College Planning for Grades 9-11
Freshman through juniors can begin to prepare for the college admittance process by starting a resume listing all activities and sports in which they participate, as well as a log of community service hours and a list of all awards given to that student throughout his or her high school career.
All sophomores and juniors should take the PSAT (practice version of SAT) in the fall. This test is a practice test for the sophomores and serves as a National Merit Scholarship Qualifier for juniors. Additionally, sophomores should take the PLAN (practice version of ACT) test in the fall.
Students should take the SAT and ACT beginning in the Spring semester of their junior year. This leaves plenty of time for improvement, and studies show that scores generally improve with practice and preparation.
Juniors can estimate their financial aid eligibility by inputting their information into the FAFSA Forecaster.http://www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov
Applying to College
Seniors, get ready! Your senior year will be fast and furious, and it starts early with the college application process!
For seniors wanting to apply to PUBLIC, TEXAS universities, www.applytexas.org provides a common application. This common application allows you to fill in (most) of the information only once. Each university will have questions specific to that institution, but much of the information is the same and will be automatically copied.
Apply Texas opens in August for students to start working on their applications, and most universities will start taking applications by mid-August to September. I cannot stress enough how important it is for students to apply early, especially if they will not qualify for automatic admission.
Students receive automatic admission to state schools (with the current exception of UT) if they are in the Top 10% of their graduation course. The University of Texas provides automatic admission to students in the top 7% of their graduating class**. Others will fall as review admits, in which instances a review board will make application decisions based on high school grades, course rigor, SAT/ACT scores, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and college application essays.
Collegeboard provides students with tips on writing an effective college admissions essay: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/essay-skills/9406.html?99720112013360697Nav=|&NodeID=1772.
After you have written your essays, have someone proofread them. I will be glad to look over any essays you have written and give you tips for improvement.
After you have completed the admission application, you will be required to pay an application fee before sending your application to the university. Once the application has been sent, complete a transcript request form online or complete a paper request form and turn it in to Mrs. Granger to have your transcript sent to the college. Please allow up to 48 hours to process all transcript requests.
Do not overlook the Scholarship Application tab on many Apply Texas applications. Fill that out at the time of application, and the universities will automatically select you for any University specific scholarships for which you qualify.
**For the graduating class of 2019, UT will grant automatic admissions to the top 6% (announced 9/15/17)
Paying for College