Junior Timeline Fall Semester August If you have not already done so, go to GACollege411 and create an account. By creating a secure, private account, you can have access to some valuable tools to help you plan for your future whether it is work or college. Here are some of the things you can access with your private account: Learn which careers match your interests and personality Keep a record of your high school grades, honors, test scores, and activities Gain access to career information that will help you plan for your future work. Track your progress toward meeting specific college entrance requirements Apply online to colleges in Georgia Submit financial aid applications online These tools will make applying to college as a senior so much easier. Use this year to improve you GPA. Your GPA after this year is what colleges will use to determine your acceptance. Review your transcript for graduation. Read up on HOPE requirements so you will know where you stand and to make the correct choices. Check out GPA conversion chart. Make sure that your class schedule for the year is appropriate and challenging. Read Considerations for Course Selections to make sure you are challenging yourself enough. If you are planning on attending very competitive colleges, it is important to be active in extracurricular activities and community involvement. Competitive colleges want to know how you have contributed to your school and to your community. MANY scholarships are available for students who have been actively involved in the community. Check out the scholarship area of the website and see the requirements. September Register for the PSAT which will be given the first of October. Remember that when you take the PSAT in your Junior Year, the scores will count towards the National Merit Scholarship Program. Begin to prepare for the PSAT. Take the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in Writing. CollegeBoard's "20 Questions to Ask Your Counselor" is information you need to know. Review the information and the links and apply the information personally. Then, make an appointment with your counselor to go over any questions or information you could not answer. Throughout the fall, there will be numerous opportunities for you to speak with college reps. NOW is the time to do this; don't wait until your senior year! They will be visiting our school and setting up a table outside the cafeteria during lunch times. There will be WHS's annual College Night in November, and PROBE Fairs in the vicinity. Take advantage of these opportunities in your junior year! Review the Questions To Ask College Reps because these are things that will help you make your decisions. Update your GACollege 411 account. October and November The most important thing to remember is to keep your grades up!!! Take the PSAT. Jumpstart your college planning by reading about majors and careers. http://www.actstudent.org/career/tips.html , http://www.gacollege411.org/Career/CareerCenter/career_clusters.asp , http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/ , http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm You must know what interests you before you can make a wise college decision. Another good site is http://www.mymajors.com because it explains about majors and minors and all those other college terms. After deciding some possibilities of career goals, make your list of colleges where these goals can be met. Include a few colleges that your GPA meets the requirements (within reach), a couple of colleges where you GPA almost meets the requirements (a reach) and a few colleges where the requirements are lower than your GPA ( in the pocket or safety). If a college is "out of reach" i.e. your GPA is way off from their requirements, you probably would not want to consider that college. Princeton Review has a great tool to help you do start considering colleges.. Your list should contain approximately 10 to 12 colleges you would like consider. You should not mark a college off at this point just because it is expensive, but you should include other colleges that are considered "affordable". The money considerations come later! Begin researching and reading about these colleges. Talk to people! Instead of letting all the adults ask you questions about what your are going to do, start asking them questions about what they did. Find out about their career, where they went to college, why they liked it, what they didn't like about it, what they'd change if they could, etc. Find out when your school or district is having Financial Aid Night. While the information is mostly for seniors who will be attending college in the coming fall, juniors and their parents can gain valuable insight that will assist them in their planning. Update your GACollege411 account. December You will receive your scores from the October PSAT. Review your results with your teachers and your counselor, in order to identify your strengths and to determine the areas you may want to improve upon. Many students take SAT Prep courses, but both ACT and SAT offer practice tests, words of the day, etc. Obtain testing schedule for ACT and SAT. www.act.org & www.collegeboard.com. Decide which test would be best for you to take; they are different and based on the courses you have taken and the way you learn one may be better for you to take than the other. Update your GACollege411 account. SPRING SEMESTER January Continue to collect information about the colleges on your list. Recommit to a new semester and to improving your GPA. Continue to read and research the colleges on your list. Most colleges have scheduled Campus tours you can sign up for, or online Virtual Tours. Try to further narrow your list to colleges that match your personality, location requirements, financial offerings, and your GPA. If you are taking AP Courses and desire to take the AP Exam, start listening for information about that. Update your GACollege411 account. February Register to take the ACT or SAT. By registering early you stand a better chance of getting the location that you prefer. Narrow you college list to 1 or 2 reach schools, 3 within reach, and 2 safety schools. Separating college into tiers will help you manage your expectations throughout the admissions process. While it may be impossible to know whether or not you will be accepted to your schools of choice, the best you can do is to prepare yourself for the likely outcomes. There are many documents on this site that can help you narrow down and organize your choices. Set up times to visit the schools. While you can probably not visit them all, try to visit as many as possible. Visiting the campus not only gives allows you to see what the school really looks like, you see it in the setting (urban, rural, etc) and you get a feel for the school. Almost every school will tell you about visitation times online. Winter and Spring breaks are great times to visit because classes are in session, so you get more opportunities to see what goes on. If you go on interviews or visits, don't forget to send thank you notes. Sign up for the AP test that you are interested in taking. Look up what tests you need to take for all the colleges that are on your lists. Highly competitive colleges may want you to take the SAT II your senior year. Update your GACollege411 account. March Register for classes for your senior year. If you have followed the timeline above you already have good information to help you make the right choices. Make an appointment with your counselor to go over registration and all the postsecondary decisions that you have been making. If you have not already done so, register for the ACT/SAT. Take the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Keep your grades up!!! Continue making visits and gathering information about colleges. If you are having difficulty deciding about colleges use the College Comparison Chart on this site. Update your GACollege 411 account. April and May Focus on your studies and ending the year with a boost to your GPA. Register for ACT/SAT if you have not already done so. Take the practice tests which are available. If you have followed this timeline and completed the above preliminaries, then you are in good shape. You have narrowed your choices and pretty much know to which colleges your are applying. Concentrate on what your schools of choice would have you do to be accepted by them. If you haven't narrowed your choices then develop a list of colleges that you can divide into 1 or 2 reach schools, 3 within reach schools, and 2 safety schools. Plan to apply to them all. You should have already considered schools in each of these categories, but separating them into tiers will help you manage your expectations throughout the admissions process. While it may be impossible to know whether or not you will be accepted to your schools of choice, the best you can do is to prepare yourself for the likely outcomes. Complete and mail NCAA Eligibility if you plan to compete in college: http://www.ncaa.org/library/general/cbsa/2002-03/index.html. See the athletic director at your school. Explore Summer programs, volunteer opportunities, or employment. Update youGACollege411 account. SUMMER JUNE and JULY Take the ACT or SAT. Continue to visit colleges. Make sure you call ahead for appointments. At GACollege411 you can start practice writing online applications, filling out rough drafts of each application without submitting them. Determine if the colleges you are applying to will require an essay or a recommendation. Focus on the essay portions of these applications, deciding how you want to present yourself. You can use GACollege411 Online Applications to start reviewing the applications and filling in the required information. All of your input will be saved electronically and you can continue to update it until you are ready to submit. Start reading the information in the Senior Advisement area to familiarize yourself with what will be required. Decide if you are going to apply under a particular college's early decision or early action program. This requires you to submit your applications early, usually between October and December of your senior year, but you usually find out before January 1 if you have been accepted or not. If you choose to apply early, you should do so for the college that you would most like to attend. Many early decision programs are legally binding, requiring you to attend the college to which you are applying, should they accept you.
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