Planning Timeline

College Planning & Selection Timeline: A Checklist for High School Students

Freshman Year (9th Grade)

  • Examine your own likes and dislikes, interests, abilities and activities.
  • Attend Freshman Seminars with college counseling emphases, including an online learning style inventory.
  • Become familiar with Naviance/Family Connection tools and college planning resources.
  • Use the College Counseling Office for college and test prep guides, scholarship search tools, etc.
  • Begin to compile a list of your activities and involvements using Family Connection’s resume builder.
  • Consider attending College Q&A program for 9th and 10th grade parents.
  • Visit colleges with older siblings and parents just to observe; explore college websites.
  • Plan your four-year academic curriculum to build toward rigorous courses.
  • Do your best in classes: all semester grades appear on your transcript and are important!
  • Commit to volunteer/community service, co-curricular, and summer enrichment activities.
  • Select one or two involvements to continue throughout high school.
  • Read beyond school assignments (fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, etc.) for increased critical analysis. 

Sophomore Year (10th grade)

  • Attend grade level college advising meetings during select extended advisory sessions.
  • Use Family Connection to complete the self-discovery personality type assessment; review results.
  • Consider attending College Q&A program for 9th and 10th grade parents.
  • Attend College Fairs in Reno held in October.
  • Meet with 1-2 College Admissions Reps who visit Sage Ridge in the fall semester.
  • Take the PLAN exam and PSAT at Sage Ridge (all students are pre-registered).
  • Receive PSAT results in December; review incorrect responses with your test booklet.
  • Visit colleges with older siblings and parents just to observe; explore college web pages.
  • Update activities and interests on your Family Connection resume that you began last year.
  • Concentrate on your academic performance.
  • Continue volunteer, co-curricular, and summer commitments.
  • Begin to discuss college and financing college with parents.
  • Consider taking SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests in appropriate subjects in May or June. 

Junior Year (11th grade)

  • Attend grade level college advising meetings during select extended advisory sessions.
  • Use Family Connection to complete a career interest profiler and career cluster finder; review results.
  • Make your grades count in all classes, especially your most challenging college prep courses!
  • Meet with College Admissions Reps from preferred colleges visiting Sage Ridge in the fall semester.
  • Complete Junior Questionnaire (posted online).
  • Take the PSAT at Sage Ridge in October (all students are pre-registered) for NMSP consideration.
  • Receive PSAT results in December; review incorrect responses with your test booklet.
  • Attend College Night program for 11th Grade parents.
  • Attend College Fairs in Reno and regionally, if interested.
  • Visit colleges – Spring Break is a great time to tour campuses.
  • Make an appointment with college counselor during second semester for college planning with parents.
  • Build a preliminary college application list and research these schools online or through mailed material.
  • Plan to take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and/or ACT in the spring; consider best ways to prep for the tests.
  • Send inquiries to colleges for additional information about academic programs, admission info; request applications from colleges of interest.
  • Make plans early for a productive growth experience for Pre-Senior year summer.
  • Think about two teachers from whom you will request a recommendation for your applications.
  • Brainstorm college essay topics and begin rough drafts (use The Common Application for topic ideas).
  • Update your activities on your Family Connection resume in preparation for completing applications. 

Senior Year (12th grade)

August/September

  • Attend College Kickstart from 10am to 1pm in Loft on Friday before first day of classes (lunch included).
  • Build a list of colleges and research these schools online, through mailed materials and college guides.
  • Brainstorm essay topics and begin rough draft; review Common Application for topics.
  • Update your extracurricular activities list/resume in preparation for completing applications.
  • Complete and turn in draft copy of the online Common Application by the first school day after Labor Day.
  • Attend College Night program for students and parents on first Wednesday after Labor Day, 6-8pm in Loft.
  • Register for the fall SAT, SAT Subject Tests and/or ACT Test(s).
  • Take September ACT test, if applicable.
  • Schedule an appointment with your college counselor for a senior meeting.
  • Attend the meetings with college representatives visiting SRS (students only).
  • Follow up with teachers from whom you requested letters of recommendation last spring.
  • Plan and make final college visits, with interviews when available.
  • Research scholarship and financial aid options. 

October

  • For Early Decision/Action, submit required information to SRS College Counseling Office.
  • Share college essay(s) with your college counselor for suggestions and editing assistance.
  • Continue to prepare for fall standardized testing.
  • Take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests and/or ACT, if applicable.
  • WORK ON APPLICATIONS!! Pay close attention to financial aid deadlines for ED/EA. 

November

  • For Regular Decision colleges, submit required information to SRS College Counseling Office ASAP.
  • Complete UC and CSU applications, if applicable – must be submitted online by November 30th.
  • Take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests, if applicable.
  • Register for the January SAT, if desired. 

December

  • Submit all remaining information to SRS College Counseling Office to finalize your college list.
  • Take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and/or ACT, if applicable.
  • Receive Early Decision/Action notifications; if applicable, withdraw other applications and mail your deposit.
  • Plan to finish applications BEFORE the holiday break!! 

January

  • First semester grades are sent to colleges by SRS (if required).
  • Continue the same level of effort and commitment to your academics – avoid the Senior slump!
  • Complete final SAT or SAT Subject Tests.
  • File FAFSA, CSS Profile (if required) and other financial aid paperwork as soon as possible. Be sure to check each college's financial aid web site to see what additional forms or information they require. 

February – April

  • Continue to check your email and postal mail for communication from colleges regarding missing items or any additional information they may require.
  • College decisions should be arriving for Regular Decision applications.
  • Visit colleges to finalize your decision.
  • Continue the same level of effort and commitment to your academics – avoid the Senior slump! College acceptances are contingent on a strong finish to the year.

May

  • May 1st – College Declaration Day! By this date, you must submit your decision and deposit to the one college of your choice.
  • Discuss wait list offers with your college counselor, if applicable.
  • Notify all colleges that accepted you, but that you did not select, that you will not enroll.
  • Notify the SRS College Counseling Office of your decision and let us celebrate with you!
  • GRADUATION! 

Post-Graduation

Your final transcript is sent to your college of choice – then, get ready to go!