It is never too early to start your career and college planning! CFNC provides a great list of things to do in each grade while in high school! Come to the career center for more information!How do I pay for college? - Click the picture above for more information!9th Grade - Freshman Year
Welcome to high school! This year your grades count toward your GPA, so it's important to apply yourself to doing your best. Now is the time to explore career interests and plan with your family to meet college expenses. It's also time to plan your course work to prepare to meet college entrance requirements.
Things to Do in 9th Grade:
- Attend an orientation session at your new school.
- Meet with your high school counselor.
- Create your free CFNC account at CFNC.org, if you haven't already. Develop a CFNC High School Planner and enter grades, awards, honors, etc.
- "Invite" your counselor to your online High School Planner.
- Make sure you are on schedule to meet college entrance requirements.
- Challenge yourself academically. Slightly lower grades in challenging courses are better than higher grades in easy courses.
- Choose electives carefully, ensuring that they don't replace the college-preparatory courses you need.
- Explore career possibilities in the CFNC.org Career Center
- Start thinking about which colleges suit your career interests.
- Use the CFNC website to "tour" lots of college campuses.
- Talk with your family about a college savings plan and explore savings options at CFNC.
- Create a file to keep:
- copies of report cards,
- a record of honors and awards, and
- a list of extracurricular activities, clubs or sports involvement at school, volunteer work, community service, and paid employment.
- Explore the College Test Prep section at CFNC.org.
10th Grade - Sophomore Year
Grades are important, but colleges also look for well-rounded students with well-developed interests. Think quality - rather than quantity - when planning your extracurricular activities and expand your horizons through clubs, work, or volunteer activities.
Things to Do in 10th Grade:
- Meet with your school counselor to review your course load and make sure you are satisfying high school graduation and college entrance requirements.
- Update your High School Planner at CFNC.org.
- Explore the College Test Prep section at CFNC.org to study for standardized tests.
- Take the PSAT in the fall. The PSAT is excellent practice for taking the SAT, and this year your scores will not count for National Merit Scholarship consideration.
- Continue to explore career interests and information.
- Visit college campuses and "tour" colleges in the College Fair section at CFNC.org. Talk with family and friends about their educational choices.
- Continue saving for college.
- Participate in academic enrichment programs.
- Choose programs, summer workshops, and camps with a specialty focus such as computers, dance, drama, design, art, sports, media, science, music, etc.
- If you are interested in attending a selective college, register for AP, honors, and advanced courses for 11th grade, if available.
11th Grade - Junior Year
It is extremely important to maintain good grades in your junior year. You should also challenge yourself academically because colleges pay attention to the difficulty and diversity of your coursework. The more rigorous your high school curriculum is, the better prepared and more qualified you are for college. Continue to research careers that interest you and find colleges that suit your future goals.
General Things You Should Do This Year:
- Meet with your school counselor t
- Review your academic record and strengthen any weaknesses or problem areas.
- Ensure that you are on track for high school graduation and college entrance requirements. Remember that different colleges have different requirements, so you will need to check with specific schools as you become interested in them.
- Enroll in honors, AP, and advanced courses, if possible.
- Take SAT preparation courses, or study for the SAT and/or ACT in the Test Prep section in CFNC.org's "Student Planner."
- Update your High School Planner's grades, test scores, honors, awards, etc.
- Attend college fairs and college planning sessions with your parent or guardian.
- Attend financial aid information sessions at your high school or local college.
- Research specific schools: Check admissions requirements against your credentials and begin to determine realistic choices.
- Visit college campuses and meet with admissions officers. Remember to call ahead for an appointment.
- Watch for open house events at colleges you would like to visit.
- Review the online application process at CFNC.org.
- Continue saving for college and researching financial aid opportunities.
- Find out schedules and get registration forms for standardized tests, such as the PSAT, SAT I, SAT II: Subject Tests, and ACT.
- Take the PSAT in October (it's required for several national scholarships and is especially important for National Merit Scholarships).
- Student athletes should talk with their coaches about procedures to indicate interest in college-level athletics.
- Register for the SAT. Find out if any SAT II: Subject Tests are required by colleges you are considering.
- Register for and take the ACT, if desired.
- Take the SAT I and, if appropriate, take SAT II: Subject Tests. Colleges generally like to have at least two SAT I test scores.
- If you have a clear "first choice" college, decide if you are going to apply for early decision or early action. Be aware that if you are accepted for early decision, you are likely committing yourself to attend that school.
- Select courses for your senior year that strengthen your academic record and ensure that you meet College Entrance Requirements.
- Identify and ask teachers to write a letter of recommendation for your college applications and scholarships.
- Take the Advanced Placement exam for any AP course you have completed. If you score well, you may receive college credits.
- Check your transcript at the end of the year to make sure it is correct.
- Use spring break or summer vacation to tour college campuses. Have questions prepared in advance and take notes on your visits.
- Explore careers by taking a summer job or internship in your field of interest.
12th Grade - Senior YearIt's very important to stay organized and on top of things this year, especially application requirements and deadlines. Review your efforts so far, make any necessary adjustments, and continue to make the best grades you can.
- Review courses with your school counselor to make sure you are meeting high school graduation and entrance requirements for the colleges that interest you.
- Update your High Schools Planner with new grades, test scores, honors, awards, etc.
- In early September, register for the SAT or ACT, if needed. Colleges like to see senior year SAT I scores.
- Prepare your online applications at CFNC.org. Compose any essays that need to be included in your applications.
- Continue saving for college.
- Search and apply for scholarship money in the Paying for college section of CFNC.org.
- Be sure to consult with your school counselor about scholarship opportunities.
- Contact teachers, counselors or references to write letters of recommendation for you, if needed.
- Attend college fairs, college planning sessions, and financial aid information sessions.
- Visit college campuses that are a good match with your credentials and career interests.
- Narrow your choice of colleges. Many students select three to five schools to apply to - their "dream" school, their "safety" school, and two to three other choices.
- Check with the financial aid office of schools you are applying to for:
- specific information on scholarships and costs for tuition, fees, room and board;
- any institutional or additional financial aid forms (such as CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE) that may be required.
- Double-check your transcript to make sure all the information is correct.
- Have your official high school transcript sent to schools where you are applying.
- Apply for early decision/early action programs if you have a clear first-choice college.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as close to January 1 as possible; most colleges recommend submitting between January 1 (the first day it is accepted) and February 15th. You can do this online at CFNC.org in the "Online Applications" section. Note that in order to submit the FAFSA, your family's tax information should be completed for the previous year (estimation is allowed). The FAFSA will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR), which will determine your eligibility for federal aid, as well as for most other forms of financial assistance. Carefully check your SAR when it arrives to make sure that it is complete and accurate.
- Student athletes should send their transcript to the NCAA Clearinghouse for eligibility certification.
- If you have taken college level courses during high school (Fast Forward, community college classes, etc.), have those transcripts sent to schools where you are applying.
- If you are planning to attend a community college, take the ASSET, COMPASS or Accuplacer test.
- Compare acceptance letters for financial aid and scholarship offers.
- Apply for loans, if needed.
- If you are not accepted into your school of choice, submit your name to the College Redirection Pool at CFNC.org so that other colleges can recruit you.
- Decide which school you will attend by May and accept their invitation to become a student!
- Pay a nonrefundable deposit for freshman tuition, if required, to hold your spot.
- Ask your school counselor to send your final high school transcript to the college you will attend.
- After deciding on a school, let the other schools that offered you admission know that you will not be enrolling.
- Take exams for any AP or college level courses you've completed.
- Continue to explore careers by taking a summer job or internship in your field of interest.
- Attend a summer orientation program at your new college, if available.
- Meet with your college's academic advisor, if possible.
- Enjoy academic enrichment activities.
- Secure student health insurance, if needed.
- Apply for a loan for a computer, if needed.
FallSuccess! All your hard work has paid off, and you are now a college student. Congratulations!