College Planning Checklist

Post High School Planning Guide


  1. Arrange a senior conference with your counselor to discuss career/college options and requirements; including graduation requirements and college admissions.
  2. Continue your research on colleges/post high school plans. Select 2-4 colleges you are seriously interested in attending. Read college guides and catalogues; check college web pages; visit college campuses; attend SHS college visitations and local college fairs. Keep track of all admissions and financial aid deadlines and requirements for each school you plan to apply to.
  3. Register for the SAT +Writing, ACT +Writing, and/or SAT Subject Tests Consult Naviance, college catalogues, or web pages for testing requirements for admissions. Over 99% of the nation’s colleges have gone test blind or test optional for the class of 2022.
  4. You and your guardian attend the Post High School Planning Night with OUS (see SHS Calendar). College representatives present on community colleges, 4 year public colleges, and 4 year private colleges. School counselors will go over Naviance.
  5. Check out Sheldon’s career center web site at
  6. Fill out a Recommendation Form (found in Naviance, left hand side under “Pages”) to request a letter of recommendation from your counselor and/or teachers. Only do so if the colleges and/or scholarships you are applying for require a letter of recommendation. Make copies of this form after you fill it out and set up a meeting with the staff member you would like to write you a letter. This must be done at least two weeks in advance. Counselors and teachers are not available to write letters of recommendations over Winter Break, so please plan accordingly.
  7. Complete the college application process. Decide on whether the Common Application would save you time.  Not ALL schools accept the Common App, but a LOT do. Fill out the application form carefully; confer with your English Teacher or counselor if you need assistance with your college essay; order an official transcript through Naviance.  If you see a postage stamp within Naviance…it means that a paper copy needs to be submitted through our registrar. Check with teachers and counselor to confirm they have sent your letters of recommendation. Write “Thank You” notes to the people who have written letters for you.
  8. Gather information on scholarships and other financial aid. Log in to Naviance and use the Scholarship Search Engine and consult the Scholarship list. This is updated throughout the year. Check internet resources; look through scholarship books; talk to your coach; etc. Ask your guardian to attend a Financial Aid Workshop. Submit your FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form after October 1st, but before November 1st. Both you and your guardian will have to have an FSA ID to submit your form electronically.
  9. Wait for acceptance/denial letters and info from colleges regarding financial aid packages. Decide on the college you will attend. Request a final transcript from the Records Office. Notify colleges you got accepted to whether or not you will attend their college
  10. Update your Naviance profile of the college you plan to attend and any scholarships you have been awarded. Do your Senior Exit Survey on Naviance – this is mandatory.
  11. Make sure that you have marked your FINAL Transcript to be sent to the college of your choice within Naviance.  The actual sending of this transcript cannot happen until grades are submitted (after the school year).

Click here for a Senior College Planning Calendar



Fall – Winter


  1. Plan a strong college prep program in high school.  Make sure your course selection satisfy college entrance requirements. Meet with your counselor for on-going post high school planning.
  2. Participate in extracurricular activities, which reflect your academic, personal and career interests.  The activities you choose should have a direction/purpose
  3. Research specific colleges.  Information and assistance are available in the career center. Admissions requirements vary greatly among colleges. Read college guides and catalogs; check college websites; use NAVIANCE (Super CollegeMatch); use College Board’s College Matchmaker; visit college campuses; attend Sheldon’s college visitation sessions and local college fairs.
  4. Gather information on financial aid and scholarships; this information is available in the career center, on the internet, and on college’s websites. Begin a filing system for catalogs, applications and correspondences.
  5. Take the PSAT if you haven’t already. This is usually 10th and 11th grades. If you’ve already taken the PSAT take the SAT!  Especially if you’re in Algebra II or above.   Review PSAT scores.  The PSAT provides an excellent opportunity to practice for the SAT test.  (Remember the ACT test is an alternative option to the SAT).  There is really no point of taking the PSAT twice UNLESS you’re ranked within the top 10% last time you took it.

Spring – Summer


  1. Consult Naviance, college catalogues, or college websites for information on test requirements for admissions:  SAT, SAT Subject Test, ACT.  Over 98% of the nation’s colleges are going test optional or blind for the class of 2021…let’s just say FLORIDA is holding out. Students NEED to take the optional WRITING portion on either the ACT or SAT at least once. You may decide to take your exam in the Spring of your Junior Year. You may take both the ACT and SAT. Ideally you take the SAT/ACT while taking Algebra 2 or within 3 months of class.
  2. ATHLETES check NCAA requirements.  They have changed recently and are becoming more demanding.  Fill out the NCAA Clearinghouse Application (This costs money).  You can do this in June after Junior year.
  3. Plan a challenging senior year so you will be prepared for college.  Even if you have completed your graduation requirements, you should continue taking classes that prepare you for the next level.  Colleges also look for indications that a student has taken the strongest possible program  by comparing your transcript to the School Profile.
  4. Continue research on colleges.  Plan to visit college campuses during spring break, summer, or during family vacations.  Contact College Representatives in the Admissions office to arrange a meeting or a campus tour along with sitting in on a class in your major.
  5. Investigate ways to use summer productively.  Examples: Summer School to fill gaps in preparation; summer enrichment programs; resident summer programs for high school juniors; development of talent, such as art or music; programs which combine travel to other countries, a job related to a possible career.  (Info available in the Career Center)
  6. Update your activities chart (download from Naviance).  This will help when filling out college applications and when teachers/counselors write your letters of recommendations.
  7. Balance your life activities so that you do not burn out before your senior year!

Click here for a Junior College Planning Calendar

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