Ballard High School

High School
* Applying to College

Four Year Timeline for Applying to College

Timeline for Applying to College

9th Grade

  • Do your best! Select classes that balance rigor and GPA. Develop organizational skills and time management.
  • Join a club or sport. Explore! Find what activities excite you.
  • Start your High School and Beyond Plan in Naviance: Start drafting your resume, Strengths Explorer.
  • Start reading/researching about colleges or programs.

10th Grade

  • Maintain or raise your GPA.
  • Follow your interests. Be active in a few clubs or sports: depth over breadth
  • Continue reading/researching.
  • Complete AchieveWorks Personality or other assessment and update your resume in Naviance.
  • Do something interesting during the summer.

11th Grade

  • Maintain or raise your GPA.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT at school in the fall (October).
  • Attend Financial Aid Night.
  • Schedule/take SAT at school in the spring if your high school give a school day test. If not, you can sign up on your own or wait to take it fall of your senior year.
  • Begin to think about leadership opportunities.
  • Complete the SuperMatch college search and update your resume in Naviance.
  • Continue reading/researching.
  • Check out some college presentations–register through Naviance.
  • Go to on campus visits, if possible. It’s best to do this when they are in session.
  • Attend college rep visits and attend the National College Fair (November).
  • Try to finalize college list (10 max): Reach school(s), match school(s), and a back-up school based on their freshman profile. Plan on at least one in-state school.
  • Spring: Think about which teacher(s) you would like to ask for a letter of recommendation.
  • Do something interesting during the summer.
  • Write essays in summer before 12th grade.

12th Grade

  • Get organized with where you are applying and what each school needs.
  • Finalize resume in Naviance.
  • Attend Financial Aid Night, especially if you didn’t junior year.
  • Ask your letter of recommendation writers and give them your college list and resume. Private, independent schools often want school counselor as well as a teacher.
  • Try to do some leadership in activities or clubs you’ve been involved with.
  • Edit all essays in the fall.
  • Attend college rep visits and college fair.
  • Apply for financial aid (FAFSA/WASFA) in the fall. Some schools use the CSS Profile as well.
  • Send test scores and transcripts to colleges.
  • Apply to colleges: Common Application, Coalition, school-specific website. Give them exactly what they want.
  • Consider applying for the Seattle Promise Scholarship.
  • Fight to get off the waitlist.
  • Apply for scholarships throughout the fall, winter, and spring.
  • Decide where to go to college! National College Decision Day is May 1.