AB 540 Coalition
The College Dream Initiative
College Time Line

 

College Timeline for AB540 Students

 

9th grade

  • Talk to your parents and your high school counselor about your plans to go to college.   Make a 4-year plan to make sure that you sign up for as many college-prep courses as possible.  In addition, you should plan to take some dual-enrollment classes so you can begin earning college credit in high school.
  • Make sure that you are registering for the highest level classes you can take- particularly in the areas of math and science.  You must study! Getting a C in a high-level course is not as good as getting an A in a regular-level course.
  • Pick areas that you excel in- is it sports, volunteering, student leadership, or clubs?  Get involved on your campus- you will need more than just a strong GPA to get a good scholarship from your college.

10th grade

  • Continue taking required classes for college and study, study, study.
  • Continue your involvement in sports, volunteering, student leadership, and clubs.
  • Take the PSAT (Practice SAT) offered by your high school in the fall.  Talk to your high school counselor about getting a fee waiver to sign up.
  • Begin taking ACT or SAT-prep courses.  Your high school may offer scholarships to attend these workshops- talk to your counselor.
  • Begin applying to scholarships – check in at the high school counselor’s office for local scholarships open to students.  You should also begin looking online at www.latinocollegedollars.org regularly.
  • Set up a separate email address that you use for applying for scholarships.  Don’t use this one for other purposes so it doesn’t get full of junk mail.
  • Research summer programs in your field- search on the web for programs at local colleges for high school students.  If you find none, talk to one of the college contacts listed on this site.
  • Use the summer productively- get a job, study for the ACT or SATs, take summer school, and continue your extracurricular activities.

11th grade

  • Continue taking required classes for college and study, study, study.
  • Continue your involvement in sports, volunteering, student leadership, and clubs.
  • Continue applying for scholarships.
  • Research your college choices during your junior year.  By the end of junior year, you should have a good list of colleges that you will be applying to.  Don’t discredit all private colleges because of the cost- some of these may be able to offer ‘full ride’ scholarships to excellent international students.
  • Take the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests during your junior year.  This will give you flexibility if you are unhappy with your scores, you will have time to take them again. Make sure that you take all of the tests required for the colleges that you have selected.
  • Use the summer productively- get a job, study for the SATs, take summer school, and continue your extracurricular activities.
  • During the summer, make an appointment with the Scholarship Foundation to talk about your senior year financial aid plan.
  • During the summer after junior year, begin writing your college admission essays.
  • During the summer after junior year, begin gathering donations for college! Many AB540 students turn to their communities by setting up meetings with friends and other potential donors.  By sharing your story with individuals, you may be able to gather enough private contributions to pay for college.  During your meeting, share a copy of your resume and emphasize your dreams for the future. Don’t forget to send each contributor a thank you letter and an update of how you are doing in school.  Sending a good report card may help you get contributions for future semesters.

 

12th grade

  • Continue taking required classes for college and study, study, study.
  • Continue your involvement in sports, volunteering, student leadership, and clubs.
  • Continue applying for scholarships.
  • Early in the year, begin asking for letters of recommendation.  You should always have 2-3 ready to go for scholarship applications or admissions requirements.
  • If necessary, take your ACT, SAT or SAT Subject Tests for the last time.
  • APPLY FOR COLLEGE ADMISSION:  Make sure that you meet all deadlines and turn in all required materials!  Check your email regularly.  You may be able to qualify for a fee waiver from many private colleges- check with the college Diversity/Minority recruiter in the Admissions Department about this.
  • APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID: Make sure that you are also completing required financial aid forms on time.  Many private colleges will ask you to complete forms such as the CSS Profile or they may have separate scholarship forms for you to complete.  They may also require that you turn in your parent’s tax return. THESE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE FULFILLED ON TIME FOR YOU TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR SCHOLARSHIPS.
  • When colleges begin notifying you about admission, make sure to read through the financial aid award letters carefully and understand what they are offering you.
  • It’s time to choose your college!  Talk to your parents about the different options and begin filling out forms for housing, etc.


Congratulations!


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