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Okay, to help alleviate the anxiety level of having to be your student's high school counselor/administrator, I've compiled a list of the deadlines/dates I could think of to create a general high school "time table". I know I have forgotten some things; hopefully others will add to this list as they remember things I forgot to include. Not on the list, of course, are your student's specific deadlines and dates for sports, arts performances, extracurriculars, etc. But, hope this helps! Warmest regards to all, Lori D.

ETA: Each family's time table will be different!! NO one will be doing ALL of these, or necessarily at the times listed! The intent of this time table is to be a SUGGESTION. And even the best-laid plans can change during your high school years, so BE FLEXIBLE.

UPDATED: July 2016
UPDATED: October 2017
UPDATED: September 2018
UPDATED: June 2019

_________________

HIGH SCHOOL "TIME TABLE"
_________________

GRADE 8

During 8th grade -- OR -- summer AFTER 8th grade:

1. High School Planmake plan with academic AND life goals to accomplish in the rapidly closing window of opportunity before high school graduation
2. Record Keeping: set up systems for record-keeping and making a transcript
3. Research Outsourcing: optional: research outside-the-home classes if that is desired/needed (local co-op classes; online classes; local high school classes; dual enrollment; etc)
4. College Board Test Info: optional: register at College Board website for a free account
     - receive free email reminders of important dates throughout each year of high school
     - access to free info on testing; college profiles; scholarships; financial aid; etc.
     - can also sign up for the free SAT Question of the Day

(NOTE: For those with accelerated/gifted/advanced students, consider looking into AP, dual enrollment/dual credit/concurrent enrollment, and other advanced options listed below in the grades where these options more typically occur)

__________________________________

GRADE 9

Throughout 9th grade year:

1. Life Skills: incorporate learning life skills
2. Extracurriculars: look for/student try out opportunities; log hours, keep records of awards, etc. for extracurriculars, community service, volunteer hours, etc.
3. Scholarshipsweb searches for "outside" scholarships to apply for -- yes! some are open to middle schoolers and young high schoolers
4. Research Outsourcing: research possibility of outside-the-home classes if desired/needed (local co-op or high school classes; online classes; dual enrollment; etc)
_________________

AUGUST / EARLY SEPTEMBER
5. Testing - OPTIONAL
PSAT

• approach local high school to sign up for mid-Oct. PSAT (mid-Oct) as practice for it "counting" in 11th grade toward possible NM scholarship $$
• NOTE: some schools offer the PSAT 8/9 or PSAT 10 in the spring and require students under grade 11 to take those versions instead

ACT/SAT
• research/decide whether or not this student would benefit from multiple ACT or SAT tests throughout high school years
• 
register online for choice of date and location for SAT or ACT
• if doing multiple/early SAT/ACT testing, incorporate practice/prep in your schedule for the weeks/months before the scheduled test
• if not doing SAT/ACT testing, consider other standardized tests (Iowa Basic, Stanford, CAT, etc.) for practice, usually administered in late spring
_________________

JANUARY/FEBRUARY/MARCH
5. Testing - OPTIONAL
standardized testing

• register for standardized testing (Stanford, CAT, Iowa, etc. -- whatever type of testing you decided on, IF you decided to do testing)
PSAT
• register for PSAT 8/9 (the 8th/9th grade practice test for the "real" PSAT test in 11th grade PSAT and/or future SAT testing
_________________

MAY
5. Testing - OPTIONAL
PSAT

• investigate PSAT testing (FOR FOLLOWING OCT.) at local high school (sign up and pay in late Aug./early Sept. to ensure a test will be ordered for you)
• College Board: PSAT/NMSQT information and dates
AP test
• see schedule of important deadlines
• tests administered at high school locations over 2 weeks in May
• must sign up in advance with the school, usually in previous spring/summer or EARLY autumn -- NO LATER than Nov. 1st (schools order tests by Nov. 15)
• note: Jan. is very late for being able to find a location that will accept your student

__________________________________

GRADE 10

Summer BEFORE 10th grade:

- If student has developed new interests/career ideas, adjust high school plan & course of study.
- Possibly tour college campuses of interest, if an advanced/motivated student with specific goals.
- Possible summer camps, academic camps, internships, or other opportunities in career field of interest.

During 10th grade year:
1. Continue #1-5 from above in the 9th grade year
2. Career: optional career exploration, internship, or job shadow opportunities if desired/interested
3. Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment:
     - learn about community college (or university) dual enrollment options
     - weigh pros/cons if DE is a good option for your student and future goals

4. Testing:
     possibly investigate test prep courses, materials, etc.
     - possibly investigate est date(s) for which you may wish to your student up
     - begin prep and practice

ACT:
test datesday of test info coststo register
test prepOnline Math Learning: timed essay tips

SAT:
test datescoststo register 
College Board test practice/prep
Online Math Learning OLD test essay prompts

SAT Subject Test (formerly called: SAT II)
test datestest day info
informationthe subjects
test prep

AP course and/or AP Test:
• note: test scores from grade 11 are most effective for college admission
• high scores from tests in grades 11 and 12 are most likely to be awarded college credit by the student's future college of choice
• start research for deciding which test(s) student is ready for
• start research spring/summer BEFORE the following May test date to find a local test site (local high school) that offers your desired test -- not all tests offered all years at all test sites
• must sign up in advance with the school, usually in previous spring/summer or EARLY autumn -- NO LATER than Nov. 1st (schools order tests by Nov. 15)
• College Board: explore AP classes and tests
• College Board schedule of important dates for AP

5. College Research - OPTIONAL
• College Fairs - look for when these are in your area -- usually mid-fall and/or spring semester
• research colleges through books such as Colleges That Change Lives, Fiske Guide to Colleges, and The Princeton Review: 382 Colleges
• research colleges through "match" websites
• start looking at individual colleges and their financial aid statistics for money awards at College Data website
   (go to "college match", click on school, look at "money matters" statistics & college admission tracker statistics to see if school might be a financial match for your family)

• also see general college statistics at College Board's Big Future
   (go to "find college"; enter specific school; when that page comes up, click on "print complete college profile" for detailed statistics about the college)


_________________

AUGUST/EARLY SEPTEMBER
6. TESTING - OPTIONAL
PSAT/NMSQT : sign-up
• contact local high schools near you to sign-up/take PSAT at the school
• get a state-issued photo ID (student driver's permit, driver's license, or ID) from your state MVD
   - note: need an official copy of the student's birth certificate -- which can take several weeks to get

• or, make approved photo ID of your student at this time for admission to the test on test day

AP test
• If you have not yet arranged for an AP test location for the following May testing, start looking -- deadline for schools to request tests is Nov. 15!
_________________

MID-OCTOBER
6. TESTING - OPTIONAL
PSAT/NMSQT
Take the PSAT as practice in advance of it "counting" in 11th grade toward possible National Merit Scholarship.

AP test
• If you have not arranged for an AP test location for the following May testing, start looking NOW!
_________________

NOVEMBER
6. TESTING - OPTIONAL
AP test

• see schedule of important deadlines
• by Nov. 1st -- double check with AP test location school that your student WILL be seated for the AP test(s) you signed up for with the school last spring or summer
• OR -- If you have not arranged for an AP test location for the following May testing, start looking NOW!
_________________

FEBRUARY/MARCH
6. TESTING - OPTIONAL
PSAT-10
• this is the 10th grade practice test of the PSAT for those taking the "real" PSAT in just 6 months
• sign up directly with a local high school
• not available in all schools or areas
_________________

MARCH/APRIL
7. Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment - OPTIONAL
• If interested in doing this option for the following fall semester, start process NOW for student admission and enrollment for classes
_________________

MAY
6. TESTING
PSAT/NMSQT - OPTIONAL

• investigate PSAT testing (FOR FOLLOWING OCT.) at local high school (sign up/pay in late Aug./early Sept. to ensure a test will be ordered for you)
• College Board: PSAT/NMSQT information and dates
• PSAT/NMSQT is administered the following mid-October
 PSAT is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test for potential scholarship money for 11th graders who score in the top 99% of test-takers
AP test - OPTIONAL
 tests administered at high school locations over 2 weeks in May
 must have signed up in advance with the school, usually the previous spring/summer/fall

__________________________________

GRADE 11

Summer BEFORE 11th grade:

- If student has developed new interests or career ideas, adjust high school plan & course of study.
- Possibly tour college campuses of interest.
- Possible summer camps, academic camps, internships, or other opportunities in career field of interest.
- Possibly do career testing and research.
- Research SAT or ACT testing; can start test practice/prep in the summer. (see above, in grade 10 for details)
- Research AP tests -- see schedule of important deadlines (see above, in grade 10 for details)
- Research colleges and financial aid

During 11th grade year:
1. Continue #1-7 from above in the 10th grade year
2. Driving: practice student driving; investigate driver's ed/teen insurance
3. Work: help student create a resume if they are applying for a part time job
4. Writing: practice general writing and timed essay skills; write scholarship application essays
5. College Research:
      start research process: look for student/school matches in degree programs, campus size/culture, financials, etc.
     
 consider attending special college "tour dates" or "family days" for first-hand research -- or schedule your own tour

College Search Process
• College Fairs - look for when these are in your area -- usually mid-fall and/or spring semester
• research colleges through books such as Colleges That Change Lives, Fiske Guide to Colleges, and The Princeton Review: 382 Colleges
• research colleges through "match" websites
• start looking at individual colleges and their financial aid statistics for money awards at College Data website
   (go to "college match", click on school, look at "money matters" statistics & college admission tracker statistics to see if school might be a financial match for your family)

• also see general college statistics at College Board's Big Future
   (go to "find college"; enter specific school; when that page comes up, click on "print complete college profile" for detailed statistics about the college)

_________________

AUGUST/EARLY SEPTEMBER
6. Testing
PSAT/NMSQT

• verify you are signed up with the local high school to take the PSAT
• start prepping/taking practice tests (College Board: practice)
AP Test
• start searching for a school test location that will seat your student -- deadline for schools to purchase tests is Nov. 15!
ACT / SAT:
• register at the test's website for possible autumn test date: ACT sign-up / SAT sign-up
• start prep: ACT practice / 
SAT College Board practice
SAT Subject:
• register at the test's website for possible autumn test date: test dates
_________________

OCTOBER
6. Testing:
PSAT/NMSQT

• take test -- test day info

AP Test
• line up a school test location that will seat your student -- deadline for schools to purchase tests is Nov. 15!

7. Potential Service Academy Candidates
• begin putting together packets, getting letters of recommendation / Congressional letters, and register for tests
• several Service Academies have
admission deadlines *early* (August/September) of grade 12, so start now to be prepared
_________________

NOVEMBER
6. Testing:
AP test
• see schedule of important deadlines
• by Nov. 1st -- double check with AP test location school that your student WILL be seated for the AP test(s) you signed up for with the school last spring or summer
• deadline for schools to purchase tests is Nov. 15!
_________________

JANUARY
6. Testing:
ACT / SAT:
• register at the test's website for possible spring test date: ACT sign-up / SAT sign-up
• start prep: ACT practice / 
SAT College Board practice
SAT Subject:
• register at the test's website for possible autumn test date: test dates

7. Potential Service Academy Candidates
• begin putting together packets, getting letters of recommendation / Congressional letters, and register for tests
• several Service Academies have
admission deadlines *early* (August/September) of grade 12, so start now to be prepared
_________________

MARCH
8. Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment - OPTIONAL
• If interested in doing this option for the following fall semester, start process NOW for student admission and enrollment for classes
_________________

MAY
AP test - OPTIONAL
 see schedule of important deadlines
 tests administered at high school locations over 2 weeks in May
 must have signed up in advance with the school, usually the previous spring/summer/fall

__________________________________

GRADE 12

Summer BEFORE 12th grade:

- If student has developed new interests or career ideas, adjust high school plan & course of study.
- College: Tour the "finalist" college(s) on your student's list.
- Make college selections (of final 3-6 colleges (or more, if needed) -- be sure to include at least 1 "safety" school and 1 "match" school.
- Possible summer camps, academic camps, internships, or other opportunities in career field of interest.
- Consider doing career testing and research.
- For more great ideas, check out this thread: "Summer Before Senior Year Things To Do" -- June 13 2019, mirabillis

During 12th grade year:
1. Continue doing #1-8 from above in the 11th grade year
2. Regularly check deadlines for EVERYTHING
_________________

AUTUMN
3. Testing
ACT / SAT / SAT Subject —
if student needs to take/retake, do so as early as possible in the school year
ACT / SAT:
• register at the test's website for early autumn test date: ACT sign-up / SAT sign-up
• start prep: ACT practice / 
SAT College Board practice
SAT Subject:
• register at the test's website for early autumn test date: test dates
AP Test
• see schedule of important deadlines
• start searching for a school test location that will seat your student -- deadline for schools to purchase tests is Nov. 15!

4. End of High School:
• Graduation: Begin planning for high school graduation ceremony or special event now
• Senior Photo: Arrange for senior portrait photographs now

7. College - Scholarships:
• send in "outside" scholarship applications and essays to meet autumn due dates
_________________

SEPTEMBER
3. Testing
AP Test 

• line up a school test location that will seat your student -- deadline for schools to purchase tests is Nov. 15!

6. College - Financial Aid:
• do online FAFSA application for financial aid
• Oct. 1st = opening date for following school year of college

7. College - Admissions:
• 
start college application form -- OR -- Common App (if required); requires:
   - copies of transcripts (yours, dual enrollment, high schools, etc.
   - all transcripts must be official transcripts sent directly from the schools
   - copies of test scores sent directly from ACT/SAT to the college
   - copy of course description document (if required)
   - family information and possible financial information
   - student admission essay (if required)
   - possibly: list of extracurriculars, volunteer work, community service, etc.
   - possibly: list of work experience, honors, awards, leadership activities
   - possibly: copies of certificates, documents, etc. -- do NOT send originals!
   - possibly: copy of a "disposable" portfolio -- do NOT send original documents!
• apply to colleges with Early Application deadline in October 


_________________

OCTOBER
7. College - Admissions:

• apply to colleges with Early Application deadline in October (usually Oct. 15 or sometimes Oct. 31)
_________________

NOVEMBER
3. Testing
AP Test 

• by Nov. 1st -- double check with AP test location school that your student WILL be seated for the AP test(s) you signed up for with the school last spring or summer
• deadline for schools to purchase tests is Nov. 15!

7. College - Admissions:
• apply to colleges with a Nov. 15th/Nov. 30th deadline (see details above for October grade 12)
_________________

DECEMBER
7. College - Admissions:
• apply to colleges with a Dec. 15th/Dec. 31st deadline (see details above for October grade 12)
_________________

JANUARY
7. College - Admissions:
• apply to colleges with January deadlines or rolling admission (see details above for October grade 12)

8. Graduation:
• plan / reserve venue for any special ceremony or celebration
_________________

FEBRUARY/MARCH
6. College - Financial Aid:
• deadline for many colleges to fill out FAFSA application for financial aid8. Graduation:
• order: graduation diploma, cap & gown, announcements
• have senior photos taken and place order for prints
• plan and reserve any special "senior trip" or last family vacation

_________________

APRIL/MAY
9. College - decisions / enrollment
• deadline to accept final college choice is usually May 1st
• possibly register for Fall semester college classes (may happen at summer freshman orientation day)

10. College - internships
• some *college* internships have application deadlines a YEAR in advance
• search now/apply for internships to be done during the summer *following* the college freshman year
_________________

MAY/JUNE
8. Graduation:
• optional ceremony, special event, celebration
• write/send thank you notes for graduation gifts

11. College - prep to leave
• begin to collect items for dorm living (often there are Memorial Day sales)

Edited by Lori D.
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Nice list, Lori! :)

 

The only things I could think of are:

 

locating a place to take AP exams and make sure you contact them about the deadline for registering (here the deadline at the ps I think is mid-Feb. I went early in the month, so now I forget when the actual deadline was.)

 

if applying to competitive schools, make your summers mean something. Consider academic summer camps. A summer job or volunteering is definitely better than not having anything to show for your summers.

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Thank you, Lori D.

 

I am not exactly sure where to put this but perhaps beginning in 10th grade, job shadow any potential area of interest.

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One thing I wanted to add or ask about. A lady at my church just explained about FAFSA and said that we should fill out those forms in January just as soon as we would receive our tax info. She said that the aid was on a first come, first serve basis and that waiting until March might cause one to not get the aid he could have gotten if he had filled out the form in January. Is this correct information?

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Edited:

 

As of 2016, FAFSA process has been revised. The application process now opens October 1st for the FOLLOWING college school year. So, if applying for the 2017-2018 school year, the FAFSA process is open from October 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

 

Be aware that many colleges now have extra-early application time frames (October/November), and do require that early FAFSA.

Edited by Lori D.

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Thanks for those additional suggestions! I incorporated the job one into the original post above.


 

The only things I could think of are: locating a place to take AP exams and make sure you contact them about the deadline for registering



Too complicated to try and include all of dates above. Here is the list of deadlines for AP course registration, location, testing, etc., off of the College Board website -- please note that this is a checklist for PUBLIC SCHOOL students, and homeschoolers will likely need to make arrangements much EARLIER than this:

Course Calendar

Spring BEFORE starting an AP course

- Well ahead of time, you need to start thinking about what AP courses you might want to take
- Learn more about the AP Program on this website
- Discuss your AP plans with your parents, teachers, and AP Coordinator

Summer
- Some AP teachers require that you complete work during the summer months to prepare for their course
- For example, for AP English you may be given a reading list
- Make sure you complete these assignments, so that you're up to speed when the class begins

 

[November -- homeschoolers should be lining up a location by November, as it is often difficult to find a location that can take your student.]

January
- Talk to your AP teachers and/or AP Coordinator about taking the exams
- Contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinator at your school if you will need testing accommodations

February
- Deadline for submitting requests for testing accommodations for students with disabilities

Feb/Mar
- Deadline for homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP to contact AP Services for a list of local AP Coordinators at whose schools they could arrange to test

March
- Deadline for homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP to contact AP Coordinators identified by AP Services

May
- Exam dates

June
- Deadline for AP Services to receive written requests to change college score report recipients, and to withhold or cancel scores for the current year's exam administration

July
- AP score reports released to designated colleges, students, and their high schools

September
- Scholar Award and International Diploma notifications sent to schools and students
- Deadline for ordering free-response booklets

October
- Deadline for requesting Multiple-Choice Re-score Service

Edited by Lori D.

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I so need a "like" button!

 

Thanks Lori!

 

:iagree: That is a great list. Thank you. :001_smile:

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I would amend or simply add to the 12th grade time table, based on our recent experience:

 

Summer before 12th grade:

Visit colleges of interest and plan on interviewing with admissions counselors as many colleges require interviews of homeschool applicants.

Take current copies of transcripts to interviews (with planned 12th grade courses listed). Also take a one page resume that highlights extra curricular activities.

Write thank you notes to the admissions rep who conducted the interview.

Mom needs to start writing drafts of the homeschool supplement section for the common app as well as considering the guidance counselor section. Have friends proofread for you!

Some kids start their essays now, others, like mine wait until the week of the deadline....

 

Fall of 12th grade year:

Finalize your list of colleges, and be sure to have a "safety" or two (schools that are a shoe-in for admission or have terrific financial aid) on that list.

Check application deadlines. Many colleges have early action deadlines starting November 1, some have rolling deadlines and it is nice to get an admission decision before Christmas, even if it is just a "safety". Some schools give early applications more time and consideration as they aren't buried under the avalanche of regular deadline applications.

Set up interviews for colleges you didn't visit. Many admissions reps visit major cities or send alumni to interview prospective students.

 

Spring of 12th grade year:

Many colleges want the FAFSA submitted by February 1 even with tentative numbers. You can go back and change numbers after you've completed your taxes.

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Another thought -- many colleges (particularly private colleges) require submission of the CSS Profile (in addition to the FAFSA). A number of the colleges to which my daughter applied, required that this be submitted in the fall of senior year.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Lori, thank you so much! I am printing this off and keeping it in my binder for when the time comes (which will be in a blink of an eye.)

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I would start visiting colleges spring of Junior year - and start researching them earlier - it may take awhile to discover good options depending on what you are looking for (I have a friend right now looking for a serious art program, agriculture classes AND a fencing team - not the easiest assignment). I would NOT visit colleges during the summer, you will not get a feel for the place with few/any students on campus. As homeschoolers you have the flexibility to visit while school is in session. Also gives you a chance to sit in on classes.

 

Definitely college essay apps should be written over the summer (you will not believe how long this could end up taking). If you are applying to non-Common App schools schools may have their own essay prompts and said child will need to write multiple essays (I have one son who ended up writing 7).

 

My kids started filling out the common app as soon as it came online. All their apps were in by the end of Oct. The result being that schools with rolling admissions or Early Action programs started mailing acceptances by Christmas time, making Christmas a very happy occasion at our house. Big deal for the karma in your house...

 

Then you may start a round of Honors program applications (for schools that have them) which would include another round of essays. - that is another reason for the apps to be done early - gives your kid a breather in between rounds.

 

Also, I will say that my kids found the fall of senior year to be an exhausting time with all the extra work, and our classwork suffered a bit - we made online classes a priority - so if you can tweak that semester to be slightly lighter or less labor intensive, it will help out. I also padded in extra days, because I knew we would still be making college visits, we started the semester a week early, so we would have time to take off. You may also need that extra time in the spring, we are now taking time off for accepted student days. You don't want to be messing around with the graduation date senior year.

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Our school doesn't allow one to registered for the PSAT between May - Aug. They take registrations after Labor Day until the end of Sept. It could be good to know that school policies differ. One ought to call their local school to see what their policy is.

 

One college middle son almost applied to required financial aid to be applied for by Jan 15th for freshmen. Waiting until Feb would have likely meant no aid. (This does mean many have to estimate taxes and amend it later.) I know that's not just one college because I remember a senior at our high school having to get the same done for a couple of places he'd applied.

 

I recommend visiting colleges fairly early. By taking middle and youngest sons with us when we visited with oldest (spring of his junior year) they not only got to get a feel for what they liked (or didn't), it also proved inspiring to them with their academics.

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I would start visiting colleges spring of Junior year - and start researching them earlier - it may take awhile to discover good options depending on what you are looking for (I have a friend right now looking for a serious art program, agriculture classes AND a fencing team - not the easiest assignment). I would NOT visit colleges during the summer, you will not get a feel for the place with few/any students on campus. As homeschoolers you have the flexibility to visit while school is in session. Also gives you a chance to sit in on classes.

 

Definitely college essay apps should be written over the summer (you will not believe how long this could end up taking). If you are applying to non-Common App schools schools may have their own essay prompts and said child will need to write multiple essays (I have one son who ended up writing 7).

 

My kids started filling out the common app as soon as it came online. All their apps were in by the end of Oct. The result being that schools with rolling admissions or Early Action programs started mailing acceptances by Christmas time, making Christmas a very happy occasion at our house. Big deal for the karma in your house...

 

Then you may start a round of Honors program applications (for schools that have them) which would include another round of essays. - that is another reason for the apps to be done early - gives your kid a breather in between rounds.

 

Also, I will say that my kids found the fall of senior year to be an exhausting time with all the extra work, and our classwork suffered a bit - we made online classes a priority - so if you can tweak that semester to be slightly lighter or less labor intensive, it will help out. I also padded in extra days, because I knew we would still be making college visits, we started the semester a week early, so we would have time to take off. You may also need that extra time in the spring, we are now taking time off for accepted student days. You don't want to be messing around with the graduation date senior year.

 

Lori, you did a great job in compiling the many details of high school but I agree with moooom on several points.

 

We started visiting colleges earlier than senior year. If your student has a rigid AP/dual enrollment schedule, it is hard to orchestrate visits that require a long drive or a flight, particularly if your students wants to visit the school when it is in session as opposed to the summer. I would encourage visits when students are on campus.

 

The Common App comes out in July, I believe. My son began working on it that month. He had the easier parts done (things like listing extracurriculars). His personal statement came to him in a flash and needed little refinement. But the essay required thought and tweaking. I was glad that he had this completed going into the school year. One of the universities to which he applied had an early deadline for their honors college. So by November 1 he had to have a resume, their essay, etc. submitted.

 

Many Common App schools require additional statements or essays. On top of that, my son wrote essays for local scholarships. I was glad that he had several applications in for Early Admission at schools that offered it. It really is nice to have letters of acceptance in hand to build confidence for the last hurrah.

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Lori, you did a great job in compiling the many details of high school but I agree with moooom on several points.

 

We started visiting colleges earlier than senior year. If your student has a rigid AP/dual enrollment schedule, it is hard to orchestrate visits that require a long drive or a flight, particularly if your students wants to visit the school when it is in session as opposed to the summer. I would encourage visits when students are on campus.

 

The Common App comes out in July, I believe. My son began working on it that month. He had the easier parts done (things like listing extracurriculars). His personal statement came to him in a flash and needed little refinement. But the essay required thought and tweaking. I was glad that he had this completed going into the school year. One of the universities to which he applied had an early deadline for their honors college. So by November 1 he had to have a resume, their essay, etc. submitted.

 

Many Common App schools require additional statements or essays. On top of that, my son wrote essays for local scholarships. I was glad that he had several applications in for Early Admission at schools that offered it. It really is nice to have letters of acceptance in hand to build confidence for the last hurrah.

 

:iagree:

 

The common app came out August 1st this year. I remember my guy starting it then. All of his applications were in by Dec 1st - most far before that. The last one was a last minute deal (University of Rochester) and their's needed to be in by Dec 1st to qualify for merit aid. He made his decision over Thanksgiving to go ahead and apply, so finished that app quickly. I was glad the "common" part of it was already finished.

 

If one is interested rolling admission schools (Pittsburgh comes to mind), one ought to apply early as those schools also tend to dole out merit aid as they get applicants in. There won't likely be much left if one waits until later.

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Thank you so much Lori D. for this incredibly helpful thread! :thumbup: So far, I have found the hardest part of homeschooling high school to be serving as guidance counselor for my ds. Thank you for making that job easier!

 

And thanks so much to everyone else who added their advice and shared their experiences. You guys are amazing! :hurray:

 

I'm printing this all out and adding it to my planner.

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Make sure you check deadlines for individual colleges. I had all of my college apps in by Nov/Dec of my senior year. For early admin and some scholarships you habe to apply early.

 

Look at non-school based scholarships - Coca cola and other businesses offer many.scholarshops. If you have a creatibe child attending a prom of some sort, there is the Duct Tape scholarship. Many have early deadlines.

 

Find put honors program deadlines. They can be earlier. These programs are very beneficial at large state schools. I was allowed to register early every semester. I always got the classes amd times that I wanted. I was able to graduate early because I never had to wait on a class that was full.

 

 

Great list!

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Thanks, ladies for the more specific information on college searches and college applications. That is an area I don't have personal experience in, as we didn't do the college tour/applications thing, since our DSs are going to either gap year or the 2-year CC degree route.

 

Also, I didn't want to overwhelm those who are not immediately doing the 4-year college route by overweighting the original "big picture" schedule with too much about college searches -- so much of that seems to vary depending on the specific college. So, my plan was to provide a very broad/general time table, and then I was hoping you ladies with more details in specific areas would add posts to fill in with additional lists of what to schedule and when for those specific areas. :)

 

Thank you, all for chiming in! And please, keep on doing so! We ALL benefit! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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This is fantastic.

 

You might move the AP exploration and consideration earlier.

 

And the summer programs may have to be chosen and applied for back as early as January.

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Also on AP testing it might be good to have a spring the year before check of the test schedule for conflicts and contact with schools to find out registration policies. Our district will take outside students but the sign up is in February. Waiting until March would cause a problem.

 

Did you have college fairs on here?

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Ok I thought of a couple more. Spring before a year write draft course descriptions and then write final descriptions as the course is completed either at the end of the year or end of semester. Harder to forget something that way.

 

And for those hoping to play sports in college there is the NCAA review process to get familiar with. Looking at that while my eldest has made me consider adding recognizable textbooks to our studies. I've also gotten his online course provider to start the ball rolling to get their classes reviewed by NCAA.

 

If you don't mind I'll add some milestones for academy applications later today. Those run 3-6 months ahead of regular college admissions.

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And at the beginning of every semester get a copy of the course description from your online school or CC. Some courses change, and sometimes the course descriptions are taken down before the end of the semester.

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Here is a quick draft at a timeline for service academies. This is based on the Naval Academy admissions cycle. The timeline for other academies may differ slightly. This is mostly pulled from the USNA catalog, in the admissions chapter.

 

Naval Academy Summer Seminar applications for rising seniors opens January of junior year. The application for NASS will also serve as a pre-candidate application.

 

You should apply for admission between February 1st of your junior year in high school and January 31st of your senior year in high school. Since many Congressional offices begin processing nomination requests during the spring and summer, the earlier you apply the better.

 

In all cases, for information and a Preliminary Application go online and complete the Preliminary Application via the Naval Academy web page at ww.usna.edu/Admissions/preapplication/.

 

Based on the information submitted, particularly scholastic achievement, the Office of Admissions will advise you whether your present record is strong enough to be competitive for admission. If so, you will be identified as an official candidate and you will receive information on accessing and completing an online application.

 

Apply for a nomination May junior-Oct senior year. Contact your senators and congressional representative directly. Nomination information is usually listed on their websites under constituent services. For information on Presidential, Vice-Presidential and other nominations, visit usna.edu/admissions/

 

Test results from the December ACT and January SAT are the last ones an applicant can use to qualify as a candidate and receive an application for the Naval Academy Class of 2016. But keep in mind that congressional nominations close before December, so quality test results need to be on hand earlier for areas with competitive nominations pools.

 

Follow steps for admission as outlined at usna.edu/admissions or in the USNA catalog.

 

Candidate files not completed by March 1 will not normally receive further consideration.

 

Most students will be notified of their status by April 15. Because USNA uses rolling admissions, it is possible to receive a Letter of Assurance much earlier if the candidate package is strong enough.

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Great list, Lori. I have a couple of items to add if your child plans on playing a sport in college:

1. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center sophomore year, and read the NCAA website to make sure you understand what documentation the NCAA requires from homeschoolers.

 

2. College Confidential has a subforum for athletic recruits that has a ton a valuable information.

 

3. Get all standardized testing completed by the end of junior year. This is the first year that I have been paying attention to the recruiting process for my kids' sport, which is tennis. I have been amazed at the number of kids that have officially committed to a college before the start of their senior year of high school! The college application timeline is different for recruited athletes: rising seniors have been committing to colleges since July.

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I've noticed this year that earlier (good) test scores are helpful for service academies too. It gives a good score to assess for summer seminar and for designating candidates. Also this year some local congressional offices are closing nomination request windows before the fall SAT (or before they will report scores).

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Thanks for all your work, Lori! You have been really busy making all of these amazing resource threads! Your time is appreciated!

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This is a great thread, although i'm having a bit of a panic attack reading it all. LOL

 

It would be great if we could get this "stickied" to the top of the forum. SO helpful!

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A great list, Lori! From our experience I would just add two things. If you think your child has a good shot at being a National Merit Semifinalist, I would move prepping for the PSAT to the summer before 11th grade instead of the fall. My son started dual enrollment classes at our local LAC the fall of his junior year and had we not done the test prep over the summer, it wouldn't have happened. Also, for the most part he just prepped for the SAT and took it immediately after the PSAT and was done.

 

Second, at least for some kids, I would start looking into SAT Subject tests freshman year. You want to take the test right after you finish the corresponding course, and some kids are already taking advanced classes as freshman.

 

And while I wholeheartedly agree that it's best for seniors to start and finish their college apps as early as possible, for those of you out their with procrastinators, don't lose hope. My son finished everything less than a week before the deadline most of his schools shared (January 15th) and was accepted everywhere. While I was pretty stressed about it, I don't think he worried at all :)

 

I just thought of a third one. Many colleges require a mid-year report from the counselor (the Common App has a special form) with update transcripts. So if you apply early and the college doesn't having rolling admissions, early action, or early decision, you may have to send this after first semester senior year is completed. This is one way my son's procrastination actually saved us money. Once we realized he wasn't going to finish any apps until after January 1st, we waited until first semester grades were available from his LAC, and sent official transcripts at that time, thus avoiding paying for them twice. Also, once you've completed the senior year and chosen the college, most schools require a final transcript (at least for outside official courses) and an AP score report (if applicable).

Edited by Frances
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One thing I wanted to add or ask about. A lady at my church just explained about FAFSA and said that we should fill out those forms in January just as soon as we would receive our tax info. She said that the aid was on a first come, first serve basis and that waiting until March might cause one to not get the aid he could have gotten if he had filled out the form in January. Is this correct information?

 

In our area, the CC actually has a night where they have people that can help you along with a huge bank of computers. I believe it is at the end of January/first of February.

 

Lori D., you are awesome!  Thank you for all your hard work.

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Can you add in - be flexible, please. I know I made a plan. It was a good plan. I still have the plan. My son refused to work the plan. He had a different plan. 

 

You have a great plan, here. It truly is fabulous. However, if I were to go by it, I'd be about three years behind. Instead, we're right where we should be, not where I want us to be or where I thought we'd be, but right where he needs to be. It looks different and I am uncomfortable, but I'm learning to homeschool from that "place of rest." 

 

It would also be great if someone could develop a plan for teens who aren't college bound. Maybe they are entering the workforce or attending a technical school. What would the four years getting ready for that look like? What about a four year plan for life skills or character development? Does anyone want to bite on those? I might work up life skills. Character development is a big thing to contemplate & hard to write down! 

 

ETA: Gah! This thread is two years old! But, it is so good, I think it's great that it was resurrected! 

 

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