• Career Path Ahead


    College Prep Timeline



    First Year - Explore

    • Create a four-year plan of courses to enroll in at AHS. Think about what subjects you enjoy and might want to dive deeper into. Look at the course catalog and talk to your counselor.
    • Explore extracurricular activities. Find clubs and activities that excite you and that align with your values, skills, and interests.
    • Develop your time management and study skills.
    • Stop by the College & Career Center (C&CC) to learn about the resources available throughout high school. We have college information, host visits and events, career speakers and workshops, highlight leadership/volunteer opportunities, jobs, summer enrichment, and more.
    • Plan a summer experience that helps you expand your world.
    • Athletes: Familiarize yourself with the NCAA and NAIA requirements, https://www.collegedata.com/resources/prepare-and-apply/7-tips-to-prepare-for-the-athletic-recruitment-process


    Sophomore Year – Expand

    • Continue existing extracurricular activities or get involved in new ones. Find a few activities to focus on and deepen your involvement. Possibly take on a
      leadership role
    • Stay focused on your academics. Sophomore year is important to college admissions officers and sets the tone for junior year
    • Consider taking the PSAT (preliminary SAT) in October
    • Familiarize yourself with resources available in the C&CC
    • Update your four-year plan of courses for AHS. Meet with your counselor to discuss course selection for junior year. Consider challenging yourself to take high-level coursework in subjects you excel in
    • Visit a college or two locally or when you are on vacation. Plan to take an official college tour if you are traveling during spring break or over summer vacation
    • At the end of the school year, take a full-length practice ACT and SAT to get a feel for which test format you prefer
    • Consider taking a community college course in a subject of interest not available to you at Acalanes during the summer
    • Continue pursuing your interests over the summer. Take on a job, volunteer work, internship, or a self-directed project
    • Athletes: If you think you may play Division I or II sports in college, register for the NCAA Clearinghouse, the NAIA Eligibility Center, and familiarize yourself with the academic requirements, https://www.collegedata.com/resources/prepare-and-apply/7-tips-to-prepare-for-the-athletic-recruitment-process
    • Start an activities resume and keep track of all extracurricular activities (hrs/week/month), employment, awards, and volunteer work. You will need an activities resume for many colleges
    • Explore Naviance: Begin searching colleges, look at academic profiles needed for schools you are interested in. Continue to take the personality/career profile assessments


    Junior Year – Engage
    All Year Long

    • Focus on your academics. Junior year grades are often the last ones colleges see
    • Plan to take an official campus tour of colleges you are interested in or attend virtual tours and information sessions. When possible, visit campuses when college students are on campus to get a true feeling for campus life
    • Continue to participate in activities outside of class; it is not too late to get involved
    • Deepen your involvement, take on leadership roles
    • Update your activities resume with activities you participated in over the summer  



    • Revisit your four-year plan course plan and make adjustments where you feel they are needed
    • Demonstrate interest to colleges by signing up on Naviance for an admission representative’s presentation. Over 150 colleges visit the C&CC each year
    • Take the PSAT in October to be considered for National Merit Scholarship
    • Attend a local College Fair
    • Sign up for AP tests and take them in May
    • Determine your standardized testing plan. Consider taking the SAT/ACT in winter or spring: sign up on the appropriate testing platform. Establish your test prep schedule
    • Stay on track with your ACT/SAT testing timeline and study schedule. Test prep resources are available on the website and in the C&CC. Take multiple full-length practice exams in advance of exams
    • Explore college interests by sorting the college criteria on Corsava. Use those preferences to search for college matches
    • Build a list of preliminary schools you are interested in on Naviance; add schools of interest. You can condense the list next year
    • Take an assessment at Mymajors
    • Athletes: Double check that your classes meet NCAA Clearinghouse requirements. Complete the online recruitment forms for each college you're considering. Make your sports resume and recruitment videos. Correspond with coaches periodically to show interest
    • Fine and Performing Arts Students: Sign up for Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs. Work on portfolio or audition materials throughout junior year


    • Attend C&CC workshops
    • Schedule optional 1:1 meetings with the C&CC
    • Take the SAT/ACT. Test prep resources are available in the C&CC and on the AHS Website
    • Spend time on Naviance Supermatch and other search engines researching potential colleges and their admission requirements
    • Continue to add schools to “Colleges I am Thinking About” on Naviance
    • Attend student and parent workshops offered in the C&CC geared towards juniors regarding college admissions
    • Visit and tour college campuses during breaks or take an online virtual tour
    • Start to research college scholarships
    • Request letters of recommendation from two academic teachers after Spring Break
    • Investigate and secure summer experiences. See AHS website for a full list of ideas
    • Athletes: Send your sports resume and video to college coaches and fill out athletic recruitment surveys on the college websites
    • Fine and Performing Arts Students: Explore how the audition and portfolio process for college admissions. Continue to build your portfolio and audition videos



    • Participate in summer experiences: research, internships, college coursework, work, travel, volunteer work
    • Finalize your college list. Make sure it reflects a balance of admissions possibilities (Likely, Target, Reach)
    • Research the type of applications required for each school on your list. Understand the requirements and deadlines
    • Enter dates and deadlines into a college application spreadsheet to organize your information 
    • Create a scholarship spreadsheet
    • Fill out your Brag sheet. It can be found in Naviance under “About Me”; “Surveys”: “Survey’s not Started.”
    • Begin to think about your personal statement (Common App) or Personal Insight Questions (UC) and create summer drafts
    • Start your application process. Many applications open August 1st


    Senior Year – Execute
    All Year Long

    • Keep up your grades. Acceptances are conditional, and colleges expect the GPA you applied with to stay roughly the same
    • Continue to participate in extracurricular activities outside of class
    • Read emails from the C&CC
    • Attend AHS workshops and Academy sessions: senior applications, college representative visits, scholarship presentations, etc.
    • Check your application portals and email regularly
    • Send colleges any additional information they request promptly


    • Finalize college list, requirements, and deadlines for each college you are applying to
    • Decide if you are applying Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA), or Regular Decision (RD) for each college 
    • Work on your applications
    • Keep a log of the different websites, username/password data for each college application portal
    • Turn in your Brag sheet to your counselor. 
    • Check your high school transcripts and make sure they are accurate (found on Aeries)
    • Take the ACT/SAT one more time, if needed
    • Update your activities resume. Add activities you participated in over the summer. Use this information to fill out the activities section of your various applications
    • Update the  Naviance ‘Colleges I’m Applying To’ list
    • Request/Confirm teacher recommendations verbally and send formal requests through Naviance
    • Order official transcripts through AHS webstore
    • Send official transcripts from any other schools you have taken coursework to colleges that require official transcripts at the time of application
    • Send ACT/SAT scores through the College Board (SAT) or ACT official sites to colleges you are applying to if needed
    • Sign Up for an AP test if taking AP classes 


    • Take the ACT/SAT for the final time, if needed
    • Finish your college essay(s) and personal statements
    • Complete and send out all EA and ED applications by late October (Typically Nov. 1 deadline)
    • Review and submit financial aid information. FAFSA opens on October 1st. Apply by your school deadlines and/or FAFSA deadline. AHS automatically uploads Cal Grant eligibility for you
    • Fill out the CSS Profile if needed for your colleges
    • Submit CSU and UC applications by the November 30th deadline (good idea to send by Thanksgiving)


    • Regular Decision (RD) deadlines are typically around January 1. Complete and send out all RD applications no later than mid-December
    • If you applied to a college EA or ED, you should receive admissions decisions around mid-December
    • If accepted ED, pull all other submitted applications
    • Thank all of your letter of recommender writers 


    • If deferred, send an email to the admissions representative. Reaffirm your interest in the school and offer them any updates to your application (awards, achievements, etc...)
    • Start to receive RD admissions decisions. CSUs and UCs typically announce decisions in mid-March


    • Colleges have until April 1st to release decisions
    • Evaluate financial aid packages and scholarship offerings
    • Update Naviance with application decisions received 
    • Plan visits to accepted colleges if needed to make your final decision. Attend admitted student day if offered admission to learn more about a college before accepting
    • Accept admission to your college of choice by May 1st or earlier. May 1st is a national acceptance date. Once you accept an admission offer, you should let other colleges know that you do not plan to attend
    • Enroll and submit a deposit by May 1


    • If you have been waitlisted, make sure to let the school know you are still interested by writing a Letter of Continued Interest
    • Complete senior exit survey in Naviance
    • Sign up for campus housing if you plan to live on campus


    After Graduation

    • Sign up for College Orientation Sessions
    • Check your portal for any additional information needed by your college of choice
    • Send your AP Scores to the college you are attending
    • If waitlisted, continue to check your email for notifications