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Postsecondary Planning

 

 

FRESHMAN YEAR 

  • Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can wait to "get serious" later! Your grades now really do matter! 
  • If you need help with any of your classes, ask the teacher for help or sign up for tutoring! 
  • Choose classes that CHALLENGE and INTEREST you.  If you can handle honors courses, take them! *The classes and activities you are most passionate about may help guide early college and career exploration.
  • Get involved! Join a club, play a sport, be part of the school play, take dance or karate classes, join your church youth group, volunteer.
  • Build a good reputation! Someday you'll be asking your teachers and coaches to serve as job references and to write letters of recommendation for you. Make sure you give them great things to say about you!

SOPHOMORE YEAR

  • Make sure you are earning grades that you'll be proud of later!
  • Consider taking the PSAT for practice with college entrance exams and a chance to improve before junior year high-stakes testing.
  • Keep a list of the activities that you're doing (clubs, sports, music, volunteering). If your list is rather skimpy, get involved! 
  • Choose your classes wisely, based on the careers you are interested in pursuing. 
  • Start looking at your post-secondary options. Use AZCIS and the links on our site to find out more. If you're considering college, visit college fairs and meet with admissions representatives that come to MUHS.
  • If you are an athlete planning to participate in sports at college, meet with your school counselor to discuss NCAA eligibility requirements.  Details can be found at www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org.

JUNIOR YEAR

Fall

  • If you're going to a four-year college, register early for the October PSAT in the Counseling Office. This is the ONLY time it counts for National Merit Scholarships -- and it's worth your time!!    
  • Take the ASVAB test for military entrance OR just to explore careers that will be a good fit for your skills and interests!
  • Review your list of the clubs, activities, and volunteer hours you've accomplished. Become more involved if you can!
  • Learn about colleges by attending college fairs and browsing online. MUHS Counseling has a wealth of links online. Talk to your counselor about college admissions representatives coming to Mingus Union High School. Make a folder to get organized with application materials, scholarship information, etc.
  • If you're headed to college, start looking for scholarships. Many scholarships are available for juniors, and MUHS Counseling keeps an updated list on their website. Many national websites also have searchable scholarship databases and email alerts!

Winter

  • Earn strong grades! The junior year grades are EXTREMELY important to college admissions, military recruiters and employers.
  • Continue your research in potential colleges and careers. Make an appointment with your counselor to discuss important tips about college exploration, admission, and funding. 
  • If you took the PSAT, listen carefully to the guidance of your school counselor when you receive your results.
  • Register to take the SAT and/or the ACT and step up your test preparation efforts! For test prep, see your counselor and sign up for an account through the MUHS subscription to Method Test Prep.

Spring

  • Make a list of colleges that interest you. Request admission and financial aid information from the schools on your list. Take note of which schools want you to take SAT or ACT and SAT Subject Tests.
  • Work with your school counselor to ensure a challenging senior year of courses. If you are a student athlete planning to participate in sports at college, you should also discuss NCAA eligibility requirements and register for the NCAA clearinghouse.
  • Start identifying teachers who are willing to write recommendation letters for you.
  • Begin preparing essays for college admissions and scholarship applications.
  • If you are considering military academies or ROTC scholarships, contact your counselor before leaving school for the summer. You should begin this application process before your senior year.
  • Take AP exams if appropriate.   
  • Firm up your summer plans, including visits to colleges on your list, special summer learning programs, internships, or summer jobs.

Summer

  • Continue contemplating careers & colleges.  Visit the colleges on your list.    
  • If you are heading to a four-year college, begin drafting the college admissions essays that you will need this fall. Write a resume as well, and ask for a friend to proofread both documents.
  • Continue searching for scholarships using resources in the Mingus Union High School Counseling office and online.

SENIOR YEAR

September

  • Narrow your college list. Consider visits, overnight stays, and interviews at your top school choices. Visit any schools on your list that you have not already seen. Make sure you understand application requirements and admission deadlines.
  • If you are applying to a four-year college, register for one last shot at the SAT or ACT if you aren't happy with your earlier scores. Ask a counselor for a fee waiver if you qualify. Don’t forget to send scores to all schools you are still considering. Be sure to take the SAT Subject tests if they are required by the schools you are considering. 
  • Begin asking teachers, school counselors, and employers for letters of recommendation to include with your college and scholarship applications.
  • Be sure your senior year mix of classes still includes challenging college preparatory courses.
  • Meet with admissions representatives who are visiting your school.

October/November

  • Attend the MUHS College and Career Fair to collect information and speak with representatives from your preferred colleges. Talk to career representatives to explore any options you had not yet considered.
  • Finalize drafts of your college essays, but only after numerous edits, rewrites and reviews by people you trust such as family members and teachers.
  • Submit your applications to colleges and post-secondary schools. Use Parchment to request that your transcript is sent from Mingus Union High School to the schools to which you are applying. 
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To apply for most financial aid, you will need to complete the FAFSA beginning on Oct. 1.
  • If you're considering a career in the military, take the ASVAB test. Sign up in the Counseling Office!
  • Attend college fairs and financial aid nights.

December/January

  • Stay focused on your grades ALL YEAR LONG. Even if you are accepted by your college of choice now, they can still rescind your acceptance if your senior year grades are not acceptable!
  • Continue to apply for outside funding or scholarships. Check the Mingus Union High School online scholarship listing frequently for new scholarships and updates!

February/March

  • If you applied to colleges, their decision letters should begin arriving. Celebrate your acceptances, decide about your wait lists, and deal positively with your rejections.
  • Finalize financial aid applications and continue applying for grants/scholarships.
  • Continue to work hard in your classes.  Now is NOT the time to let your grades slide!  Remember that the colleges that have accepted you can STILL rescind your acceptance if your senior year grades are not acceptable!  
  • Work with your counselor
  • Review your financial aid awards and choose the aid package that’s best for you and your family. Be sure to note what you have to do to continue receiving scholarships and financial aid from year to year.

April/May

  • Take AP exams if appropriate. A successful score can earn you credit and may be critical to reducing your load in college.
  • Make final commitments for your plans after graduation. If you're headed to college or post-secondary school, submit all necessary paperwork and make deposits.
  • Congratulations on your graduation!! Celebrate your accomplishments SAFELY!