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College Planning Timeline

College Planning Timeline

High School Career

  • Challenge yourself with appropriate courses
  • Seek extra help when needed
  • Get involved!

    Sophomore Year
  • PSAT in October (Register at BHS)
  • Results of PSAT emailed to students in December
  • Apply for extended time on standardized tests (see your counselor or Special Educator if you think you might be a candidate)
  • If you are taking AP Physics, AP US History you may consider taking the SAT Subject test in May or June. If you are taking Pre-Calculus H1 you may consider taking the Math 2 Subject test in June. Registration for Subject tests is done at www.collegeboard.com 

    Junior Year - Fall
  • PSAT/NMSQT in October (Student can qualify for National Merit Awards)
  • Attend a College Fair 
  • Results of PSAT to students in December
  • Utilize the resources available through College Board http://www.collegeboard.org (My SAT Study Plan, My Online Score Report, My College Matches, My Major and Career Options/MyRoad). A code to access these resources is in the bottom right hand corner of the PSAT score report.   
  • Sign in to Naviance (Family Connection). It is the best website for college exploration because it compares you to other BHS students who have gone through the college application process.
  • Take challenging courses and earn the best grades that you can. Your GPA at the end of junior year is the GPA that will be sent to colleges.
  • Build relationships with your teachers. You will need to ask two teachers to write you a letter of recommendation in the spring.

    Junior Year - Spring
  • Make an appointment with your counselor (come prepared!)
  • Register for SAT Reasoning Test/SAT Subject Tests/ACT/TOEFL (online)
  • Think about the classes you like the best and consider potential college majors
  • Research a variety of colleges using Naviance as a starting point 
  • Make arrangements to tour college campuses
  • Talk to two teachers about writing recommendations
  • Fill out and submit the Student Questionnaire form to your counselor (available online and in the guidance office)
  • Add the guidance page and your class page to your favorites and check them periodically

    Summer Between Junior and Senior Years
  • Continue to research and visit colleges
  • Compile a list of potential colleges and request applications
  • Begin to explore potential topics for application essays
  • Write a rough draft of at least one essay…you won’t regret it!
  • Start working on the common application online https://www.commonapp.org/  
  • Prepare resume / list of activities 
  • Find an interesting job / travel opportunity / research position / volunteer opportunity
  • Study for the SAT/ACT! The more time you spend the better your scores will be.
  • Register in August for the October SAT/ACT. Slots at Belmont High School fill up quickly.

    Senior Year – Fall
  • Finalize a comprehensive list of schools (8-10 colleges is typical)
  • Guidance will meet with senior English classes in September to have students complete the Naviance college registration and have students link their Common App account with their Naviance account 
  • Students must list all colleges they are applying to in Naviance and Common App if applicable
  • Early Decision / Early Action candidates – see your counselor September / October
  • Bring Transcript Release Form, pay transcript processing fee 3 weeks before deadline/December vacation
  • Student needs to fill out yellow sheet for teacher recs and be sure to provide teachers with stamped addressed envelopes for schools whose applications must be submitted via mail – make sure to follow up with teachers at the beginning of the year to ensure they will still be able to write your rec
  • Attend College Fair (October) and speak with representatives from colleges of interest
  • Prepare/request applications – Many students are applying online at https://www.commonapp.org/ or through the college’s individual website (www.tufts.edu, etc.). 
  • Go online to www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org to have your testing scores sent directly to the colleges to which you are applying. 
        (Colleges require official score reports sent directly from the testing centers)
  • Work on your essay(s) at home and in English class
  • Attend Financial Aid Evening in November

    Senior Year – Winter
  • Financial Aid Forms (FAFSA form at fafsa.ed.gov – not fafsa.com!!) need to be completed between January 1st and February 15th and CSS Profile is needed for some schools- must be done online-at www.collegeboard.org 
  • Complete all applications              
  • 1st and 2nd quarter grades sent to colleges 
  • Begin Scholarship search – Info available on Naviance for many scholarships
  • Apply for Belmont Town & School Scholarships; applications will be available in the guidance office in February.
    ****if you do not fill out the application you CANNOT be considered for the Town & School Scholarships

    Senior Year – Spring
  • Decisions from colleges will arrive throughout the course of the spring
  • Weigh options and select a college
  • Send deposit to school of your choice – Most schools have a May 1st deadline.


Contact Us

To excuse a student’s absence, the parent/guardian must call the high school attendance office the night before, or the day of the student’s absence.

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  • 221 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA 02478
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