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Plan Ahead for  College 

Yes, there are things your kids can do in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades to help them prepare for the college application process!  The more you do now, the easier the process will be in 12th grade!  Winter vacations are a good time to prepare.

Summer activities, Major Selection, Standardized Tests -- get a head start on planning now!

Slow and steady wins the college race!

9th graders:

  • Start looking for summer activities: jobs, internships, community service, camp, or academic programs.  Places fill up fast and deadlines often range from December to March.

  • Acquaint yourself with the College Office's website, especially the "I am a...[Freshman/Sophomore/Junior/Senior]" sections.

10th graders:

  • Consider planning a few college visits for spring break, even if they're just in the NY area.

  • Start looking for summer activities (see 9th grade above).  Taking an SAT or ACT prep course isn't enough!  Selective colleges expect students to be doing more with their summers.

  • Think about registering for the World History SAT Subject Test on June 1, 2025.  Not sure?

  • Start thinking about Major Selection.

    • Your student can ask 11th and 12th grade friends

    • Check out the PA's Unofficial Guide to Major Selection (to be updated Oct 2024)

    • There will be much more info provided by the school in March (open houses, etc.).

  • Acquaint yourself with the College Office's website, especially the "I am a...[Sophomore/Junior/Senior]" sections.

11th graders:

  • Plan out college visits for the spring.

  • Start looking for summer activities.  (See 9th grade above)  Having some sort of formal activity this summer looks good on college applications!

  • Consider registering for the spring SAT (March) or ACT (Feb or April), before spots fill up.  May and June are busy with APs, Subject Tests, and finals.  Questions on the two tests, timing, target scores, etc.?  Check out the PA's Unofficial Guide to the SAT and ACT.

  • Consider registering for two SAT Subject Tests in US History, Math II,  Literature, or Chemistry or Biology or Physics (if your student is taking an AP in one of these sciences) for June 1, 2025.  
    Not sure?

  • Get familiar with the College Office website and emails.  A good place to start is by reading this year's College Office newsletters.  Also check out the "I am a...Junior" and "I am a...Senior" sections.

  • Many/most of the colleges your student applies to will likely accept the Common App (but will also require a college-specific supplemental application as well).  The Common App essay prompts from this year are online and they haven't changed in a couple of years.  So your student can start thinking about which essay she'd like to write and maybe jot down some ideas and notes in the coming months. 

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