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In the first year of high school, students are encouraged to focus on themselves — primarily on their academic life, to challenge themselves, and to find their interests and passions both in and outside the classroom. This is the time to develop work and learning habits.
Students continue to hone academic and extracurricular identities. Counselors introduce themselves again and introduce the college prep tests 10th graders take this year: the practice ACT and the PSAT. While it is early to be specific about certain colleges, conversations about general college characteristics may be helpful and fun. These characteristics may include school size, location, majors offered, co-ed vs. single sex, religious affiliation, cost and sports programs. If travel brings you near a college, you may want to take a tour, strictly as a non-stressed tourist.
- October - Take PSAT.
- Winter – Study PSAT results to analyze academic strengths and weaknesses; focus on improvement where needed.
- April – Take practice ACT. Attend College Night if you can. Consider touring some local colleges as examples of certain categories of schools, such as large public, small liberal arts, or medium-size Catholic.
- June - Take SAT II Subject exams if desired.
The college search process begins in earnest. Attend school meetings with college representatives as part of college research. Counselors have classroom sessions to launch the process. Look forward to several individual meetings with your counselor. Be ready to look closely at yourself and to think about the kinds of learning environments that appeal to you.
- October – Take the PSAT. Attend Countdown to College kick-off. Look at your calendar and start to set aside dates to take the ACT and SAT over the year. Consider test preparation.
- January-February – Work with your counselor on researching colleges, and develop a good list of schools that fit your desires and profile.
- March-May – Continue researching colleges; maybe visit some. Begin to narrow the list. Counselors will hold essay sessions to help you draft a good essay. They will also have individual meetings with students.
- June – Continue any college testing as well as appropriate SAT II Subject Tests.
The culmination of the college search journey. Individual meetings with your counselor continue as needed. Drop-in visits are welcome; we offer essay consultations and field any questions or anxieties along the way.
- Fall - Retake entrance tests as needed. File applications. Athletes apply to NCAA Eligibility Center as soon as possible and request a transcript. Apply for financial aid and continue to research and apply for scholarships.
- November/December – Parents encouraged to attend Financial Aid Night.
- January – Midterm grades sent to colleges with applications. Parents submit FAFSA form.
- April 15 – College response deadline.
- May 1 – National Reply Date. Deposit must be made to one, and only one, college to hold student’s place.