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The Road to College

College planning begins in your freshman year!

Freshman Year

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Create a four-year high school plan. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next four years.

  • Find out which high school courses are required by colleges, so that you begin taking the right classes in the ninth grade. You can ask your counselor what those “right” classes are.
  • Get to know the levels of courses offered by your school.

Start thinking about your life after school, including the types of jobs that might interest you. Of course these will change — often — but it’s good to start thinking about the possibilities.

  • Identify your interests — likes and dislikes — not just in school but in every area. This will help you focus on your goals.
  • Talk to people, such as your school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working, professionals in the community, etc., about careers you might find interesting.

Participate in extracurricular activities. Academics aren’t everything. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity.

  • Remember that colleges would rather see serious involvement in one activity than a loose connection to several.

If you’re interested in playing sports in college, research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.

Meet with your high school counselor to help you get the most out of high school. Take some time during the school year to discuss post-high-school plans with him or her.

Establish good vocabulary & study skills. Put the necessary effort in to get good grades. Most seniors wish they could go back and work harder their freshman year to get “A”s.

Save for college. It’s not too soon to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps!

Take the ASPIRE Exam in October.

Take Interest Inventory and use the results to explore the World-of-Work map provided by act.org.

Attend Freshman College Night, where the ASPIRE results will be discussed. Provides a snapshot of student academic skills and knowledge to help determine college readiness in English, Math, Reading, and Science. The test also includes an interest inventory that helps students target careers. Use the World-of-Work map and associated resources to research careers that match your interests.

Keep a list of activities, service, and awards.

Explore summer opportunities. Look for a job, internship, or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.

Sophomore Year

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:5

Continue to take college prep coursework and keep your GPA up.

Continue reading consistently and improving your vocabulary skills.

Continue extracurricular andservice involvement.

Take the PSAT in October. Use the results, including free access to My College Quick Start, to explore careers, majors and colleges. Use the individual study plan to improve your SAT score.

Attend Sophomore Night.

Attend College Fairs. Use the links on the College Fairs & Virtual Tours page to find fairs you can attend.

Take the ACT in spring. Students usually prefer either the ACT or SAT. If students take the ACT in the spring, they can compare their experience to the PSAT to determine which test to focus on.

Continue to talk with the adults in your life about your career thoughts and, when possible, speak with people who hold that type of job and/or arrange to job shadow.

Tour college campuses. If possible, take advantage of vacation or other family travel time to visit colleges and see what they’re like. Even if you have no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for.

Junior Year

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Continue with college prep coursework, activities, and service.

Meet with your counselor to review your goals.

Attend Junior Night.

Take the PSAT in October.

Attend College Fairs (WACAC in Reno in the fall and NACAC in San Francisco in the spring).

Attend Financial Aid Night in December.

Begin to research colleges using the filter questions and links on the College Planning page.

Take the SAT/ACT in the spring.

Visit colleges during school breaks.

Begin preparing your portfolio, if applicable.

Write the first draft of your personal essay.

Review your list of accomplishments and activities.

Your goal is to have your final list of schools that you want to apply to by the beginning of your senior year!

Senior Year

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Continue with clubs and activities.

Schedule a meeting with your counselor in August or early Sept. Ask for an unofficial transcript and review its accuracy.

Finalize the list of schools you want to apply to. Look up application requirements and deadlines in September.

Begin the application process.

Know your deadlines!!!!!!

Finish your personal essay. Get feedback from your parents and teachers to ensure that you have written a strong personal statement.

Take the SAT/ ACT- as needed, paying particular attention to deadlines for applications and scholarships.

Oct. – Give teachers the letter of recommendation request form. Provide a list of your accomplishments and activities to the teachers who are writing recommendations for you, and give them at least two weeks to write the letter.

Oct.  File the FAFSA

Nov. Attend the Reno College Fair.

Nov. Begin applying for scholarships.

Plan a visit to your college of choice if you haven’t done so already.

Nov. -Finalize relevant portfolio

Dec.  Attend the Financial Aid seminar with your parents.

Feb. 1st  Applications to UNR must be received by this date to be eligible for their pool of scholarships.

Feb/March  Attend the “Bridge to Success” Program if you are planning on attending WNC.

April: Attend College Fairs

April: Notify SLHS of scholarships and college decisions,

Final transcripts will be sent to the school you are attending and the Nevada State Treasurer will be notified of those students who meet the Millennium Scholarship qualifications at the end of the school year.

Congratulations!!!! God has a perfect plan for you and you have taken that next step!!