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College Preparation
and Planning


 

 

The Path to College

 

College Preparation Checklist for Students
Financial Preparation Checklists for Parents

These checklists are from the U.S. Department of Education's Preparing Your Child for College: A Resource Book for Parents, 1996-97 Edition. The full text of the document is available online at (http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/) and is also available through 1-800-USA-LEARN.


Before High School:

Take challenging classes in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, the arts, and a foreign language.

Develop strong study skills.

Start thinking about which high school classes will best prepare you for college.

If you have an opportunity to choose among high schools or among different programs within one high school, investigate the options and determine which ones will help you further your academic and career interests and will open doors to many future options.

Investigate different ways to save money, including buying U.S. Savings Bonds, opening a savings account at a bank, and investing in mutual funds.

Start saving for college if you haven't done so already.

During High School:

9th Grade

Take challenging classes in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, a foreign language, government, civics, economics, and the arts.

Get to know your career or guidance counselor and familiarize yourself with other college resources available at your school.

Talk to adults in a variety of professions to determine what they like and dislike about their jobs and what kind of education is needed for each job.

Continue to save for college.

10th Grade

Take challenging classes in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, a foreign language, government, civics, economics, and the arts.

Talk to adults in a variety of professions to determine what they like and dislike about their jobs and what kind of education is needed for each job.

Become involved in school- or community-based activities before or after school that interest you and/or enable you to explore career interests.

Meet with your career or guidance counselor to discuss colleges and college requirements.

Take the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). You must register early. If you have difficulty affording the registration fee, see your guidance counselor about getting a fee waiver.

Take advantage of opportunities to visit colleges and talk to students.

Continue to save for college.

11th Grade

Take challenging classes in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, a foreign language, government, civics, economics, and the arts.

Meet with your career or guidance counselor to discuss colleges and college requirements.

Continue involvement in school- or community- based activities.

Decide which colleges most interest you. Write to these schools to request information and applications for admission. Be sure to ask about special admissions requirements, financial aid, and deadlines.

Talk to college representatives at college fairs.

Take advantage of opportunities to visit colleges and talk to students.

Decide whom you want to ask for recommendations, including teachers, counselors, and employers.

Investigate the availability of financial aid from federal, state, local, and private sources. Call the Student Aid Hotline at the U.S. Department of Education (1-800-4FED-AID) for a student guide to federal financial aid. Talk to your guidance counselor for more information.

Find out about the domestic Peace Corps--called AmeriCorps--by calling 1-800-942-2677 or TDD 1-800-833-3722. Students who perform extensive community service under this program following high school are eligible for tuition assistance later.

Investigate the availability of scholarships provided by organizations such as corporations, labor unions, professional associations, religious organizations, and credit unions.

If applicable, go to the library and look for directories of scholarships for women, minorities, and disabled students.

Register for and take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT), SAT Subject Tests, or any other exams required for admission to the colleges you might want to attend. If you have difficulty affording the registration fee, see your guidance counselor about getting a fee waiver.

Continue to save for college.

12th Grade

Take challenging classes in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, a foreign language, government, civics, economics, the arts, and advanced technologies.

Meet with your counselor early in the year to discuss your plans.

Complete all necessary financial aid forms. Make sure that you fill out at least one form that can be used for federal aid.

Write to colleges to request information and applications for admission. Be sure to ask about admissions requirements, financial aid, and deadlines.

If possible, visit the colleges that most interest you.

Register for and take the SAT, the ACT, SAT Subject Tests, or any other exams required for admission to the colleges to which you are applying. If you have difficulty affording the registration fee, see your guidance counselor about getting a fee waiver.

Prepare your applications carefully. Follow the instructions and pay close attention to deadlines! Be sure to ask your counselor and teachers at least 2 weeks before deadlines of the applications to submit the necessary documents (such as your transcripts and letters of recommendation) to colleges.

Financial Preparation Checklist for Parents

Before Your Child Begins High School:

Investigate different ways to save money, including buying U.S. Savings Bonds, opening a savings account at a bank, and investing in mutual funds.

Start saving money for your child's college education.

While Your Child Is in High School:

9th Grade

Continue to save for your child's college education.

10th Grade

Continue to save for your child's college education.

11th Grade

Help your child investigate the availability of financial aid from federal, state, local, and private sources. Call the Student Aid Hotline at the U.S. Department of Education (1-800-4FED-AID) for a student guide to federal financial aid. Have your child talk to his or her guidance counselor for more information.

Help your child investigate the availability of scholarships provided by organizations such as corporations, labor unions, professional associations, religious organizations, and credit unions.

If applicable, go to the library with your son or daughter and look for directories on scholarships for women, minorities, and disabled students.

Continue to save for your child's college education.

12th Grade

Make sure that you and your child complete all necessary financial aid forms. Be sure that you complete at least one form that can be used for federal aid.

Continue to save for your child's college education.

 

 

 

 


College Preparation

Planning
Entrance Exams
Financial Aid
 

 

Virginia.edu: 
Choosing and Using Your Major 

 

U.S. News.com:
 
College Step by Step

 

Conquer College Admissions in 6 Steps

 

Mapping Your Future.org: Academic Planning

ETS Logo
 College Cost - A Field Guide

 

Smart Money.com:
College Planning

 

Embark.com 
Choosing a College

 

College Planning.org

 

Kidsource Online:
College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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