A Brief College Admissions Overview by Grade
No matter where a high school student is in the college application process http://www.collegeboard.com/student/index.html?student is an indispensible resource providing useful planning guides and information about schools, testing, paying for college, and more.
9th Grade – Freshman Year
A ninth grader who is considering studying at a US college or university should start becoming familiar with the choices available. Grades are one of the most important factors in admission. Freshman year is a good time to explore co- and extra-curricular opportunities and to commit to several. Ninth graders should make a focused effort to begin expanding their vocabularies, as word recognition and word selection will enhance performance on college entrance exams and expression in essay writing.
10th Grade – Sophomore Year
A tenth grader should perform preliminary research about schools and attend information sessions. Grades become increasingly vital. Tenth graders should consider college test preparation, such as classes, online practice, and private instruction. Sophomores should remain active in co- and extra-curricular activities and expand their roles within them. By the end of the tenth grade, students seriously considering applying to college should make an initial appointment with the college advisor.
11th Grade – Junior Year
Eleventh graders enter a more active phase of the college application process. Grades earned this year are considered very strongly for college admission. Eleventh graders should decide which college entrance examinations to take, and register and prepare for those exams. These tests must include the SAT I or the ACT, as well as at least two SAT IIs besides, or in addition to, the German SAT II. Juniors should also pursue leadership positions in their chosen activities and seek out internships in fields of interest. Students should broaden and deepen their familiarity with colleges (through research, presentations, conversations, visits, etc.) and begin composing drafts of college essays.
12th Grade – Senior Year
Twelfth graders must balance staying on top of their studies with completing essential steps in the college application process. One of these steps is preparing a resume to submit to the college advisor in early September. Twelfth graders must continue to demonstrate academic strength and be aware that most schools require midyear reports. College essays must be finished early in October in order to receive feedback. Applicants should visit schools that have made their final list and complete the last of the college entrance exams. Early Decision and Early Action application deadlines are as early as November 1st. It takes time for the school to process transcripts and recommendations, so requests for those documents must made by October 15. Students applying for regular admission to colleges with a deadline of January 1st through January 15th must have all requests to the college counseling office by December 10th. Seniors should rest assured that the right match exists for every student who wants to go to college.