High School Planning

Having a checklist as a reminder to complete tasks, can be very helpful. The computer can be a helpful tool for keeping track of which schools you've applied to, community service hours, extra-curricular activities, and anything else you may need to access for applications. 

We'll be getting on to AzCIS soon. It's a wonderful resource and can help you be more organized. ORGANIZATION is key to success.


(From Legacy Scholars)
High School Freshmen Checklist

Develop and maintain good study habits. This will be vital throughout high school and college.
Keep in mind that your grades from freshman year forward affect your overall high school GPA.
Think about several career possibilities and learn how much education is required for each job.
Get to know your teachers.
Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss your career and college goals, and to design a four-year high school plan to reach your goals.
Familiarize yourself with the high school curriculum and keep up with your four-year plan.
Read, read, read!
Think about what extracurricular activities you’re genuinely interested in and to which you are willing to commit the time.
Find out about the summer activities, jobs, or volunteer opportunities that will expand your experience and skills.
Take advantage of every opportunity to participate in enrichment activities.

Take the PLAN or PSAT. These are shorter versions of the ACT and SAT that can give you an early projection of how you might score on these tests. They are also great practice instruments that will help you score even better on the tests that really count.
Establish strong time management skills. Continue to improve your reading and writing skills.
Keep a folder or list of your accomplishments, awards, extracurricular/volunteer activities, and leadership positions. This will be helpful in filling out job, college, and scholarship applications later.
Talk with college students or recent college graduates who you know and ask about their college experiences.
Visit college web sites, attend local college fairs, collect college literature and talk with school representatives.
Begin locating sources of financial aid, particularly scholarships.

Start the year off right by getting to know your teachers and their expectations.
Meet with your guidance counselor to make sure your coursework and your grades are on track.
Start to investigate college options. Talk with your counselor, look at college web sites, visit college campuses, and have information mailed to you.
Start searching for scholarship opportunities.
Utilize skill assessment tools to find a potential career path and major.
Take your ACT and/or SAT during your junior year. This will give you the opportunity to take the test again in your senior year if you want to try to improve your score.
Continue the activities that interest you most and to which you are most committed.
Be a leader on your teams, in study groups, and in your activities. Leadership positions are impressive both for college and job applications.
Try to find a job or a volunteer opportunity in a field that will be relevant to your line of study and ultimately your career goals.

Develop a calendar of the application, scholarship, and financial aid deadlines you need to meet.
Meet with your counselor to make sure you are enrolled in the courses required for college admission.
Register and take the SAT or ACT if still necessary.
Meet with college admissions representatives at your selected colleges when they visit your school.
Ask teachers and/or counselors for letter of recommendations for your admissions applications.
Male students over 17 should register with selective service to be eligible for federal and state aid.
Draft your application essays. Ask teachers to review them.
Submit college applications for early admission consideration.
Submit college admissions applications at least by December 1 and keep a separate file for each.
Register for a PIN at www.fafsa.ed.gov to enable you to apply for financial aid.
Search for private scholarships and grants. Check with employers and local organizations.
Compile year-end financial records for financial aid applications. Ask your parents to have their income taxes prepared as soon as possible to support your financial aid applications if needed.
Submit your completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Fill out school specific financial aid forms by the deadlines specified.
You will start receiving college decisions, your Student Aid Report (SAR), and financial aid award letters from colleges at which you have been accepted.
Decide which college you will attend and forward a deposit by the required date.
Submit scholarship acceptance forms by the required dates.
Notify the colleges you will not be attending.
Stay on top of important deadlines at your chosen college (housing, financial aid, enrollment, etc.)
If you were awarded loans, choose a low-cost lender.
Send thank you notes to everyone who helped you get accepted to college.