College Planning


The tools below are available to support your college planning journey. Select the applicable grade level to access important planning links.

2023 College Financial Aid Night (Includes NEW FAFSA changes)

Middle School

Middle school is a great time to start thinking about your child’s future. Classes they take during the middle school years will help determine their high school graduation plan. In 8th grade, your student has the opportunity to take 2 high school level classes (Algebra I and Spanish I).  


9th Grade

Ninth grade is the year students begin building resumes for college with academics, activities, and awards. Students should keep a detailed log of service hours, work experiences, extracurricular activities and awards. Below you will find reference tools to support your college planning process.



10th Grade

During the 10th grade year, it is important to ensure you are on track with the classes needed for your targeted graduation plan. If AP coursework is the objective for the 11th and 12th-grade years, students should take and excel in Pre-AP and honors classes. Continue to document high school extracurricular activities and awards for college planning. Below you will find reference tools to support this stage in your college planning process.


11th Grade

Junior year is a critical period in the college planning process. It is important for students to do the following:


  • Identify at least 4 colleges/universities for consideration based on career matches
  • Schedule and take the SAT and/or ACT
  • Based on SAT/ACT and academic results, begin sorting schools into categories (Reach, Target, and Safety)


In addition, students should begin formalizing academic achievements, service hours, extracurricular activities and awards into a resume document. Below you will find reference tools to support this stage in your college planning process.


12th Grade

Senior year is a time to continue working towards your goals for college and beyond. Colleges will look at your senior year grades and, often, mid-year reports as part of the admissions process.

Summer leading into Senior Year:

  1. Write college application essays.  The Common Application  (Common App) publishes the essay prompts for the upcoming application cycle in June.
  2. Begin applying to colleges.  Most institutions open their application cycle in the month of August.
  3. Students are encouraged to use this time to strengthen SAT/ACT results through self-study and/or formal preparation courses. 


Fall Semester:

  1.  If necessary, take an additional SAT and/or ACT  

Note:  Students planning for Early Apply or Early Decision admissions should test no later than August to ensure results before college applications are due.

  1. Finalize college applications
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  *Applications open October 1st
  3. Start scholarship applications



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