Cheshire High School - Counseling Student Advice


9th grade Reminders

  • Study, study, study. Colleges look at your permanent academic record for admissions beginning with freshman-year grades.
  • Colleges care about which courses you're taking in high school. Remember, you will have more options if you start planning now for college and do your best to earn good grades.
  • The courses you take in high school show colleges what kind of goals you set for yourself. Are you signing up for advanced classes, honors sections, or accelerated sequences? Are you choosing electives that really stretch your mind and help you develop new abilities? Or are you doing just enough to get by?
  • Colleges will be more impressed by respectable grades in challenging courses than by outstanding grades in easy ones.
  • Do your high school course selections match what most colleges expect you to know? For example, many colleges require two to four years of foreign language study.
  • During the summer, create your student resume. Make a list of school and community activities in which you are involved, including both paid and volunteer work, and descriptions of what you do. List all awards and honors you received.
  • Make a folder that includes copies of report cards and contains a list of awards and honors.


10th grade Calendar


  • Start a calendar with important dates and deadlines.
  • Get involved with extracurricular activities.
  • Attend the college fairs at Cheshire High School in the fall.


  • Visit colleges while they're in session.
  • Find out about college firsthand from friends who are home for the holidays. 


  • Look for a great summer opportunity — job, internship or volunteer position.
  • Attend the Sophomore Career Fair.


  • Start a summer reading list. Ask your teachers to recommend books.
  • Plan to visit college campuses to get a feel for your options. Start with colleges near you.
  • Finalize your summer plans.
  • Copies of report cards
  • Lists of awards and honors
  • Update your student resume from Freshman year of all the school and community activities in which you are involved with and awards/honors you have received.
  • Update your folder with copies of your report card and awards you received in the past year.
  • Continue participation in academic enrichment programs, summer workshops, and camps. 


Link for Junior Planning Guide

 Link for Junior Questionnaire

Link for Release Form

11th grade Calendar


  • Continue to take and seek out challenging courses. A tougher course load may pay off with scholarships and may get you a better chance to get admitted to the school of your choice.
  • Join an academic club.
  • Assume leadership roles in your activities and sports.
  • At school, sign up early to take the PSAT.
  • Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, preferences and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college.
  • Jump-start your college planning by reading about majors and careers.
  • Use College Search on the College Board website to find colleges with the right characteristics.
  • Attend the College Financial Aid Night at Cheshire High School.
  • Find out about schools you are interested in attending. Treat your school selection process like a research paper: Make a file and gather information about schools, financial aid, and campus life to put in it. Go to college fairs and open houses and learn as much as you can from the Internet about schools.
  • Begin planning college visits. Fall, winter, and spring break are good times because you can observe a campus when classes are going on.
  • Sign up for ACT or SAT prep courses.


  • You can take either the SAT® or up to three SAT Subject Tests™ on one test day. Plan your testing schedule carefully if you want to take both, and register for two separate test dates. Test dates can be found on the College Board website.
  • Use the access code on your PSAT score report to sign in to My College QuickStart. With this personalized planning kit, you can prepare for the SAT using a study plan based on your PSAT results and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors and careers.


  • Start visiting local colleges: large, small, public and private. Get a feel for what works for you. Develop an initial list of 15-20 colleges that interest you. You can narrow it down later.
  • Gather information from colleges. Request brochures and catalogs and attend college fairs.
  • Review your senior year class schedule with your counselor. Challenge yourself with honors and AP classes.
  • Plan summer activities early. Enrich yourself by volunteering, getting an interesting job or internship, or signing up for special summer learning programs.
  • Plan campus visits for spring break.


  • Visit colleges. Take campus tours and, at colleges you're serious about, schedule interviews with admission officers.
  • Check important dates; some colleges have early dates or rolling admission.
  • Update your student resume.
  • During the summer between your junior and senior year, write practice applications and essays and decide where and if to apply early decision, early action or regular decision.


Link for Senior Planning Guide

Link for Senior Questionnaire

Link for Request Transcript

12th grade Calendar


  • Narrow your list of colleges to approximately five to eight, and review it with your counselor. Get an application and financial aid info from each. Visit as many as possible.
  • Make a master calendar and note:
    • Test dates, fees and deadlines
    • College application due dates
    • Recommendations, transcripts and other necessary materials
    • Your high school's deadlines for application requests, such as your transcript
  • Ask for recommendations. Visit Cheshire’s School Counseling Department for the appropriate paperwork. Remember to follow-up with a “thank you” card.
  • Write application essays and ask teachers, family members and friends to read first drafts.
  • Attend the Financial Aid night at Cheshire High School.
  • Visit with your school counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate and fulfill college admission requirements.
  • Attend the College Fairs at Cheshire High School.
  • Begin your college essay(s).
  • Apply for admission at the colleges you've chosen.
  • Find out if you qualify for scholarships at each college where you have applied.


  • Most regular applications are due between January 1 and February 15.
  • You and your family should save this year's pay stubs to estimate income on aid forms that you'll file early next year.
  • Submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible. Men who are 18 years of age or older must register with Selective Service to receive federal financial aid.
  • Many priority financial aid deadlines fall in February. To get the most attractive award package, apply by the priority date. Keep copies of everything. If you need it, get help completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Continue to look for scholarship opportunities.
  • Watch the mail for your Student Aid Report (SAR)—it should arrive four weeks after the FAFSA is filed.


  • You should get acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April.
  • Talk to financial aid officers at your college if you have questions about the award offered.
  • Decide which college to attend, and notify the school of your decision.
  • You must tell every college of your acceptance or rejection of offers of admission or financial aid by   May 1. Send a deposit to the college you choose.
  • Notify your college about any outside scholarships you received.


  • Getting a summer job can help pay some of your college expenses.
  • Make a list of what you will need to take with you for your dorm room.
  • If you haven't met your roommate, call, write, or e-mail to get acquainted in advance.
  • Make sure housing documentation is quickly accessible when you move into the dorm.
  • Learn how to get around at your new school. Review a campus map.
  • Wait until after your first class meeting to buy your books and supplies.