College Planning Tips

In Grade 9:

1. Take the right classes. Always look over your schedule, since there are basic courses you will need to take if you are planning to go to college. Courses you should take if you plan to go to college:

   * English: 4 years College Prep English
   * Math: 3 years or more Algebra I & II, Geometry, Advanced Math
   * Lab Science: 2 years or more Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.
   * Social Science: 2 years or more U.S. History, World History, Government, Economics, etc.
   * Foreign Language: 2 years or more Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.
   * Computer: 1 year Intro to Computers, Word Processing, etc.
   * Electives: 3 years Arts, Typing, Music, etc.

2. Do your best in school. Every grade counts.

3. Work at developing good study habits.

4. READ! Anything and everything.

5. Become involved in school and community activities such as volunteering, sports, clubs, student government, etc. Remember, colleges notice what you do both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. However, don’t overextend yourself!!

6. Let your parents, friends, teachers and counselors know that you are planning to go to college after graduating from high school.

7. Put together a “Freshman Portfolio” containing the following:

   * A copy of your final report card
   * Any awards you earn
   * Papers or projects you’ve done well on
   * Any other important information

You should have this folder with you when you meet with your guidance counselor and when you select courses. Use it to keep track of any part-time jobs or community service you perform

8. Meet with your Crusade Advisor on a regular basis to discuss your plans for the next four years.


In Grade 10:

1. Visit as many colleges as you can. Your Crusade Advisor will let you know when The College Crusade has college tours coming up, and you should also make plans to visit campuses with your parent or guardian, especially specific colleges that interest you.

2. Begin to look at college catalogs and viewbooks.

3. Learn about college entrance exams, such as the PSAT and the SAT. Talk with your guidance counselors, teachers, and Crusade Advisor to learn how to prepare for these exams.

4. Keep track of all the activities you participate in, both in and out of school.


6. Meet with your guidance counselor to review your report card and make sure it is accurate.

7. Meet with your Crusade Advisor at least once a month.

In Grade 11:

September  Check with your guidance counselor to see which colleges will be visiting your high school. If possible, schedule appointments with college representatives.

October  Plan to attend the Regional College Fair.

November  Begin reviewing college information and list the schools you may want to consider further.

December  Consider signing up for the February ACT test.

January  Continue to narrow your list of schools. Write or email them to request additional information.

February  Sign up for the March SAT I.

March  Plan to visit colleges during your spring break.

April  Register for the May/June SAT I and SAT II.

May  Consider taking the Advanced Placement Exams.

June  Consider enrolling in an academic course at a local college.

July  Consider volunteer work as another way to build your resume.

August  Begin to assemble writing samples, portfolios and audition tapes (if needed).


In Grade 12:

September  Ask teachers, employers and/or coaches to write you letters of recommendation. Write your application essays.
October  Get all your application materials to your guidance office well before the application deadlines.

November  Make sure your transcripts and test scores are sent to the colleges you are applying to.

December  File the last of your college applications.

January  Send your first semester grades to the colleges you are applying to. Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1 and before February 28.

February  Monitor your college application status to be sure all your information has been received.

March  If you have not decided on a favorite school, try to arrange second visits so you can make your decision.

April  Decide on the school that you will attend and send your tuition deposit. If you were notified that you are eligible for the Crusade Scholarship but it doesn’t appear on your college’s award notice, contact the Office of Financial Aid and ask how the Crusade Scholarship will affect your aid package.

  If you are planning to live on campus, complete the housing application and send it out along with any necessary deposits.

June  Apply for a summer job. Plan to save a portion of your earnings for college.

July  Carefully read any information you receive from your school regarding housing, orientation, etc.

August  Pack for college and look forward to a great experience!