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Prepare for college

Getting into College is a 4-year process, but with good planning it can be fun and interesting experience.  Use the following information as a guideline for you as you progress through your 4 years of high school. 

  • Meet with your school counselor and find out your high school’s graduation requirements (A-G)
    • Ask your counselor the Top 5 questions listed in the 4-year plan
      1. How many credits in each subject do I need in order to graduate on time?
      2. Am I in a good enough place to consider taking AP courses?
      3. Are there any courses I can take for college credit? If so, what are the requirements, and how can I find out whether the credits will transfer?
      4. What is a realistic goal for my cumulative GPA? Am I a good candidate to graduate with honors?
      5. How often should I check in to make sure I’m on the right track
  • Perform a Self-evaluation
    • Here are the Top Questions to Ask Yourself:What type of lifestyle do I wish to live?
      1. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
      2. What is my dream career?
      3. What’s my plan B?
      4. What am I looking for in a college?
      5. What is my high school GPA goal?
      6. Will I need scholarships for college? If so, what kinds should I be looking for, and what do I need to do in order to qualify?
  • Get Active! Choose a few electives and extracurricular activities to get involved in
  • Attend college fairs in your area
  • Learn about careers and their occupational outlook (CCGI)
  • Visit at least a college campus of your choice

  • Meet with your school counselor for a follow-up on your grades from freshman year
  • Implement any advice gained from your school counselor check-in into your yearly plan
  • Get more involved if you can by adding extracurricular activities to your schedule
  • Add electives to your schedule that all you to explore areas of study that you might be interested in
  • Research your future career (CCGI)
    • Learn its education requirements
  • Start your college search!
    • Decide what you want and need in a college
    • Research and develop a list of 5 colleges that offer your major and fit those needs you’d like to attend
    • Request information from those colleges
    • Review their acceptance/graduation rates, financial aid, scholarships resources, and tuition costs

  • Meet with your school counselor at the beginning of each 9-weeks
    • During the first meeting review your grades from the previous year
      1. Find out your current GPA
      2. Ask if you’re on track to graduate on time
      3. Inquire about local scholarships
  • Re-visit your college list
  • Attend college fairs
  • Consider job-shadowing a few professionals working in your dream
  • career
  • Apply for some scholarships (college board)
  • Visit colleges from your list and start reaching out to admission counselors for more information
  • Sit down with your parents to talk about finances and commitments
  • Enroll in test prep (Free Test Prep Resources)
  • Update your activity résumé at the end of the year
  • Make summer plans
    • Enroll in summer program 
    • Re-access and review your chosen career path
    • Visit colleges
    • Consider getting a Summer job
    • Earn community service hours by volunteering
    • Job shadow a professional
  • Brainstorm college essay topics and create outlines 
  • Write college application essays



Senior Checklist

  • Meet with your school counselor to review your current academic standing
  • Scholarships available
  • Research deadlines for the FAFSA and State Financial Aid
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)/ Dream Act Application in October before deadline
  • Begin applying to colleges (UC, CSU, community college, and Private)
  • Ask for letters of recommendations
  • Finalize your activities resume to submit to colleges
  • Complete college applications
  • Find and apply for local and national scholarships
  • Submit college applications
  • Review financial aid packages offered by the schools who accepted your application
  • Revisit your top colleges before accepting if needed
  • Make your final college choice and enroll
  • Finish high school strong 


College Application Assistance

California Community Colleges (CCC)

115 Colleges throughout California Offering transfer pathways, degrees and certificate programs Apply in the Fall


California State University (CSU)

23  campuses Offering Certificate, Bachelors, Minors, Masters, and Doctorates Application period: October 1 - November 30

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University of California (UC)

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