My Blueprints Portfolio:
High School Timeline for Success
Preparing step-by-step for life after high school: Use this timeline to help you make sure you’re accomplishing everything you need to, when you need to.
- Continue to take a full course load of college-prep courses.
- Keep working on your grades. Make sure you have taken the courses necessary to graduate in the spring.
- Continue to participate in extracurricular and volunteer activities. Demonstrate initiative, creativity, commitment, and leadership in each.
- Male students must register for selective service on their 18th birthday to be eligible for federal and state financial aid.
- Talk to your counselor, teachers, and parents about your final college choices.
- Make a calendar showing application deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarships.
- Use resource books, the Internet, and your guidance counselor’s office for information on scholarships and grants. Ask colleges about scholarships for which you may qualify.
- Give recommendation forms to the teachers you have chosen so you teachers can send them directly to colleges. Be sure to fill out your name, address, and school name on the top of the form. Talk to your recommendation writers about your goals and ambitions.
- Give School Report forms to your guidance counselor. Fill in your name, address, and any other required information on the top of the form. Verify with your guidance counselor the schools to which transcripts, test scores, and letters are to be sent. Give your counselor any necessary forms at least two weeks before they are due or whenever your counselor’s deadline is, whichever is earlier.
- Register for and take the ACT, SAT I, and/or SAT II Subject Tests, as necessary.
- Be sure your have requested (either by mail or online) that your test scores be sent to the colleges of your choice.
- Most colleges now require electronic submission for applications. Be sure to note early decision and scholarship deadlines (often in November and December) so that you can be sure to submit your application on time.
- If possible, visit colleges while classes are in session.
- If you plan to apply for an ROTC scholarship, remember that your application is due by December 1.
- Make sure to keep extra copies of every application you submit.
- Attend any college preparatory nights that are held at your school or sponsored by a local organization.
- Send mid-year grade reports to colleges. Continue to focus on your schoolwork!
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and, if necessary, PROFILE. These forms can be obtained from your guidance counselor or at www.fafsa.gov. You will not be able to fill out the FAFSA until January 1st, so do not send them in before then.
- Be sure to apply to at least one college you know you can afford and where you know you will be accepted.
- BE SURE TO FOLLOW UP and make sure colleges have received all your application materials, including recommendations and test scores.
- Meet with your guidance counselor to verify that all applicable forms are in order and have been sent out to colleges.
- Watch your mail between March 1 and April 1 for acceptance letters from colleges.
- Watch your mail/email for notification of financial aid awards between April 1 and May 1.
- Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges and universities that have accepted you.
- Make your final choice and notify all schools of your intent by May 1. If possible, do not decide without making at least one campus visit. Send your nonrefundable deposit to your chosen school by May 1 as well. Request that your guidance counselor send a final transcript to the college in June.
- Be sure that you have received a FAFSA acknowledgment.
- If you applied for a Pell Grant (part of your FAFSA application), you will receive the Student Aid Report (SAR) statement. Review your Pell notice, and forward it to the college you plan to attend. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.
- Complete any follow-up paperwork for the college of your choice (scheduling, orientation session, housing arrangements, and other necessary forms).
- Receive the orientation schedule from your college.
- Get your residence hall assignment if you are living on campus.
- obtain course scheduling and cost information from your college. Explore discount stores and websites in order to find cheaper prices on required books for your courses, but make sure you are purchasing the correct edition.
- Congratulations! you are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Good luck!