Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, social/cultural preferences, and personal qualities. List things you want to study and do in college.
- Start to think about your college choices. Make an appointment with your guidance counselor to talk about your options. Conduct a free college search online at www.fastweb.com or www.collegeboard.org.
- Sign up to hear college speakers in guidance.
- Sign up to take the PSAT - October
- Start to learn about financial aid. Read the Department of Education's Funding Your Education (about federal aid programs) and visit www.fafsa.ed.gov or www.finaid.org/calculators.
- Take the ACT and/or SAT (fee waivers are available for those students in financial need). High scores increase your chance of winning scholarships, so you may want to take the tests again next fall if you are not pleased with your score.
- Request brochures/application information from your top college choices and visit their websites.
- Visit prospective colleges over the summer. Ask college friends about their college experiences.
- If you are an athlete planning to continue playing a sport in college, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse (www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org).
- Create a resume - a record of accomplishments, activities, and work experiences since you started high school.
- Find a full-time or part-time job, or participate in a camp or summer college program.
- Check application dates for the colleges to which you will apply. Some large universities may have early dates or rolling admissions.