College Planning Timeline

Grade 9

Get a Strong Start
Freshmen are encouraged to get off to a strong start in the Upper School by practicing good study skills, developing interests, and joining activities. High school experiences, both academic and extra-curricular, are valuable for their role in a student’s personal growth and not simply as stepping stones to college.

Parents: Start exploring financing options for your child’s college education.

Grade 10

Begin the Process
Sophomores begin the college process by taking the PSAT in October. In the junior year, this test determines students’ eligibility for National Merit scholarships. High-achieving sophomores in mathematics and science courses may elect to take the SAT Subject Tests. Conversations at home about college and visits to college campuses are recommended but not necessary at this point. In spring, tenth-graders take the PLAN test, a precursor to and practice test for the ACT college admission test.

Sophomore To-Do List:

  • Prepare for the PSAT
  • Take the PSAT
  • Start thinking about what you would like from a college
  • Take the PLAN

Grade 11

Fall:

  • Families attend fall evening to learn about standardized testing options
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT

January:

  • Attend College Night (juniors and junior parents/guardians)
  • Fill out questionnaires and return them to your College Counselor
  • Arrange a meeting with your College Counselor (after College Night)
  • Review PSAT. Identify areas of weakness and work with your College
  • Counselor to develop strategies to improve your success
  • Begin a plan to do something productive over the summer
  • Parents/Guardians: After your student has met with his or her College Counselor, make an appointment to talk with the counselor.

February:

  • Arrange a meeting with your College Counselor if you have not done so already
  • Map out a testing schedule for the SAT Critical Reasoning and Subject
  • Tests and/or ACT testing
  • Plan March visits to colleges and universities

March:

  • Continue to work hard. Put your best effort into your classes
  • Register for May SAT testing and/or April ACT
  • Visit colleges during March break
  • Think about which teachers you want to write your letters of recommendation
  • Send away for catalogues and inquire about tours and arranging interviews

April:

  • Attend the Beaver College Counseling classes
  • Take the ACT
  • Register for the June SAT testing or June ACT
  • Attend the College Fair at Milton Academy
  • Finalize your summer plans
  • Ask two teachers to write recommendations for you

May:

  • Take the SATs
  • Take Advanced Placement examinations
  • If you have not met with your College Counselor, you must do so!

Over the Summer:

  • Take the SATs and/or ACTs in June
  • Create a list of preferred colleges and universities
  • Continue college visits
  • Sketch out preliminary essay ideas about a significant event, person, achievement, or academic experience in your life

Grade 12

September:

  • Meet with your College Counselor to plot your college application strategy
  • Continue to research and refine your list of colleges
  • Attend sessions with college representatives visiting Beaver
  • Note deadlines in your personal organizer
  • Parents/Guardians: Attend College Night for senior families at Beaver

October:

  • Attend sessions with college representatives visiting Beaver
  • Visit college campuses
  • Take the SAT tests and/or the ACT

November:

  • Submit applications for Early Decision, Early Action, and the University of California system
  • Take the SAT tests
  • Narrow your list of choices by consulting with counselors and families
  • Submit preliminary college list to the Registrar

December:

  • Application Time!
  • Take SAT tests and/or the ACT
  • Submit final college application list to the Registrar
  • Complete and mail applications by the deadlines
  • Parents/Guardians: Attend Financial Aid Workshop at Beaver

December/January:

  • Complete and mail financial aid forms by the deadlines

February through mid-April:

  • Wait for notification
  • Continue to work hard! Winter and spring terms grades do matter!

May:

  • Take a final opportunity to visit colleges
  • Respond to college acceptances by May 1
  • Take Advanced Placement examinations