Pathway to College Checklist

Grade 9

 Plan ahead!  Check to see that your four year plan meets both your high school graduation and minimum college admission requirements.  Choose electives to help you explore or prepare for your chosen career path. 

Note: Some out-of-state colleges may require different requirements. Be certain to check college websites early.

 Get Involved!  Not only will you enjoy your high school years more, but you will be building a resume for college admissions, scholarships, and employment.

 Think Career!  Your courses and experiences while in high school can help you determine your career choice.  The college you attend should match your career choice.

 Explore!  Attend “Beyond High School Night”.  This evening event for you and your parents will host over 90 colleges and programs, offering an opportunity to compare  colleges to help you determine your “best fit”.

 Save $$  Explore college costs.  This will motivate you and your parents to begin or continue to save.   Attend “Paying for College Night” early in high school to learn more about financing options.

Grade 10

 Review and adjust your three year plan! Consider taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses both as a preparation for college and to save college costs by earning college credit while in high school.

 Take the PSAT! This year will just be a practice for the “real thing” in your junior year. This is the ONLY way to qualify as a National Merit Scholarship contender as a Junior – it can’t hurt to practice!

 Explore colleges! 

  • WOIS and College Board are both reliable internet sites to explore and compare colleges. Visit Check Out A College to explore professional-technical career schools.  Visit college websites to check admission requirements or to take a virtual tour.
  • Attend college presentations in the Career Center.
  • Attend “Beyond High School Night” in February
  • P.S.  Who can forget that college costs $$?  Don’t forget to check out the cost of attendance & the average aid given as your research by using the “Net Price Calculator” on each college website.

 Continue to build your resume.   Volunteer, take part in athletics and other school/community activities.  Make a difference!


Grade 11

 Earn top grades!  Did you know that the gpa you earn at the end of this year is what colleges will use to make an admission decision?   Work hard this year!

 Take the PSAT!  There is no better preparation for the SAT and this is the year that you can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship/Recognition Program.

 Take the ASVAB!  Whether or are considering military service or just want to find more information about careers that are a good match for you, this free test may be worth your time.

 Narrow down your list of colleges!  Save the research on your favorite sites to make it easier to compare colleges and decide what is REALLY important to you.   College admission representatives will be in the Career Center in the fall to answer your questions.

 Attend “Paying for College” night!  Now that you know what college COSTS, come to find out how to pay for it.

 Explore and apply for scholarships!  There are many scholarship search sites on the Career Center website.   Register for one –you’ll be amazed at the opportunities!

 Register to take the SAT!  It is important to take the SAT in the spring of your junior year so that your scores will be back in time for college applications next fall.  If needed, you can retake the test in the fall of your senior year.

 College athlete: Register for the NCAA or NAIA! 

 Attend “Beyond High School Night” for one more opportunity to talk to college representatives.

 Plan college visits!  Colleges provide many opportunities for you to get on their campus and experience life as a student there.  Plan a weekend visit in the spring or arrange a tour in the summer.  Prepare in advance to get the most out of your limited time there.

 Begin to work on college essays! Most four year colleges release their essay questions/personal statements in advance. 


Grade 12

 Fine-tune your college list!  With a cost of up to $60 per application, you can spend your college savings just applying!  Include your dream schools/probable admits, and safety schools on your list.

  • Create a spreadsheet with requirements, deadlines, fees, etc. to keep track of all your applications.

 Ask teachers, coaches, and/or mentors for letters of recommendation for college and scholarship applications.  Be certain to give them your Letter of Recommendation form.

 Complete your application essays. Solicit feedback from teachers, counselors, and/or people who know you well.  Did your “voice” come through?

 Submit college applications WELL before the deadline!

  • The Common Application requires both a Secondary School Report form, usually completed by a counselor, and at least one Teacher Recommendation.  Be certain you have “invited” those that will complete these for you officially on the website.

 Prepare to complete your FAFSA by January 1 (or shortly thereafter)!  Or attend FAFSA SATURDAY for help completing this important document.

 Attend Paying for College Night in January.

 Continue to submit scholarship applications, including the Auburn Community Scholarship Application. (hyperlink new one)

 Don’t forget to return to the FAFSA website to verify income after you and your parents have filed their taxes!

 Continue to check your web accounts at each college for news of your application and financial aid.  Respond to all requests for additional information including housing, financial aid, etc.

 Compare award letters.  Determine which of your colleges are affordable and those that may be out of reach.  TOUGH decisions ahead!

 MAY 1!  Deadline to commit to the college you plan to attend.  Pay your deposit to secure your placement.

Send final transcripts to chosen college and NCAA Eligibility Center, if appropriate.

THANK everyone who helped and supported you!