College Planning - Preparation Checklist

All Grades:

  • Protect your digital reputation. College admissions counselors often search applicants on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter before making a final decision. Prospective employers are also able to search applicant’s social networking profiles before hiring. Think twice before sharing information and pictures which could alter your chances for college admission or future employment.

7th Grade

  • Take challenging classes.
  • Participate in the Duke Tip Program (if eligible)

8th Grade

  • Take challenging classes.
  • Take the ASPIRE test to find areas in need of strengthening.
  • Visit www.mississippi.edu to begin gathering helpful information.

9th Grade

  • Take challenging classes in the College Preparatory Curriculum.
  • Earn community service and school service hours
  • Take the ASPIRE test to find areas in need of strengthening.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss colleges and requirements.
  • Job Shadow to help determine what kinds of jobs you may like.
  • Work hard, as attendance, grades, and community activities for all four years of high school matter when you apply for college scholarships.
  • Commit yourself to one or more extracurricular activities or a job.

10th Grade

  • Continue to take challenging classes in the College Preparatory Curriculum.
  • Earn community service and school service hours
  • Take the ACT test to find areas in need of strengthening.
  • Continue to Job Shadow.
  • Take the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), usually given in October. You must register early. If you have difficulty paying the registration fee, see Ms. Shelton about getting a fee waiver.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to visit colleges and talk to students.
  • Participate in summer academic enrichment programs offered on college campuses.

11th Grade

  • Continue to take challenging classes in the College Preparatory Curriculum.
  • Enroll in advanced placement courses.
  • Earn community service and school service hours
  • Continue to Job Shadow.
  • Participate in the college fair held at Trotter Convention Center, usually in October, to get information about any colleges or universities that you may be interested in attending.
  • Go to any ACT or SAT workshops that are offered.
  • Take the ACT and/or SAT. If you have difficulty paying the registration fee, see Ms. Shelton about getting a fee waiver.
  • Investigate the availability of financial aid from federal, state, local, and private sources. Call 800-4FED-AID for a student guide to federal financial aid. Talk to Ms. Shelton for more information.
  • Consider people to ask for recommendations – teachers, counselors, employers, pastors, youth ministers, etc.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to visit colleges and talk to students.
  • Participate in summer academic enrichment programs offered on college campuses.
  • Create your resume and have it available to send to scholarship committees.

12th Grade

  • Continue to take challenging classes in the College Preparatory Curriculum.
  • Enroll in advanced placement courses.
  • Earn community service and school service hours
  • Continue to Job Shadow.
  • Participate in the college fair held at Trotter Convention Center to get information about any colleges or universities that you may be interested in attending. Be sure to ask about admission requirements, financial aid, and deadlines for any colleges that you are interested in attending.
  • Consider people to ask for recommendations – teachers, counselors, employers, pastors, youth ministers, etc.
  • Prepare applications, write essays, and get people to write recommendations at least one month before the deadline for admission to the college or university of your choice.
  • Retake the SAT, the ACT, SAT Subject Tests, or any other exams required for admission to colleges you might want to attend.
  • Apply for financial aid as soon after January 1 as possible to get best results. You can visit www.mississippi.edu and go to Financial Aid or call 800-327-2980 to get specific financial aid information and deadlines.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to visit colleges and talk to students.
  • Create or update your resume and have it available to send to scholarship committees.