College Planning

Useful Websites:

Khan Academy
NCAA Eligibilty Center

9th Grade 

  • Get to know your School Counselor
  • Check college admissions requirements. Plan a college preparatory course schedule for all four years of high school.  
  • Take courses that challenge you
  • Plan ahead for courses that require prerequisites 
  • Recognize that class rank and weighted and unweighted GPA are calculated beginning in grade 9. These are based on final grades in all courses attempted.
  • Create/update your CFNC account to save your courses and explore career interests 
  • Pursue extracurricular interests, such as sports, clubs, or community service and stay involved
10th grade
  • Consider taking the PSAT. This test is given only in October
  • Take the PreACT at school. This test measures college readiness and career potential and is given to all 10th graders in NC
  • Select challenging courses which will maintain your class rank and GPA. Take the hardest courses in areas where you excel. Investigate Honors and AP (Advanced Placement) courses. 
  • Plan an interesting summer, possibly participating in a challenging summer enrichment program or community activity. Check out college-based experience programs in the School Counseling office.
  • Review your goals for the future with your School Counselor
  • Start using SAT and ACT Test Prep resources below

11th grade

  • Continue taking courses that will sharpen your skills for college and enhance admission prospects
  • Attend "College Day" at your high school
  • Consider taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are selected from only 11th grade students who take this test in October of their 11th grade year
  • Take the ACT during the school day administration 
  • At mid-year, begin to investigate specific college possibilities
  • Sign up to talk with visiting college representatives
  • Take the SAT or ACT in May or June, including subject tests if required by a college your are considering. Register online.
  • Visit colleges 
  • Update your CFNC account
  • Take free practice tests for the ACT and SAT at CFNC
  • Talk with coaches about college sports and eligibility 

 12th grade

  • Update your high school resume to include extracurricular activities , sports, community service, leadership positions, honors/awards, and employment experience
  • Lay the groundwork for recommendations early 
  • Write, edit, proofread, and rewrite your admissions essays early
  • Select at least five colleges to apply to and become familiar with admissions deadlines
  • Take the SAT or ACT in October or November
  • If you are a student athlete, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center
  • Continue visiting campuses
  • Attend College and Career Fairs to talk with representatives 
  • Participate in College Application Week
  • Use the CFNC online application system to complete your NC college and university applications and to send your official transcripts
  • Complete Scholarship Applications
  • Attend the Financial Aid Workshop
  • In October, begin completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. For help, attend FAFSA Day
  • Compare admission acceptance letters and financial aid packages
  • Make the final decision of where you will attend and send your acceptance and deposit
  • If not accepted by your college of choice, use the College Redirection module at for new options
  • Send your final transcript to the college you will be attending 
  • Send in college credit course transcripts (community college), if you took dual enrollment classes
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