of recommendation, please remember to ask for it at least two weeks in advance. Also, share the specific details of where to submit as well as your resume.
- Look for chances to talk to college students that may be home for the holidays, especially if they attend a school in which you are interested.
- Continue to complete your college applications and apply for local and online scholarships.
February – March
- Many local scholarships are available at this time. Check with your school, churches, civic groups, places of employment, etc.
April - May
- Most regular decision college admission letters will arrive.
- Reply to college acceptance letters no later than May 1st. Let all the colleges that accepted you know whether or not you will be attending.
- If accepted, start process of signing up for housing and summer orientation.
- If your first choice college places you on their waiting list, do not lose all hope. Some students are admitted at a later date from waiting lists. Go ahead and accept another offer, then if you are selected off the waitlist you can make a decision at that time.
- Take AP tests for any AP course. Scores on the test range from 1–5. A score of 3 or higher will earn a student college credit at many universities.
June – July
- You may send one final SHS transcript to a college – the one you will attend.
Register for classes – many schools will have register online, some will have summer orientation programs for you to attend and others will have you register in the fall.