Grades 9-11 Planning Calendar

Freshman Year

  • Everything you do from here on out counts! Look at your report cards - what would a potential college see in you?  Keep in mind that your transcripts will not have the teacher comments that you see on your report cards.  College admissions personnel will only see your grades on the transcript.
  • Look at the Common Application (http://www.commonapp.org/).  This is an application that many schools use and is a good general guideline for other applications you'll encounter.  Get an idea of what they are asking from you in terms of coursework, extracurricular activities, essays, test scores, and recommendations.
  • Keep in mind that you will need to have at least one teacher write a recommendation for you.  What would your teachers say about you?  How do your teachers see you?  Look at the Common App again, find the teacher recommendation form, and note the specific questions that are asked about the applicant - they aren't all about academics!  There are questions about self-confidence, motivation, creativity... How would you measure up?
  • Get involved.  Sports, clubs at school, volunteering in the community.  Do you have a job?  Other responsibilities?  All these are factored in to a college's decision about you.  The Common Application gives eight blanks to fill in extracurricular activities.  You don't have to fill all eight of course, but substantial entries would help.  If there are no clubs or sports that interest you at Sayre, start some!

Sophomore Year

August

  • Review your schedule of classes for the year.

September

  • Get a free copy of the PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin from the College Counseling Office.   

October

  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT (practice test for junior year, as well as national merit-qualifying PSAT/NMSQT).

November

  • Take ACT PLAN assessment examination (practice ACT test).

December

  • Mr. O'Rourke and Mr. Mills discuss PSAT/NMSQT and ACT PLAN test results with individual class members.

March

  • Start web searches for colleges that interest you.  Use search engines like http://www.collegeboard.com/, http://www.fastweb.com/ for help in narrowing down your search based on location, majors, size, etc. Establish a separate e-mail account just for college information (use a free source like Hotmail or Yahoo!).  Parents and students should have access to this account.

April

  • Class meeting to discuss strategies for furthering your college search.  Discuss your spring break plans with your parents - are you going somewhere that has a university in the vicinity?  Or driving by one on the way?  Start looking around, take a campus tour, and sit in on an information session.  You can even do this at UK and Transy if you're staying in town.

May

  • Check your junior year schedule with Mr. Mills and compare it against your college plans.  Decide whether or not to do PSAT prep courses.

June - August

  • Again, check family vacation locations for colleges in the area or on the way, or go a little farther afield in Kentucky, or tour Transy and UK if you have not already done so.

Junior Year

September

  • Establish a college search file on paper or on your computer.
  • Obtain a free copy of the PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin from the College Counseling Office.
  • Review the list of college representatives who will be visiting Sayre in the fall.  Plan to attend as many of these sessions as your time and interest permit.  If the visit doesn't coincide with your study hall, you need permission to miss class.
  • Plan to attend the college fair in October.

October

  • Take PSAT/NMSQT test.  Use this data to interpret your performance and to assist in SAT preparation.
  • Attend college visitation sessions as your schedule allows.
  • Attend Central Kentucky College Fair (get details from Mr. Mills).
  • Attend the Sayre School College Admissions Forum, an introduction to the college search process, featuring college admissions counselors as guest speakers, for juniors and their parents.

December

Receive and review PSAT/NMSQT scores.  Use this data to interpret your performance and to assist in SAT preparation.

  • Look ahead to ACT and SAT test dates and registration deadlines.  All juniors should take the ACT and SAT at least once, preferable twice, during the January-June test dates.  Registration packets are available in the College Counseling Office.  Online registration is also available.

January

  • Important college planning meeting, hosted in the evening at Sayre School for all junior students and their parents.
  • Prepare a starter list of colleges you may want to consider.  Use http://www.colllegeboard.com/ or http://www.fastweb.com/ for college searches by location, interest, size, etc.

February

  • Begin individual college counseling sessions.  Arrange appointments with Mr. Mills.
  • Firm up initial list of colleges to explore. 
  • Check websites of your short-listed colleges.  If you have any additional questions, write, telephone, or e-mail for assistance.

March

  • Plan college visits now through the summer months, especially targeting spring break dates.
  • Consider plans for spring/summer ACT/SAT prep courses if desired.

April

  • Prime ACT test date
  • Spring break college visit dates.  Mr. Mills and Mrs. Bilberry can help arrange college visits and appointments.

May

  • AP exams
  • Prime SAT test date

June

  • Prime dates for SAT and ACT tests.
  • Think about your college essay by preparing notes.
  • Review and begin to brainstorm a response for one of the Common Application essay questions.  http://www.commonapp.com/

July

  • Take college tours, have interviews, contrast/compare, refine your list of colleges
  • Request application materials if you have not done so already.  Alternatively, familiarize yourself with the online application of your schools of choice.

August

  • Continue college visits
  • Update personal resume
  • Make appointment, mid-to-late August, to meet with Mr. Mills to update him on your refined college list and to review senior course selection.
  • Receive your senior year college planning calendar of important dates form the Counseling Office.
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