Planning for college starts when you enter high school as a 9th grader. Getting good grades and taking the right classes is very important for getting into a good university and receiving scholarships.
During your sophomore/freshmen year start joining clubs and/or playing sports. Make sure you are doing community service either on your own or through the club/sport. Make sure you get documentation of your community service and that you are taking it to you guidance counselor to have them record the hours in the computer (this becomes part of your school record for colleges). To help you with the community service you may want to participate in the Green Medallion Program which gives you recognition at graduation for each year you complete 100 hours of community service. See the forms:
THE GREEN CORD COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD program enrollment
THE GREEN CORD COMMUNITY SERVICE DOCUMENTATION FORM 2014
By the end of your sophomore year, if your GPA is a 3.1 or higher and you take the PERT, scoring a 123 or higher on the Math, a 104 or higher on the Reading, and a 99 or higher on the Writing you may be able to take dual-enrollment classes through Valencia College and possibly earn your AA degree by the time you graduate from high school. Go to Valencia’s Website for more information: http://valenciacollege.edu/dual/
By the end of your junior year of high school you should be taking the SAT or ACT for the first time. Take it seriously and study, don’t just “wing” it for the first time to “see how well you can do”. See below for the testing and registration dates for both tests. To register, it is done on line, see links below. Also if you get free/reduced lunch, you get three free registrations for each test! Also you should still be a member of various clubs/sports and run for office in a club or try to be team captain.
Also during your junior year you should be checking out colleges/universities and have a plan on where you would like to go. If possible tour the university to see if you really want to go there and what their requirements are for attending. See what the requirements are for each of the colleges/universities you would like to attend and what are the registration dates for each. Most registration deadlines are during the fall (by October 30th) of your senior year.
At the beginning of your senior year start applying to colleges/ universities. They will require you to list all the clubs and community services you have done during your time in high school, they will also be looking for what classes you have been taking and are currently taking. Make a resume of your accomplishments to be ready to fill out the applications. Also start looking for scholarships, you will start applying for them during the fall of your senior year. By the end of January of your senior year you will fill out the FASFA forms online (parents will need to do their taxes for the previous year before filling out the FASFA). The FASFA is for federal student aid and loans. You can’t get any help from the government without filling out this form, the sooner the better. You will also fill out the Bright Futures info with your guidance counselor during this time period.
Looking for scholarships? Besides checking out the universities you would like to attend also check out this site: www.fastweb.com
The SAT: http://www.collegeboard.org/
The ACT: http://www.actstudent.org/