• Review your schedule and graduation requirements with your school counselor or college advisor.

  • See if you are eligible for Honors or Advanced Placement courses.

  • Get involved with extracurricular, enrichment, and service learning activities.

  • If you are interested in a Career & Technology Education (CTE) program, start thinking seriously about which track aligns with your long-term career goals.

  • Talk to family, friends, and community members about your college and career aspirations.

  • Complete the Freshmen Transition Survey in NAVIANCE.

9th Grade 
  • Keep track of your GPA.

  • Continue to speak with your counselor about your schedule to ensure that you are on track to graduate.

  • Consider taking Honors or AP courses, and take advantage of course offerings aligned to your college and career goals.  

  • Explore summer employment and enrichment activities.

  • Take the PSAT.

  • Use the NAVIANCE Career Interest Profile to research college majors connected to your career interests.

  • Start identifying colleges and programs that you might be interested in.

Each year in high school is important to achieving success after graduation. If you wait until your junior year to start thinking about your future and get serious about your studies, you will be too late.


10th Grade
11th Grade
  • Complete your graduation status review meeting with your school counselor.

  • Take the PSAT in the Fall if you didn't take it in the 10th grade.

  • Register & prepare for the Spring SAT. Remember, as a City Schools student, you can take the SAT twice for FREE! 

  • Look for leadership opportunities at your school and in the community.

  • Look for opportunities for job shadowing or career exploration. 

  • Use NAVIANCE College SuperMatch to find your "fit factors." 

  • Take a tour of some of the colleges you might be interested in. 

  • If you are interested in the military, meet with an admissions officer or recruiter. You will need to connect with a recruiter in order to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) next year. 

  • Begin preparing your resume. Take time to update your resume as you acquire new skills and achievements. 

  • Begin thinking about who you would like to write your letters of recommendation. Reach out to them to see if they will be willing to do so. 

  • Begin researching and applying for scholarships. 

  • When picking courses for your senior year, be sure that you will have enough credits to graduate. 

  • If you are thinking of attending college, make sure your schedule and credits meet college admission requirements.

12th Grade 


  • Meet with your guidance counselor to be sure that are on track to graduate. 

  • Take the SAT or ACT. 

  • If you are interested in the military, take the Armed Services Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

  • Update your resume. By October, provide a copy to anyone who will be writing a letter of recommendation for you. 

  • Use NAVIANCE to assemble all college and trade school application materials. 

  • Continue researching scholarships. Begin applying for scholarships and grants, if possible. 

  • The FAFSA application now opens on October 1. Talk to your parents/guardians about gathering whatever information is needed to complete your FAFSA as early as possible. 

  • Finalize the list of colleges and universities you will be applying to. 

  • Begin drafting your college essay or personal statement.

  • Maintain a calendar that lists the admissions deadline for each of the schools you will apply to. 


  • Attend college fairs, tours, open houses or online information sessions for schools on your final list. Be sure that these are still schools that meet your "fit factors." 

  • Begin submitting your college applications.

  • Remind your teachers and counselors of deadlines for submitting college recommendations. 


  • Once you start getting acceptance letters, take time to review and compare your financial aid packages. 

  • After carefully considering your offers, begin to narrow down your options to a final choice. 

  • Continue to research and apply for scholarships. 


  • Submit enrollment materials and housing deposits for college or trade schools. May 1 is National Candidates Reply Date.

  • If you are taking AP exams, be sure to have your scores sent to the college you will be attending. 

  • Check-in with your school counselor to be sure that your final transcript has been sent to your selected college. 

  • GRADUATE and celebrate your accomplishments! 


​Preparing for College 

  • Get access to NAVIANCE Family Connection and use it to help guide you and your child through the college admissions process. 

  • Make sure your all of your contact information is up-to-date at your child's school, so you don't miss any important information. 

  • Look for SAT or ACT preparation courses in the community. Encourage your child to use free services such as Khan Academy or SAT/ACT prep books available at the library. 

  • Talk to your child about what options they are considering after graduation.

Applying to College 

  • Research colleges along with your child to help them identify schools that fit their needs academically, socially, and financially. 

  • Attend college fairs and tours with your child whenever possible. Many schools now offer virtual tours! 

  • Put deadlines for college applications and financial aid on a family calendar. 

  • Check your mail regularly for notices and materials that might be related to college admissions. 

Paying for College 

  • Help your child research scholarships. 

  • FAFSA applications open October 1. Get required documents ready ahead of time so that you can help your child apply as early as possible. 

  • Be sure to budget for housing and enrollment deposits due in early May. 

  • Once your child has selected a school to attend, see if you are eligible for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. If you aren't eligible for the Parent Plus Loan, notify the college's financial aid office, so they can authorize additional federal loans for your child.