College Planning

  • College Planning Timeline

    College planning can start at a young age, but you definitely want to start planning in more detail when you reach high school.  Here is a link to a suggested timeline to follow for each year of high school. 

    Testing Information

    Students planning on applying to 4-year colleges or universities should plan on taking the SAT and ACT exams in their Junior year.  These are standardized tests that many colleges require as part of their admissions decisions.  These tests may be take more than once and colleges will look at the highest scores earned. 


    The College Board is launching it's first version of the new SAT in March 2016.  Click here to learn more about the new exam and to get free test prep with Khan Academy.  Juniors are advised to take the exam in March if they are accelerated in math, otherwise they should take it in May or June. 

    Register here!


    Click here for more information on ACT.

    How to Apply to College

    Step 1 - Add colleges to "college I'm applying to" under the colleges tab in Naviance.

    Step 2 - Update resume under the "about me" tab in Naviance. Teachers will need to reference this when writing your letter of recommendation.

    Step 3 - Ask teachers for letter of recommedation in person, then on Naviance (in "college's I'm applying to")  

    Step 4 - If applying to community college, use the application on the college's website.

    If applying to 4-year colleges, use the Common Application. Over 600 colleges accept the common application. Why complete separate applications, when you can complete one and send it off to many?  Click here for a video on how to use the Common Application. Be sure sign the FERPA agreement and match your Naviance account with your Common's how!

    Financial Aid

    Types of Student Aid: 

    • Grants -money that doesn't need to be paid back from the state or federal government. Ex- Federal=PELL, NYS=TAP
    • Scholarships- money that doesn't need to be paid back; may or may not be merit-based
    • Work-study - money earned through a college campus job 
    • Loans - borrowed money that will need to be paid back after college

    Step 1 - Do your best in high school!!! If you earn high grades and high scores on SAT and/or ACT exams, you stand a good chance of receiving merit-based scholarships!

    Step 2 - After finishing college applications (November of senior year), begin the research process. This can be done on many websites including Naviance, FastWeb,, and more listed to the right.

    Step 3 - Set up an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID).  An FSA ID must be set up for the student in addition to one for a parent.  This ID is linked to your social security numbers and will be your way of electronically signing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

    Step 4 - Complete the FAFSA - click here. Once you successfully submit the application, you will receive an email confirming such.  Then, within 3-5 business days, you will receive an email indicating that your application has been processed.  Now you will need to move on to step 5.

    Step 5 - Complete the NYS Tuition Assistance Program(TAP) Application here.

    Step 6 - Compare award amounts between colleges to assist in making your decision about which college to attend. Click here to help compare!

    Step 7 - Apply to local scholarships!  After the winter break, I will visit the classrooms to provide a list of local scholarships.  While some may be academic-based, many are not, so it is important to look through this document closely and apply to those applicable to you. If you are selected as a scholarship winner, you will receive a letter inviting you to attend our annual scholarship dinner at Wells College.