Mr. Hischak--GNAHS Guidance Department
Scholarship / Financial Aid Resources
Calendar for Juniors & Seniors
11th and 12th Grade Timeline
PSAT / SAT / ACT Information
College / Career Search
SAT Prep Course
Student Assistance Program / HOPE
College Admissions Assistance--SCAM
2012 Summer School Information
11th and 12th Grade Timeline
Meet with your counselor to review the courses you’ve taken, and see what you still need to take.
Check your class rank. Even if your grades haven’t been that good so far, it’s never too late to improve. Colleges like to see an upward trend.
If you didn’t do so in tenth grade, sign up for and take the PSAT/NMSQT. In addition to National Merit Scholarships, this is the qualifying test for the National Scholarship Service and National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program.
Take a long, hard look at why you want to continue your education after high school so you will be able to choose the best college or university for your needs.
Make a list of colleges that meet your most important criteria (size, location, distance from home, majors, academic rigor, housing, and cost). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you.
Continue visiting college fairs. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a college to your list.
Speak to college representatives who visit your high school.
If you want to participate in Division I or Division II sports in college, start the certification process. Check with your counselor to make sure you are taking a core curriculum that meets NCAA requirements.
If you are interested in one of the military academies, talk to you guidance counselor about starting the application process now.
Collect information about college application procedures, entrance requirements, tuition and fees, room and board costs, student activities, course offerings, faculty composition, accreditation, and financial aid. The Internet is a good way to visit colleges and obtain this information. Begin comparing the schools by the factors that you consider to be most important.
Discuss you PSAT score with your counselor.
Begin narrowing down your college choices. Find out if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT I, ACT Assessment, or SAT II Subject Tests for admission.
Register for the ACT Assessment, which is usually taken in April or June. You can take it again late in your junior year or in the fall of your senior year, if necessary.
Begin preparing for the tests you’ve decided to take.
Have a discussion with your parents about the colleges in which you are interested. Examine financial resources, and gather information about financial aid.
Meet with your counselor to review senior-year course selection and graduation requirements.
Discuss ACT Assessment/SAT I scores with your counselor. Register to take the ACT Assessment and/or SAT I again if you’d like to try to improve your score.
Discuss the college essay with your guidance counselor or English teacher.
Stay involved with your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistency and depth in activities.
Consider whom you will ask to write your recommendations. Think about asking teachers who know you well and who will write positive letters about you. Letters from a coach, activity leader, or an adult who knows you well outside of school (e.g., volunteer work contact) are also valuable.
Inquire about personal interviews at your favorite colleges. Call or write for early summer appointments. Make necessary travel arrangements.
Request applications from schools you’re interested in by mail or via the Internet.
Visit the campuses of your top-five college choices.
Talk to people you know who have attended the colleges in which you are interested.
Practice filling out college applications, and then complete the final application forms or apply online through the Web sites of the colleges in which you’re interested.
Volunteer in your community.
Compose rough drafts of your college essays. Have a teacher read and discuss them with you. Proofread them, and prepare final drafts. Proofread your final essays at least three times.
Develop a financial aid application plan, including a list of the aid sources, requirements for each application, and a timetable for meeting the filing deadlines.
Continue to take a full course load of college-prep courses.
Keep working on your grades. Make sure you have taken the courses necessary to graduate in the spring.
To male students: you must register for selective service on your eighteenth birthday to be eligible for federal and state financial aid.
Talk to counselors, teachers, and parents about your final college choices.
Make a calendar showing application deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarships.
Check resource books, computer programs, and your guidance office for information on scholarships and grants. Ask colleges about scholarships for which you may qualify.
Give recommendation forms to the teachers you have chosen, along with stamped, self-addressed envelopes so your teachers can send them directly to the colleges. Be sure to fill out your name, address, and school name on the top of the form. Talk to you recommendation writers about your goals and ambitions.
Give School Report forms to your high school’s guidance office. Fill in your name, address, and any other required information on top. Verify with your guidance counselor the schools to which transcripts, test scores, and letters are to be sent. Give your counselor any necessary forms at least two weeks before they are due or whenever your counselor’s deadline is, whichever is earlier.
Register for and take the ACT Assessment, SAT I, or SAT II Subject Tests, as necessary.
Be sure you have requested (either by mail or online) that your test scores be sent to the colleges of your choice.
Mail or send electronically any college applications for early-decision admission by November 1.
If possible, visit colleges while classes are in session.
If you plan to apply for an ROTC scholarship, remember that your application is due by December 1.
Print extra copies or make photocopies of every application you send.
Attend whatever college-preparatory nights are held at your school or by local organizations.
Send midyear grade reports to colleges. Continue to focus on your schoolwork!
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and, if necessary, PROFILE®. These forms can be obtained from your guidance counselor or at
to download the forms or to file electronically. These forms may not be processed before January 1, so don’t send them before then.
Mail or send electronically any remaining applications and financial aid forms before winter break. Make sure you apply to at least one college that you know you can afford and where you know you will be accepted.
Follow up to make sure that the colleges have received all application information, including recommendations and test scores.
Meet with your counselor to verify that all applicable forms are in order and have been sent out to colleges.
Watch your mail between March 1 and April 1 for acceptance notifications from colleges.
Watch your mail for notification of financial aid awards between April 1 and May 1.
Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges and universities that have accepted you.
Make your final choice, and notify all schools of your intent by May 1. If possible, do not decide without making at least one campus visit. Send your nonrefundable deposit to your chosen school by May 1 as well. Request that your guidance counselor send a final transcript to the college in June.
Be sure that you have received a FAFSA acknowledgment.
If you applied for a Pell Grant (on the FAFSA), you will receive the Student Aid Report (SAR) statement. Review this Pell notice, and forward it to the college you plan to attend. Make a copy for your record.
Complete follow-up paperwork for the college of your choice (scheduling, orientation session, housing arrangements, and other necessary forms).
Contact the school you will be attending to apply for student and/or parent loans.
Receive the orientation schedule from your college.
Get residence hall assignment from your college.
Obtain course scheduling and cost information from your college.
Congratulations! You are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Good luck.
Last Modified: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011
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