For Families » College Planning - Year by Year

College Planning - Year by Year



  • If interested in attending a 4-year university after high school, sign up for the required courses to meet admission standards:  e.g.  Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, a World language.
  • Familiarize yourself with your school’s academic support services. Communicate with teachers regarding academic support.
  • Take elective courses or community ed opportunities that will help you explore your interests.
  • Begin your Student Planner at or or and update it each semester/yearly.
  • Join clubs, do extra-curricular activities to help you meet new friends and get you involved with your school community.
  • Start communicating with your high school counselor about your options after school.
  • Sign up for summer school to make up classes needed for graduation or college.
  • Start researching universities and their admission requirements.  
  • If needed, take the SAT Subject Test for Biology after completing the course.  







  • Continue taking the required courses to meet 4-year university admissions standards.
  • Visit the career center. 
  • Start taking a career assessment every year:
  • In October, register for the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test), a practice

  the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test).

  • Take part in community service/volunteer programs.
  • Continue to communicate with your high school counselor about your college plans and  college prep courses. 
  • Consider taking ROP (Regional Occupational Program) classes to meet vocational graduation requirement and to explore vocational career options.
  • Sign up for summer school if any classes need to be made up for graduation or college.
  • Take SAT Subject Tests for UC admissions after completing Biology, Chemistry, etc.  Please see for more subject testing options.







  • Review with your counselor the classes you need to take for graduation and university/college admissions.  Continue taking the required courses to meet 4-year university requirements.
  • If needed for your university, register for the ACT  and SAT   Take the ACTs and SATs more than once to get the best possible score to send to colleges.
  • Research majors and colleges/universities that provide programs of a specific major.  Visit campuses, school websites to learn more about programs, school campus, and specific admissions requirements.
  • Continue with extra-curricular activities, community/volunteer work.
  • Take summer school to make up classes for graduation and college. 
  • Consider taking advantage of community college concurrent enrollment opportunities.





  • Meet with your counselor to discuss graduation and college/career options.
  • Continue taking challenging classes for an easier transition into college.
  • Last chance to take the ACTs or SATs/SAT Subject Tests.  In the fall, register for the ACT or SAT as soon as possible.   In general, December is the last month for Seniors to take the SATs or ACTs for UCs/CSUs.
  • October – November:  Apply to the UCs/CSUs.  Check with specific private school application deadlines.
  • October – March:  Apply for financial aid starting in October. The Cal Grant deadline is March 2nd.   Also, visit CV Ed Foundation website to apply for local scholarships and financial aid of specific college. 
  • March – May:  Register for CSUs/UCs pment exams (unless you are exempt), which is required prior to enrollment. 
  • Late Spring:  Students taking AP (Advanced Placement) classes should take the AP Exams.  College credit can be earned for AP courses if you score well on test(s).
  • Throughout the year, visit the Career Center for scholarship information.
  •  DO NOT GET SENIORITIS !!!!!!   Colleges and universities can deny admission to a student who earns a “D” in a class.