Welcome to high school! Ninth grade is a time for exploration, so it’s important to do just that. Join clubs, sports and other school activities. Volunteer! How will you know what you’re good at or what interests you if you don’t try new things?
It’s also important to make sure you get off to a strong start in all your courses! Students who have to repeat classes close off their options and choices in coursework/internships, etc. later down the road. What to look for this year:
- Guidance counselors schedule personal conferences with each ninth grader during March and April to develop a high school “game plan” and select courses for tenth grade. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend this conference.
- Mid-January: Course Registration Process
During your sophomore year, you’ll want to be watching for these things:
- October-November: All sophomores will be scheduled out of a study hall to take an Interest Assessment on Guidance Direct, a program that will help identify possible careers of interest, as well as work values.
- October-November: All college-bound sophomores are strongly encouraged to take the PLAN, a pretest for the ACT. The PLAN includes a career interest inventory and measures aptitude in English, social studies, science reasoning and math.
- November or December: Parents should attend the Financial Planning for College workshop at Mohonasen. Look for the date and time in the district calendar.
- Late Fall: Course Registration Process
- November, December & January: Counselors meet with each student for their annual review. At this time course selections for 11th grade are finalized, academic standing is reviewed and continued career exploration is encouraged. Also in April, highly motivated and/or accelerated students may want to sign up for the SAT Subject Tests.
- June: Students who have signed up to do so, take the SAT Subject Tests.
- September – October: Sign up for and take the PSAT – a pretest for the SAT.
- November or December: Parents will want to attend the Financial Planning for College workshop, especially if they didn’t attend last year. Check the district calendar for the date and time.
- Mid Winter: Course Registration Process
- January – February: Parents and students attend College Information Night for Juniors (The Search Process). A panel of local college admissions counselors are the featured speakers. Check the district calendar for the date and time.
- January – March: Counselors meet with every junior to do an annual review. Discussions focus on academic progress, PSAT scores, course selections for grade 12, the college selection process and career plans.
- March – April: Also in March/April, students should sign up for the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and ACT exams.
- May: Students should attend the College Fair at Hudson Valley Community College (more than 200 colleges participate).
- May: Students and their parents should attend the College Information Night (The Application Process) for Juniors. Check the district calendar for the date and time.
- May – June: Students take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and ACT exams.
- June – August: Students make plans to visit colleges over the summer. Students should call for an appointment first to avoid visiting a campus when it may be closed or between semesters. An interview is advisable. Students should also be registering for SAT, SAT Subject Tests or ACT Exams that they would like to retake in the fall.
Congratulations! You’re almost there! Your senior year will be an exciting one, focusing on making a smooth transition to college, the military or directly into the workplace.
- September – October: Each senior meets individually with his or her counselor to review graduation and course requirements, diploma options and post-high school plans. A college application timeline is formalized in this meeting. Retake SAT, SAT Subject Tests or ACT Exams.
- September – October: Students and parents attend Senior Information Night, presented by the high school counselors and a college admissions rep. Check the district calendar for the date and time.
- Students should be requesting recommendations from teachers, counselors and other relevant adults. They must include an addressed, stamped envelope for each individual to each college applied for recommenders to send letters directly to the school. Seniors should also begin checking in regularly at the Counseling and Career Center to look for scholarship applications.
- October: Seniors and parents attend a college essay writing workshop presented by a college admissions counselor. Check the district calendar for the date and time.
- November: College applications should be submitted directly to your colleges during this month. Always remember to make a copy if sending a paper application, or print a copy if submitting it online. Check to see if your colleges require SAT or ACT scores sent directly from the test center.
- Keep checking for those scholarship applications this month! A transcript request form for each college applied to needs to be submitted to the guidance counselor to ensure that transcripts and other important documents are submitted in a timely fashion.
- December: Make sure to complete and submit any application with a January 1 deadline. This includes requesting all transcripts and recommendations at least two weeks prior to the holiday vacation.
- Also this month: Request a PIN number needed to complete a FAFSA from www.pin.ed.gov and check to see if the schools you are applying to require a CSS financial form. Check the latest college scholarship applications at www.collegeboard.com, www.FAFSA.ed.gov or www.fastweb.com.
- January: Attend the high school’s workshop on Filling out College Financial Aid Forms. The focus is on the FAFSA – the financial aid application form that colleges use as their formula for determining financial aid. Also this month, continue the application process for college as needed, and keep checking for scholarship applications in the Counseling and Career Center!
- January – March: Submit your FAFSA form no earlier than January 1 and no later than March 1. If necessary, estimate the required financial information using last year’s tax returns.
- February – March: Review and return the Student Aid Report (SAR). This form is sometimes mailed/e-mailed to students to clarify information provided on the FAFSA. Follow directions carefully and return as quickly as possible.
- March: Continue checking the Counseling and Career Center for scholarship applications. Wait for responses to college applications.
- April: Compare the financial aid packages that will begin arriving in the mail. It’s time to select the college you’re going to attend! You’ll need to send in a deposit to the college you’ve chosen – no later than May 1.
- June: Congratulations graduate! You’re on your way!