C T O 9 T H A N D 1 0 T H G R A D E T I M E L I N E
9 T H G R A D E
Investigate the academic requirements of colleges you are interested in and plan accordingly.
Investigate which high school classes colleges require you to complete.
Take challenging classes.
Meet with your Guidance Counselor to discuss your high school and goals.
Participate in meaningful extracurricular activities. Demonstrating leadership, commitment, and
passion beyond the classroom can enhance your college application. It can also add balance and fun
to a challenging academic schedule. Students from low-income families often need to help support
their families by working. Colleges understand that this can mean less time for extracurriculars. If this
is true for you, you will have a chance to explain your circumstances, and also talk about the skills
gained and lessons learned on the job, when you apply to college.
Participate in something enriching for the summer. For instance, you can participate in a career
exploration program or take summer courses to improve your writing.
Read as much as you can, and read a variety of materials. Reading strengthens writing skills.
Prepare for the PSAT and/or PLAN tests to score especially well and qualify for awards such as
the National Merit Scholarship, a prestigious national award for which you can only qualify if you
score well on the PSAT
1 0 T H G R A D E
Take a rigorous course load. Especially if you are interested in a science major or a science career,
take rigorous courses in those areas. Be aware of pre-requisites for classes like Calculus you may
need to take this year in order to qualify for classes in the College Program.
Take the PSAT in the fall. These tests hook you into opportunities. By checking “yes” to the box
that allows other organizations to contact you, you allow scholarship programs, summer programs,
and colleges to contact you with information on more opportunities. In addition, the PSAT is required
to qualify for some opportunities, such as the National Merit Scholarship program.
Meet with your Guidance Counselor and Advisor to discuss your progress and future plans.
Continue to participate in meaningful extracurricular activities.
Prepare for the SAT/ACT. Take a course.
Take summer school/community college courses.
Participate in summer enrichment programs offered by organizations and colleges. This can also be
a useful way to spend time at a college you may be interested in attending. These programs can be
costly, but some programs offer financial assistance.
Read as much as you can.
Y E A R O N E
Fall, General: Having prepped this summer, take your First SAT or ACT in the early fall (October or
November) of your Y1 so as not to interfere with your college coursework.
October: Take PSATs again to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship
February: Start Y1 CTO advisory in the winter term
March: Start planning for summer programs/activities
March/April: Take March SAT or April ACT if you are unsatisfied with Fall scores.
May: Request Letters of Recommendation (LORs). Be sure to follow CTO guidelines on this!
June: Take 2 SAT Subject tests by June, if needed
Over the Course of the Semester and Summer:
Work on the following documents:
Research, research, research (and VISIT) colleges!
o Create a ‘Smart’ Draft College List (financially strategic & diverse in terms of acceptance)
o Get to know yourself better in terms of future plans and goals
o Research colleges with guidebooks, talking to people, online resources, CTO advisor
o Attend BHSEC College Fair
o Attend Annual Y1 College Trip
o Visit colleges with parents or friends as possible
Meet with CTO advisor individually
Y E A R T W O
Summer: work on Essay, continue college list research, visit colleges, interview if possible; if you want
to apply ED or EA start finalizing your choices
September: be sure your Teacher LOR writer has what s/he needs for your letter.
September through November: Register for October SATs or September or November ACTs, if you
want to boost your scores
September through November: Polish College Essay!
September through November: Polish Resume!
October: familiarize yourself with Common App; follow the CTO’s instructions
October 15: ED & EA College List Due!
November: apply ED or EA, if you choose to do this.
November: start supplemental college essays.
December 1: Final College Lists due!
December 1: Forward SAT & ACT scores!
January1: Standard RD deadline for many selective colleges
January: Financial Aid Month (Submit FAFSA, CSS, TAP, & Institutional Forms)
February: Follow Up Month; submit college applications with later deadlines.
March: The Longest Month Ever! Wait, wait, wait for decisions.
April 1: Decisions come back!
April: Decision Month; visit schools again, talk to people, etc.
May 1: Deposit at the school of your choice!
Terms: ED = Binding Early Decision Plan 11/1 or 11/15; ED 2 usually 1/1) Results by 12/15 for ED 1 or by 2/15 for ED 2
EA = Non-Binding Early Action Plan (EA usually offered between 11/1 – 12/15) Results usually within 6-8 weeks.
RD = Regular Decision. Usually 1/1, 1/15, 2/1 or 2/15; Results usually on 4/1
Rolling = Public Schools usually offer this plan. Students accepted on a continual basis; results usually sent 6-12
weeks after the application is processed.