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College Preparation Planning Timeline

Below is an abbreviated timeline of the things that your student should be doing in high school in order to be prepared to attend college after graduation. Please note that deadlines vary by institution, so you and your student should adjust based on the school or program that s/he wants to attend.

Freshman Year

  • Prepare for success by taking a wide variety of classes that will prepare your student for the rest of high school
  • Join clubs or organizations to develop leadership, teamwork, and community service skills

Sophmore Year

  • Continue taking a variety of classes including math and science courses
  • Take the PSAT to become familiar with college entrance exams and to qualify as a National Merit Scholar
  • Continue participating in extracurricular, community service, and/or athletic activities

Junior Year

  • Take AP or Dual Credit Courses that prepare your student for college-level work
  • Take ACT and/or SAT exams for the first time
  • Take a leadership role in extracurricular activities
  • Research colleges that offer degrees in subjects that your student is interested in
  • Visit prospective colleges and universities
  • Research

Senior Year

  • Take additional AP or Dual Credit courses
  • Take a math course, even if it is not required for graduation
  • Take ACT and/or SAT exams again
  • Apply to colleges and universities that you want to attend
  • Apply for institutional scholarships offered by the colleges or universities that your student is interested in attending (to be considered for our best scholarships, you must be accepted to UNM by December 1st)
  • Send official transcripts to colleges and universities
  • Accept admission to the college or university of choice
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline of the institution your student will be attending (UNM's priority deadline is March 1st)
  • Apply for additional local and national scholarships
  • Register to attend New Student Orientation
  • Apply for housing (if your student will be living on campus)
  • Graduate from high school