Attend any college fairs that interest you and talk to representatives.
Find information about Iowa colleges at ICANsucceed.org/explore. Request information from colleges that interest you.
Visit with your school counselor to discuss ways to increase your chances of being admitted to the college of your dreams.
If interested, research military education benefits and trade school options.
Review brochures and catalogs from colleges that interest you. Make a list of 5 to 10 colleges that fit your requirements, including careers.
Start planning to take the SAT ® or ACT® exams, if required. Familiarize yourself with registration deadlines and test dates. Check colleges’ entrance requirements to see which test(s) you need to take. Take advantage of free online test preparation resources such as practice exams and study guides. Request a test fee waiver from your school counselor if you think your family is eligible.
Research scholarships. Keep an ongoing file of scholarship and financial aid information (such as criteria, amounts, contact persons and deadlines). Check out ICANsucceed.org/scholarships for free scholarship searches. Avoid scholarship searches that charge fees.
Meet with college representatives through your school (virtually) and keep looking at colleges online.
Register now if you’re planning to take the January SAT® or February ACT®.
Consider volunteering during your holiday break. Check out the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service for a list of options at www.volunteeriowa.org. Be sure to log your volunteer work in your activities resume and let the school know about completed community service hours.
Build a list of colleges to consider. Use online college match tools such as Chegg.com or CollegeRaptor.com to find the best fit and compare financial aid estimates. Schedule visits to the colleges that fit your profile.
Happy New Year! Start it off right by scheduling campus visits (or virtual visits) to the top three to five colleges on your list.
Register now to take the March SAT® in need be. Pick up a study guide or review online resources.
Get involved. Colleges seek well-rounded students who not only get good grades, but who are also involved in school activities or community organizations.
Determine a college budget based on salary expectations for your chosen career or industry. Visit ACTprofile.org to learn about starting salaries and begin your budget planning with ICAN.
Make sure you enroll in senior classes that fulfill the credits you need for college (including meeting NCAA requirements for athletes) and that help you prepare skills for your future career.
Put together a resume listing your activities, volunteer experiences, academic achievements and employment.
Narrow your college choices to five or fewer and highlight the important features at each. Make a second visit if necessary.
Find a summer job related to your career interest or do community service.
Polish your resume; if required, assemble writing samples, a portfolio, or audition video.
Schedule campus visits for colleges you haven’t seen yet.
Save your summer earnings to pay for college.
Serve your community — grades aren’t the only thing colleges evaluate.
Prospective student athletes: Ask Mrs. Daft to send an official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Get ready for your senior year! Start thinking about how to manage your time. Remember that you should focus on keeping your grades up, filling out applications and selecting a college despite the distractions.
Think about which teachers, employers or other adults you’ll ask to write letters of recommendation. Ask for letters at least two weeks before you need them. Plan to ask at the very beginning of the school year.
Obtain and review college admission applications.
Decided whether to retake college entrance exams like the ACT/SAT for a better score.
See the Senior Tips page in the College and Career section of CM’s high school counseling page.