• What You Should Know

     What you and your child should be doing (year by year):
    While you're in middle school... 
    7th & 8th Grade
    • Explore careers and career cluster areas that you find most interesting.
    • Learn about different high school diploma options and requirements to prepare for work and college.
    • Identify your high school graduation plan.
    • Identify your short and long term goals.
    • Start to build your high school academic plan with ePEP.
    • If you're thinking about college, try taking algebra, foreign language and computer courses while in middle school.
    High School
    9th Grade
    • Check your Academic Evaluations for grades and status towards meeting requirements for graduation, Bright Futures scholarships, and state university admissions.
    • If you haven't already, look at possible careers and education requirements.
    • Know your graduation requirements. If you're thinking about college, know the Bright Futures scholarships and state university admissions requirements too.
    • Review your ePEP and update as needed.
    • Take school work seriously because every year and course counts.
    • Schedule a time to meet with your guidance counselor.
    • Try to take computer classes early in high school because it will help with future courses.
    10th Grade
    • Check your Academic Evaluations for grades and status towards meeting requirements.
    • Meet with your guidance counselor about placement into advanced coursework.
    • Register to take the PSAT test in October; it's the SAT practice test and the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test.
    • Register to take the PLAN test in fall, that's the ACT practice test.
    • Get involved…explore clubs and organizations available at school. Future employers and schools like to see active students.
    • Take the FCAT…it's a graduation requirement.
    11th Grade
    • Check your Academic Evaluations for grades and status towards meeting requirements.
    • Attend career and college fairs held at your high school or in the area.
    • Register for the SAT or ACT test; registration deadlines are usually a month before the test date. The tests are offered several times a year and can be re-taken.
    • Try to take advanced coursework; some courses can earn college credit with certain test scores. No matter what, employers and future schools like to see challenging courses.
    • Spend some time in the guidance office or on FACTS.org reading information about different options and financial aid availability, talk with your parents about your goals.
    • Be aware of deadlines and requirements for admission at schools you are considering.
    • Narrow down your list of potential schools and contact them for an application and a new student information packet.
    • Interested in an athletic scholarship? Talk to your coaches, contact the athletic departments of your favorite schools, or go to the NCAA web site for more information.
    • Plan visits to college campuses. Make appointments, especially if visiting during the summer.
    12th Grade
    • Check your Academic Evaluations for grades and status towards meeting requirements.
    • Certain courses can earn college credit...know what scores you need.
    • Register for the fall SAT or ACT by September.
    • Apply for admission to your future school by October or November.
    • In January, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for federal aid and the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) for state aid, including Bright Futures. Make sure you list the schools or colleges you applied to on the form.
    • Wait for college admission decisions and financial aid award letters from the schools/colleges you applied to. Determine the college best meeting your personal academic goals and financial needs (financial aid packages vary from one school to another).
    • Many schools have an early-May decision deadline to accept or decline applicants.
    • Not accepted? Work with guidance counselors to find colleges and universities with openings if your top choices are not available.
    • When you make a decision, let the other colleges you applied to know. This frees up places and possible financial aid for other students.
    • Be aware, after acceptance there may still be things to do such as arranging for final transcripts to be sent, housing applications, and immunizations.
    • Don't slack off!! All senior year courses are considered and admission offers can be taken back for poor performance.
Last Modified on February 3, 2021