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Four Year Timeline for Applying to College

4 Year Timeline for Applying to College

Grade 9

  • 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

Grade 10

  • Maintain or raise your GPA
  • Be active in a few clubs or sports: depth over breadth
  • Continue reading/researching
  • Take the PSAT at school in the fall (October)
  • Complete AchieveWorks Personality assessment and update your resume in Naviance
  • Do something interesting during the summer

Grade 11

  • Maintain or raise your GPA
  • Take the PSAT/NMQT at school in the fall (October)
  • Attend Financial Aid Night
  • Schedule/take SAT at school in the spring
  • 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 rec
  • Do something interesting during the summer
  • Write essays in summer before 12th grade.

Grade 12

  • Finalize resume in Naviance
  • Attend Financial Aid Night, especially if you didn’t junior year
  • Ask your letter of rec writers and give your college list and resume. Private, independent schools often want school counselor as well as a teacher.
  • Try to do some leadership
  • 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