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College Planning Timeline

HMSA College Course Checklist

 

Freshman Year

  • Develop good study habits. Grades are the most important factor colleges consider.
  • Learn about extracurricular activities and choose to participate in some.  HMSA has a lot of great clubs to be a part of. Many colleges consider talent and leadership in the admissions process, so it is important to show them you have been involved in extracurricular activities. Besides, they are the fun part of school!
  • Take the PSAT in October and review your results in January.
  • Sign up for presentations with college representatives by logging into Naviance.
  • Begin to explore college choices and pay attention to minimum eligibility requirements for acceptance. Some great sites are Big Future and Naviance. These websites have interest inventories which allow you to answer questions about yourself and then get suggestions about majors, careers, and colleges that might be a good fit for you. 

Sophomore Year

  • Continue to earn A, B, and/or C grades in all of your classes.   
  • Continue to participate in one or two extracurricular activities. Colleges are looking for depth rather than breadth. 
  • Take the PSAT in October and review your results in January.
  • Complete a "Career Interest Inventory" on Naviance and link your career goals to your college search. 
  • Continue to research college choices using Big Future and Naviance
  • Sign up for presentations with college representatives by logging into Naviance.

Junior Year

  • Continue to earn A, B, and/or C grades in all of your classes.   
  • Continue to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Continue to research college choices using Big Future and Naviance
  • Take the PSAT in October. Junior year, you can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship through scores on the PSAT.
  • Register to take the ACT exam and the SAT Reasoning exam using your fee waiver if applicable. When registering, you can request to send free score reports to some colleges you may be interested in applying to. 
  • Prepare for the SAT & ACT!
  • Attend the NACAC College Fair in April
  • Take AP exams in May.
  • During the summer, work on your college essay, take a college class, and/or attend a summer program. Remember, the summer before your senior year is the last time you can take a class that will be included in your GPA when applying to college and for Cal Grant eligibility. 

 

Senior Year

  • Finalize your list of colleges and universities you will apply to and submit your College List by October.
  • If necessary, register to retake the ACT Plus Writing and/or the SAT with essay no later than December.
  • Return completed Cal Grant Verification form to counselor in October
  • Complete the FAFSA or CADAA by the March 2 deadline.
  • Submit acceptance letters to counseling office. 
  • Submit your "Intent to Enroll" to the college you will be attending by the May 1 deadline. 
  • Apply for housing early - check refund policy.
  • Request final transcript to be sent to the college you will be attending.
  • Don’t develop “senioritis” - colleges have been known to revoke admissions.
  • Celebrate graduation!