YOUR HIGH SCHOOL TIMELINE

Preparing For Your Future:
A Suggested Timeline for Freedom High School Students


9th Grade: Freshman Year
  • Investigate high school graduation requirements and plan accordingly
  • Create a four-year plan to incorporate necessary classes, exams and balance in time for work, extracurricular activities, and self-rejuvenation
  • Take challenging courses and get good grades
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your high school and college goals
  • Participate in meaningful extracurricular activities, which demonstrate leadership, commitment, and passion beyond the classroom
  • Create a file of the following documents and notes:
    • Copies of report cards
    • Lists of awards and honors
    • Lists of schools and community activities (including both paid and volunteer work)
  • Create a portfolio (writing or art samples)
  • Take interest and skills assessments for possible careers (see career counselor for more info)
  • Get computer savvy
  • Read as much as you can from a variety of materials
  • Start thinking about possible colleges
  • Remember, more options are available if you start to plan in 9th Grade

10th Grade: Sophomore Year
  • Take a rigorous courseload (Be aware of the prerequisites for classes you may need to take in order to qualify for junior and senior year classes) BUT be able to maintain a good balance
  • Take the PSAT in the fall
  • Meet with your counselor or career counselor to discuss your future plans
    • Review the high school curriculum required for graduation as well as college requirements
      • Most competitive college requirements include:
        • English (4 units)
        • Mathematics (3-4 units, at least up to Algebra II)
        • Social Studies (4 units)
        • Science (3-4 units)
        • Foreign Language (3-4 units)
        • Fine/Practical Arts
        • Electives (with a focus)
      • Find out about Advanced Placement classes
  • Continue to participate in meaningful extracurricular activities
  • Update file and portfolio
  • Read as much as you can from a variety of materials
    • Summer:
      • Volunteer or work part-time
      • Begin to save money for college


11th Grade: Junior Year
  • Take a rigorous courseload; This is the most important academic year because these will be the most recent grades available to colleges, final year on the transcript
  • Get to know your teachers (important for letters of recommendation)
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your plans
    • Graduation requirements
    • Interested college list
  • Take the PSAT in the fall (take this test seriously because of the possible nomination for the National Merit Scholarship)
  • Take the SAT or ACT beginning in the spring (be sure to have scores sent to colleges of interest)
  • Continue to participate in meaningful extracurricular activities; take on leadership roles
  • Register for the NCAA (if interested in playing collegiate sports)
  • Research colleges and prepare for the application process
  • Attend local college fairs
  • Put yourself on college mailing lists
    • Summer:
      • Prepare for the SAT/ACT to improve score
      • Practice writing online applications and completing rough drafts of each application (without submitting them)
      • Focus on the essay portions (ask family, friends and teachers to review)
      • Decide if you will early decision or early action (requires earlier deadlines)
      • If you are able, get on the road and visit colleges
      • Read college mail and send reply cards to schools of interest
      • Work part-time or intern

12th Grade: Senior Year
  • Continue taking rigorous courses and doing well; senior year grades matter!
  • September:
    • See your counselor to discuss plans:
      • On track for graduation?
      • Check transcript for errors
      • Learn the college application process for Battlefield
    • Register for the fall SAT/ACT tests
    • Search for colleges, use a list to track deadlines
      • Contact schools that have made the final cut to request information and applications for admission
      • Ask about admission requirements
  • October-December:
    • Take the SAT I/SAT II/ACT again
    • Ask: request recommendations from teachers (at least three weeks notice)
    • Meet early decision and early application deadlines and start all other college applications
    • Use writing classes and draw on experiences to help with college essays
    • In December, early decisions will be mailed out; notification must be done by a letter of commitment and submission of a deposit check by mid-January
  • January-March:
    • File: complete the FAFSA with parents
    • Complete scholarship applications
    • Mid-year transcripts will be mailed to colleges
    • Explore college majors
  • April:
    • Review college acceptance decisions and make the decision before May 1st
    • Find out the required deposits to ensure placement in the freshman class
    • Notify selected school by letter of commitment and submission of deposit check
    • If placed on a waiting list, make a decision to wait or not. If decided to wait, contact that college and let them know.
    • Review financial aid packages with parents
    • Study for AP Exams
  • May:
    • Take the AP Exams; send scores to final-choice college
    • Send thank you notes to people who wrote letters of recommendation
  • June:
    • Final transcript will be mailed to selected college
    • Register for college courses as soon as possible
  • July-August:
    • Participate in any summer orientation program for incoming freshmen
    • Notify the financial aid office any scholarships offered
    • Make any necessary arrangements for any medical exams or health insurance coverage
    • Get ready to start college in the fall!

This document is a framework for discussion, as every student's situation is different. Be sure to involve your counselor in your planning process. The original timeline for this page was authored by Ms. Elizabeth Chase, School Counselor at Battlefield High School.