College Information and Planning

College Information

 

College Planning

Freshman Year

College Planning for Freshman Year
When you become a freshman everything starts to “count.” Freshman grades are used in determining GPA, and freshman activities, honors, and awards can be listed on college and scholarship applications.
  • Be aware of your academic progress – work hard in every class and develop good study habits.
  • Set goals for academic and personal success.
  • Explore extracurricular interests and activities, such as clubs and community service.
  • Start keeping a file of all honors, awards, activities, and volunteer service.
  • Get to know what you like, what you are good at, and how that fits into career areas.

Sophomore Year

College Planning For Sophomore Year
The sophomore year should be a year of personal growth. In addition to working hard in school and being involved in a variety of activities, try to identify your aptitudes, abilities, and interests and look for opportunities to further develop your skills and talents.
  • Continue to be aware of your academic progress.
  • Be involved in activities and develop leadership skills
  • Consider taking the PSAT/NMSQT – is a national test that will be administered at McNair on October 24th. Sign up in the Career Center. Juniors scoring high enough on the PSAT/NMSQT qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. To improve your chances of a high score in your junior year, it’s recommended that you take this test for practice.
  • Start to explore and discuss college options – gather information, make informal visits to colleges, and go to college fairs. Begin to view your aptitudes, interests, and abilities in terms of possible college majors and career options. The BigFuture tool on the College Board website is very helpful.
  • Continue to keep a file of all honors, awards, activities, and volunteer service, etc.
  • Register for appropriate AP Exams
 
 

Junior Year

College Planning For Junior Year
The junior year is when you should seriously begin examining your post-secondary options, take college tests, make college visits, and start searching for scholarships.
  • Continue to be aware of your academic progress – since college applications are completed in the fall of your senior year, the last, and most recent grades on your transcript are your junior year grades. The junior year grades are therefore the most important grades in high school.
  • Take the PSAT at McNair on October 24. Review your results for strengths and weaknesses in preparation for the PSAT.
  • Discuss post-secondary and career goals with your parents and counselor.
  • Be intentional in getting to know teachers and counselors who may be writing your letters of recommendation.
  • Continue co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Keep a log of all activities.
  • Visit college campuses and college fairs.
  • Attend college representative visits on campus.
  • Take the ACT and/or SAT exam during Spring
  • Register for appropriate AP Exams.
  • Use Naviance College Match or College Board Search to find colleges that fit what you are looking for.
  • Explore college websites and their requirements for admission.
  • Build a list of schools you are interested in, including reach, target, and backup schools.
  • Plan summer activities. Consider college courses, enrichment courses, volunteering, working, studying for the SAT and/or ACT, visiting colleges, or learning a new skill.

Senior Year

College Planning For Senior Year
The senior year is when everything comes together. It is also the year in which you see the rewards of your hard work and planning.
  • Continue to be aware of your academic progress – Many colleges request a seven-semester, or midyear transcript, and at the end of the year. McNair will forward a final transcript to the college you plan to attend.
  • Use Naviance College Match or College Board Search to find colleges that fit what you are looking for.
  • Attend college representative visits on campus
  • Explore college websites and their requirements for admission.
  • Create a calendar and keep track of deadlines for applications and financial aid submissions.
  • Attend the Cash for College Night hosted by the Career Center.
  • Complete college applications, including Personal Insight Questions and supplemental essays.
  • Submit applications on time.
  • Request counselor and teacher recommendations.
  • Have your transcript(s) and official test scores sent to colleges as requested.
  • Complete and submit FAFSA no later than March 2nd.
  • Register for appropriate AP Exams.
  • Update FAFSA once your tax returns are complete
  • Review Financial Aid packages received (usually between April 1st and May 1st) and compare.
  • Notify the college you choose to attend by May 1st and notify other colleges you will not be attending.
  • Complete the senior survey.