Students Timeline


Freshman Year

  • Attend school every day.
  • Complete all homework assignments.  When you are absent, call a friend for homework assignments.  Be sure you have telephone numbers of your fellow students.
  • Keep up with your work; don’t procrastinate.
  • Earn the highest grades possible.  Work to the best of your ability.
  • Ask your teacher for help when you need it.
  • Attend tutoring.
  • Investigate careers and colleges with your guidance counselor.
  • Get involved and participate in school activities and sports.
  • Participate in community activities and volunteer services.
  • Keep a file of all awards and activities.

Sophomore Year

Continue the skills you developed in freshman year, plus:

  • In September, register for the October PSAT; use this opportunity as practice for your junior year PSAT.
  • Whenever you are traveling, try to visit colleges in the vicinity of the areas you are visiting.
  • From your PSAT score, determine how much studying you need to do for the next year’s PSAT and SAT.
  • Think about Advanced Placement (AP) AND College Now courses that you would like to take.
  • Continue to be involved in extracurricular activities and volunteer projects.

Junior Year

  • Strengthen your academic foundations and strive to maintain or exceed your previous level of achievement.
  • Register for and take the October PSAT.
  • Take Advanced Placement courses in your strongest subjects.
  • Remember that your cumulative academic average if based on all course grades from your high-school career.
  • Continue to visit school, borough, and city college fairs.
  • Read college guides (e.g., Fiske, Barron’s) and visit college web sites on the Internet.
  • Discuss your goals for the future with your parents, friends, teachers, and guidance counselors.
  • Meet with college representatives who visit the school throughout the year.
  • Plan for summer employment or study opportunities.
  • Register for and take the May SAT I and AP exams.
  • Meet with your Guidance Counselor/College Advisor in the spring to fine-tune your focus on colleges.
  • Plan summer visits to campuses that you are interested in attending.
  • Write to colleges to request their catalogs and applications.
  • Begin writing different personal statements and college essays.
  • Approach teachers to request their recommendation for your college application.

Senior Year

  • September & October
  • Remember that colleges are interested in which courses you take during your senior year.
  • Start a file of college applications.
  • >Make regular visits to the college counselor.
  • Register for the SAT and the ACT.
  • Discuss the Financial Aid form (FAFSA) and college financing with your parents.
  • Attend the evening programs on the college application and financial aid process.
  • Request that teachers write your college recommendations; be respectful of time as they will need to spend time writing your letter
  • Decide whether you will apply as an Early Decision or Early Action candidate to a school.
  • Review your high school transcript for accuracy.
  • Work based learning/internships.


  • November & December
  • Continue meeting with your Guidance Counselor/College Advisor.
  • Submit applications to your counselor on time; your high school’s deadline is usually several weeks before the colleges’ to allow for processing.
  • Check graduation requirements with the guidance counselor.


  • January & February
  • Obtain the FAFSA to begin the financial aid process.
  • Parents should complete their federal income tax returns as soon as possible, since this information is required to complete the FAFSA.
  • Apply for any scholarship opportunities.
  • Continue to focus on academic success.


  • Spring Term
  • Compare and contrast the colleges to which you have been accepted.  Visit the two or three top choice schools that you would attend before making your decision.
  • Discuss this decision with your parents, teachers, and counselors.
  • Take your Advanced Placement examinations.
  • Work with the colleges’ admissions officials to negotiate financial aid packages.
  • Prepare for the graduation ceremony.