What should I do now?
- Start to
consider your goals and what kind of education you'll need
to reach them.
- Enroll in
challenging courses. Get help when you need it.
- Develop good
study habits. Ask your teachers or counselors for
hints on how to do this.
- Take advantage
of school programs such as tutoring, writing centers, and
summer enrichment programs that can help you do your best.
- Talk to adults
in your school and community about their college
- Get involved in
school life. Participate in extracurricular
- Enroll in
challenging courses, especially those courses colleges
consider for admission. Plan ahead: make sure you will
have completed algebra II and geometry by the end of the
- Enroll in an SAT
prep course if offered.
- Talk to your
guidance counselor about colleges you might like to attend.
He or she may have information available to help you develop
a plan to get there.
- Research schools
at the library and on the internet.
financial aid opportunities: scholarships, grants, and
- Take the PSAT in
the fall for more practice.
- Take the SAT in
- Collect all the
information you can from those colleges you are interested
in. Attend college open houses if possible to visit
colleges in your area. Begin to rank the colleges you
think you'd like to attend.
- Start to put
together your resume. Organize the information that is
likely to be requested on college applications.
- Check out the
college application process. This summer, start
working on any essays you might need to write (it is never
too early to start).
- Continue to do
your best in your classes. Enroll in AP courses in
your best subjects if they are available.
- Search for
various scholarship programs.
- Learn about the
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
- Choose courses
for your senior year that are challenging and that showcase
your academic abilities.
- Look for summer
internships that will provide you with the opportunity to
explore your interests and gain experience.
- In the fall,
complete college applicants for at least 4 to 6 schools you
would like to attend. Request letters of
recommendation from your teachers as the applications
require. Let your school counselor know when you are
submitting these so he or she can submit transcripts and
letters of recommendation.
- In the fall,
retake the SAT if you think you can improve your scores from
- Get organized!
Set up your own system of tracking deadlines for making
decisions, finishing tasks, and mailing out appropriate
materials such as test registrations, college applications,
financial aid forms, etc.
- Check with your
guidance counselor to find out when college representatives
are visiting school. Meet these representatives to get
more information about schools that interest you.
- Check with
colleges you apply to about their financial application
- Visit the top
schools on your list. Attend their scheduled "open
house" days so you can take advantage of the activities
they've scheduled to introduce you to the school.
- After January
1st, encourage your parents to complete the FAFSA.
Submit it before March 1st.
- Seek out and
submit scholarship and grant applications from the federal
government, state agencies, private foundations, and
- As you begin to
receive letters from colleges, organize them. Make
your final decision.
- Enjoy your last
year of high school!
Start preparing NOW.
Start thinking about your goals and dreams. What do you
want to achieve, and what do you need to achieve? Use your
resources. High school guidance counselors, college
admission officers, librarians, and the internet all can provide
you with more information. Here are some interesting books
and websites to check out about colleges and getting money for
The Kids College
Almanac: A First Look At College by Barbara C.
Greenfield and Robert A. Weinstein.
The U.S. Department
of Education offers numerous publications and Web sites to help
www.CollegeIsPossible.org is a Web site for parents and
students with links to more sources of information.
The College Board
provides information about the SAT plus lots of other general
information free to parents, students, and colleges:
The Maryland State
Department of Education's Web site,
www.marylandpublicschools.org offers information geared to
parents, students, and teachers.
The Maryland Higher
Education Commission offers information about colleges and
universities and financial aid:
Business Roundtable for Education has a great Web site for
www.BeWhatIWantToBe.com, that lets them explore exciting
careers and what it takes to qualify for them.
FAFSA on the Web:
This form can be completed online or a paper application can be
obtained by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center
information on federal student aid go to
thousands of private scholarships:
www.finaid.org is a
comprehensive site for financial aid information.