- What Should I Be Doing Now?
- Searching for a College
- Career Planning
- Financial Aid & Scholarships
- College Timeline Checklist
Connects students and clarifies the steps they need to take on the path to college and career education, from taking the right classes and tests, to applying to colleges, and then finding the money to pay for school.
Know How to Go
Get advice about how to go to college from people who know all about it.
Adventures in Education
Get ready for college, starting today. Learn about the college application and admissions process and discover tips for choosing the college that’s right for you.
Discover 4000 community colleges, state colleges, traditional colleges, universities, and more. Dive into the College Current to see college videos, student reviews, and college information on Twitter.
Every Chance Every Texan
This Compendium contains a list of colleges and universities in Texas, admission requirements, total expenses for an academic year, financial aid data, and related information, helpful hints to the college bound, and a calendar of various scholarship deadlines arranged by month.
This site includes information about college, including preparing, selecting, applying, paying, deciding, and financing.
Apply to every Texas public university online.
This site builds video tours, interactive maps and custom multimedia apps for higher education, non-profit, and government clients worldwide.
College and Career Quest Exercise
This site will take you through a process of exploring careers and colleges using the web. It is designed to develop skills required in researching potential majors and colleges. This is only the beginning of your exploration.
This site provides guidance with college, career, and financial aid planning.
Work in Texas
Search for jobs in Texas
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Dreamers Roadmap - Earn micro-scholarships from colleges for your achievements as early as 9th grade
College for Texans
Higher education in the state of Texas, financial aid, free test prep.
SAT and career/college information
ACT and career/college information
The following timeline chronicles suggestions at each grade level as you prepare for College. Be sure to consult with your school Counselor at intervals to ensure that you are on track. The first step is to take required courses and proper number of electives for graduation; develop good study habits; prepare for success on State Assessments; take College entrance exams; and stay on track.
- Take the Career Interest and PSAT 8/9 test.
- Develop the 4-Year Plan.
- With your Counselor, develop your Personal Graduation Plan.
- Select your Graduation Plan and Endorsement as required by House Bill 5
- Develop good study habits.
- Participate in extra-curricular activities.
- Participate in community service activities.
9th Grade Freshman Year
- Review your high school program of studies with your school counselor and parents.
- Check your course selection and be sure you are in the correct courses.
- Begin researching your career choices and educational requirements for your career of interest.
- Begin keeping a personal record of your achievements, honors, and awards, as well as activities in which you participate.
- Develop good study habits.
- Participate in extra-curricular and community service activities.
10th Grade Sophomore Year
- Check credits to make sure you are on schedule for graduation. Check with your school counselor to make sure that your courses meet college entrance requirements.
- Student athletes should check NCAA requirements (www.ncaaclearinghouse.net).
- Register to take the PSAT.
- Prepare to take the PSAT which is offered in October each year
- Spring of 10th grade Year-Student must indicate in writing an endorsement they intend to earn.
- Throughout the year
- Ensure that you enroll in appropriate courses.
- Maintain good grades.
- Review colleges of interest to you and costs.
- Schedule college tours
- Finalize the endorsement plan
11th Grade Junior Year
- Check credits to make sure you are on schedule for graduation.
- Check with your guidance counselor to ensure your courses meet College entrance requirements.
- Register to take the PSAT for the National Merit Scholar (NMSQT) recognition.
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT; only 11th Graders may qualify for the NMSQT
- Review college entry requirements
- Review financial aid and scholarship information.
- Update your record book of high school activities, accomplishments, and awards.
- Take SAT/ACT; Take SAT Achievement test(s).
- Schedule college tours
Summer Prior to Senior Year
- Select the top 5 to 7 colleges you feel best meet your future goals.
- Plan to condense your list to 3 or 4 by August.
- Be sure to contact your primary choice Colleges for applications.
- Student athletes should register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. A student athlete should check the current NCAA eligibility criteria. Be aware of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Eligibility Requirements (www.ncaaclearinghouse.net).
- Plan college visits and arrange for interviews, if possible. Attempt to see colleges while classes are in session.
- Request College catalogs, applications, financial aid information, and specific information about your proposed major area of study.
- Take the approved college assessment, unless you are exempted based on the Texas Accountability Performance Standards applicable, SAT or ACT scores.
12th Grade Senior Year
- Research scholarships and loan possibilities.
- Choose a minimum of 3 colleges to which you will apply. Keep your counselor and parents informed about your interests.
- Match your records with selected college entrance requirements.
- Review your credits for graduation. Consult your counselor to ensure that you are scheduled properly in courses so that you meet graduation requirements.
- Texas offers a common application for all public universities. (www.applytexas.org)
- Check college deadline dates for application for admissions, housing, financial aid, and required entrance exam (SAT/ACT), and acceptable financial aid form (FAFSA OR FFS).
- Register to take the SAT or ACT.
- Schedule college tours.
- Complete financial aid forms (FAFSA and/or FFS)
- Take the ASVAB Test for United States Military Service considerations.
- Solicit application and recommendation forms from guidance counselor and teachers for completion of their sections. Allow at least 2 weeks in consideration of the demands on teachers and counselors.
- Follow up on letters of recommendation. Request transcripts as needed. Make copies of all forms before mailing.
- Check with your counselor to make sure mid-year reports are completed and returned to colleges, which request them.
- Request that SAT/ACT scores be submitted to all colleges to which you have applied.
- Ask parents to begin gathering their financial information.
- Maintain grades and stay focused in pursuit of your goals and successful college enrollment in the fall.
- Expect college acceptance notices.
- Keep your guidance counselor informed of your situation. Share your records of high school activities, awards and accomplishments.
- If you have not been accepted for a college, stay focused, and consider your other options. In addition, seek guidance from your school counselor and your parents.
- Check college/university catalogs for deadlines. Finalize plans for financial aid, housing and scholarships.
- Make final choice of College or University and complete required paperwork for college admission.
- Inform your school counselor of college acceptance and scholarships.
- For AP courses, take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exams. Have scores sent to selected colleges. Most US Colleges and Universities have an AP Policy for granting incoming students’ credits and placement based on their AP Exam grades (up to a whole year, equating to sophomore status and a financial savings in College costs) if qualifying grades are earned. The cost of each AP Exam is $93.00. Reductions of $31.00 are available from the College Board for students with a financial need. Schools may forego their $9.00 rebate, making the final fee $53.00. Check with your school counselor for possible additional reductions.
**Students must pay a $15.00 restocking fee if the exam is ordered and the student does NOT take the exam. **
Advanced Placement credit policies vary. Individual College and University AP Credit Policies can be viewed through the College Board website at: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies