High School Planning Checklist

9th Grade

  • Map out courses that should be taken to fully prepare for college. Your counselor will provide you with information you need to make course decisions.

  • Develop good study and work habits. Always follow teacher directions and complete assignments on time. These work attitudes will serve you well throughout high school and college!

  • Always seek out your teacher(s) when you don’t understand the lesson or homework assignments. Teachers truly appreciate students who take the initiative.

  • Attend local college fairs as announced by the school counselor.

  • Begin college and scholarship searches and participate in any age-appropriate scholarship competitions, such as essay contests.

  • Become involved in school, church, and community activities.

  • Assume a leadership position when the opportunity arises. Leadership successes will be important to future college and scholarship opportunities.

  • Be cognizant of your social media profile and posts. You are responsible for your online presence.

  • In the spring, the school counselor will meet in groups to discuss next year’s course of study.

10th Grade

  • Attend local college fairs as announced by the school counselor.

  • Continue to work diligently and strive for excellence in all subjects. You are building your transcript and what you do does matter!

  • Continue college scholarship searches. Create an account at Fastweb.com or Scholarships.com to assist you.

  • Become an active participant in a club, not just membership.

  • Strive for leadership positions within service, club, or athletic organizations.

  • Take the PSAT and Pre-ACT at school and begin to take practice tests online for the ACT/SAT.

  • Continue to watch your social media and conduct yourself appropriately. College admissions teams do look at this information.

  • Meet with your school counselor in the spring to discuss next year’s course of study.

11th Grade

  • Keep grades up all year long. This is your final year to show college admissions counselors what you're made of. When you apply to college next year, admissions teams will see a transcript including grades from 9th - 11th.

  • Continue attending local college fairs as announced by the school counselor.

  • Meet with college representatives as they visit MCA throughout the year, even if you're not sure you want to attend that institution.

  • Begin in earnest to investigate college scholarship/financial aid opportunities – apply when appropriate.

  • Research Naviance and CollegeBoard Big Future to learn more about colleges in our area, the state, and/or outside-of-state.

  • Continue investigating career options and college majors. Naviance has tools to take personal aptitude tests for a thorough examination of your God-given talents and career interests.

  • Continue participation and leadership roles in various school, church, and community organizations.

  • Take the PSAT again in the fall to become eligible for The National Merit Scholarship Competition and to get a true measure of where you might score on the SAT and ACT.

  • Create a resume in Naviance. This will be used for college applications and for teachers to write recommendations on your behalf. Do not be humble on your resume...this is the time to shine.

  • Begin college visits. You need to get your feet on college campuses to know if you picture yourself there.

  • Take the SAT or ACT in the winter of this year. Follow in late spring/early summer with another SAT or an ACT.

  • Register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility if you plan to play sports in college. Transcripts will be uploaded by your counselor in the summer after your junior year.

  • Keep your social media clean and respectful. You represent your God, your family and your school.

  • Meet with the school counselor in the spring to discuss senior year courses and graduation requirements.

12th Grade

  • A conference with the school counselor will take place to discuss senior year courses, college/career plans, scholarship opportunities, etc. soon after senior year begins.

  • Read every Guidance Counselor Newsletter and email provided to you. All communication is provided to help you and is information you need to successfully prepare you for college. These newsletters are compiled every 2 weeks during the fall and monthly during the winter and spring to keep you informed.

  • Attend local college fairs if still undecided about future college opportunities.

  • If displeased with your junior year College Board test scores (SAT and/or ACT), register for the earliest fall test date and retake them.

  • Complete college visits during the summer or early fall to determine your top choice(s). Seek God’s will for the best fit for you and your future.

  • Start your college application process around September 1.

  • Be very careful about making an “early decision” for any college unless you believe God is calling you to that school once admitted. An early admission decision is always binding.

  • Complete transcript requests on Naviance as soon as you apply to college, but not before you apply.

  • No “senioritis” please! Accepting colleges do look at second-semester grades when final transcripts are mailed in June after graduation. NOTE: Colleges do reserve the right to change their decision and revoke admission.

  • Social media should represent that of a young adult ready to make adult decisions.

  • Actively pursue scholarships and financial aid opportunities throughout the year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed and filed before December.

  • Seniors are encouraged to maintain active involvement in school functions. Colleges (and private scholarship sponsors too) are especially interested in your leadership and community service accomplishments.

  • By May 1, colleges will expect to hear about your decision to accept or to decline on their admission offer. Usually a room deposit “seals the deal” at that time or preferable earlier than May 1. You also must decline the admissions you received that you have ruled out. A simple email to the counselor will suffice.

  • After graduation, your counselor will send the final transcript to the college you selected. Athletes: your final transcript will also be uploaded to the NCAA or NAIA if you signed to participate at the next level.