• COLLEGE PLANNING TIMELINE


    It is never too early to make plans for after high school. By planning your course selection and school activities now, you can ensure that you will have many options open to you when you graduate. Below is a list of things we recommend that you do each year so you are adequately prepared to enter college at the end of your four years at Atkins.

    FRESHMAN YEAR:

    - Review general college admission requirements.

    - During course selection time in late January and early February, make sure you sign up for challenging courses for your sophomore year.

    - Talk to your parents about your college financing plan.

    - Participate in extracurricular activities that interest you, and take advantage of community service opportunities.

    - Get to know your counselor, he or she is a valuable source of help and information.

    SOPHOMORE YEAR:
     
    - Give your best effort on practice college entrance exams, such as the Pre-ACT and the PSAT (both administered in early fall). These tests can give you valuable clues about your academic strengths and weaknesses as well as areas of career interests.

    - During registration in the early spring, make sure you sign up for challenging courses for your junior year.

    - Begin to think about possible career goals and interests. 

    - Continue to participate in extracurricular activities and community service opportunities. Take on leadership roles when possible.

    - Consider getting a summer job or internship, it can help you save money for college, and it might also tell you more about your own career interests.

    JUNIOR YEAR:
     
    - Make a list of possible colleges. Consider the criteria that are the most important to you (for example- academic program, location, size, cost, athletics). Request information from these colleges and/or visit their website and campus.

    - Take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring.

    - Take the Advanced Placement exams if you are eligible. AP exams give you the opportunity to earn credit and/or advanced standing at most colleges/universities.

    - Meet with your counselor to discuss college information.

    - Talk about college planning with your parents. Discuss issues such as cost, location, and on-campus vs. off-campus living.

    - During registration in the early spring, make sure you sign up for challenging courses for your senior year. Don't take an easy senior year, colleges want to know that you've challenged yourself during your entire high school career.

    - Continue participation in extracurricular activities and community service activities. Take on leadership roles when possible.
     

    -  Consider the military (ex. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard or Coast Guard). Also, take the ASVAB to determine eligibility for the military or use it as a good career assessment tool.

    - Start looking at your high schools' scholarship website or resources as well as scholarship programs at colleges of interest (this will give you am idea of the criteria and help you plan out what to apply for senior year).

     
    - Throughout the year and during the summer, visit colleges in which you may be interested. Also consider visiting nearby colleges in order to get a better understanding of different types of schools (small private universities, large public universities, two-year community colleges, etc.).


    SENIOR YEAR:

    - Complete and submit your senior profile/resume' to your counselor.  This is helpful for your school counselor to use when writing recommendations or scholarship nominations.
     
    - Meet with your counselor early in the fall semester to review your transcript and discuss college plans.

    - Continue to attend college fairs, visit college campuses, and/or meet with representatives.

    - Narrow down your college choices and obtain applications, or apply online (try to apply during the early admissions deadline, which is in October or early November).

    - Make a rough draft of your college essay(s) and have a teacher or counselor review it in the early fall.

    - On a regular basis, look at your high schools' scholarship website or resources and if you meet the scholarship criteria......APPLY.

     
    -Make sure you request an official transcript to go to the colleges you are applying to (request your transcript from the Registrar, at least one week in advance).  If you use CFNC, Sendedu or Common App transcripts can be sent electronically. 
     

    - Make sure you check each individual schools deadlines and requirements, and adhere strictly to them. Some schools have a priority deadline as early as Oct.15th or Nov.1st.

    - Ask teachers, counselors, and others for letters of recommendation if the school to which you are applying requires them. Give them at least 2 weeks advance notice.

    - Keep copies of everything you send.

    - If you are retaking the ACT and/or SAT, take them in the early fall and have your scores sent to the colleges to which you plan to apply.

    - If you have questions regarding your admission to a school, do not hesitate to contact an admissions officer. Be persistent. Colleges want to hear from you; it shows your interest in their school.
     
    -Consider the military, take the ASVAB to determine eligibility and/or career interest.
     

    - Apply for all scholarships for which you are eligible. Check the guidance office and website (Student Services Haiku/PowerLearning Page) for selective and community  scholarship information.

     
     -Apply for your Financial Aid FSA-ID in the fall (you and your parent will need a FSA-ID).
     

    - Apply for need-based financial aid-FAFSA as soon as possible (available October 1st). You can apply online www.fafsa.ed.gov.

    - Visit colleges to which you have applied, if you haven't already.

    - Take the Advanced Placement exams if you are eligible. AP exams give you the opportunity to earn credit and/or advanced standing at most colleges/universities.

    - Make your final choice and notify school(s) no later than May 1. Send acceptance letters and any necessary documents and deposits to your school of choice. Write a polite letter of refusal to others.

    - Continue to give your best effort academically because colleges want students that have taken their senior year seriously.