Timeline for High School

9th Grade

  • Make a 4-year course schedule plan. It is important to see how all your coursework will fit into your high school years.

  • Make academic and personal goals and update them once a year.

  • Join a club, activity or sport. It will make high school more enjoyable.

  • Volunteer at a place that interests you. Colleges like to see on applications, students who are willing to donate their time to the community.

10th Grade

  • Focus on academic goals.

  • Take the most challenging classes you can handle.

  • Continue volunteering.

  • Participate in school activities. Become part of your high school by being involved in school activities, sports or a club.

  • Start a list of colleges where you might want to attend. It's good to know now what entrance requirements they have.

  • Visit college websites and campuses.

11th Grade

  • Check the colleges you might attend to make sure that you meet their requirements. Check your course schedule plan for the next two years.

  • Focus on getting the best grades possible.

  • Take challenging courses.

  • Take the PSAT. This is the year it counts for the National Merit Scholarship. Sign up online on the Counseling website in September.

  • Visit college websites to become familiar with requirements.

  • If you want to play D1 or D2 sports in college, talk to your coach and contact NCAA Clearinghouse.

  • Register for the ACT and/or SAT. (Remember to take SAT ll tests if your college requires them.)

  • Apply to summer programs or other opportunities that interest you.

  • Visit college campuses.

  • Visit with college representatives in the Counseling Office

12th Grade


  • Start planning your essays for college applications.

  • Take college campus tours

  • Register to take the ACT/SAT again if you want in September


  • Create a calendar with all your deadlines. Include college application deadlines, scholarship application deadlines, financial aid deadlines, FAFSA deadline.

  • Be aware of your application deadline.

  • Ask for letters of recommendation from teachers and your counselor, at least two weeks in advance.

  • If you are applying to highly selective colleges and using the Common Application, you must meet with your counselor.

  • Follow your high school's protocol for the application process.

  • Attend the NACAC fair in October at the Mpls. Convention Center. It has hundreds of colleges in attendance.

  • Finish essays for college applications.

  • Apply "Early Decision", which is a binding decision or "Early Action" which is non-binding... if you choose that option.


  • Decide on the college and notify the Admissions' Office by May 1. Notify your other colleges to let them know you will not be attending.

  • Complete your Housing application.

  • Have your final transcript sent.