Preparing For College

D214 College Planning Guide 

Download a college preparation guide here

Prepare, Research, Apply, Decide Guide for families about the college application process here

Timelines: click on a grade --> 

Freshman Year/Sophomore Year      Junior Year           Senior Year

This 4-year timeline tells you what you should be doing each year at WHS if you desire to attend the college of your choice. On average about 90% of WHS students attend either a 2-year or 4-year college/university immediately after graduating high school.

click on the image below to enlarge


Freshman/Sophomore Year

  • Check the Student Services Schoology page often for updates on scholarships & summer opportunities & internships

  • Take the most rigorous course load you can handle

  • Attend Freshmen and Sophomore guidance activities to obtain valuable information about academic and college/career planning

  • Explore your extracurricular interests, service clubs and outside interests that will help you develop your resume

  • Explore leadership roles

  • Participate in the Career Exploration Unit with School Counselors (Sophomore year)

  • Prepare for taking the PSAT (Sophomore year)

  • Start planning and exploring career and college options

  • Keep open lines of communication with your parents/guardians 

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Junior year

  • Take a rigorous academic curriculum

  • Take a college admissions test (ACT/SAT)  SAT Prep Class Info  

  • Meet with your counselor or college counselor and start exploring finding the right "FIT"

  • Begin your college search:

    • Develop a list of questions to ask (click here for suggestions)

    • Attend College Fairs (March 31, 2020)

    • Visit colleges (during Spring break & Non-attendance days)

    • Log into Naviance and research schools

    • Attend career nights

    • Think about teachers you will be asking for recommendations from Senior year

  • Start College Visits: (during Spring break & Non-attendance days)

    • ​ABC's of College Visits (click here)

      • Meet with college admissions counselor(s)

      • Take a tour of the campus

      • Sit in on a class

      • Meet with professors in your academic area

      • Talk with admissions reps.

      • Talk with coaches/music directors/other activities people [See website if you want to play sports in college]   

Important: You should call each school 2-3 weeks before your visit to schedule a tour, information session or classroom visit. Try to schedule a visit when students are on campus.

WHS will grant an excused absence for college visits, provided parents call in advance to notify our school of the absence and return with evidence of their visit, such as admissions material or a business card of the admissions office and fill out the college excuse form found in Student Services.  

Please see your school counselor or college counselor (Ms. Amador-Zapata) for a form BEFORE your visit.

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SUMMER before Senior Year

  • Continue college visits 

  • Ask family and/or friends about their first year of college

  • Organize and read the college literature you have received

  • Get in the habit of checking your EMAIL often (school & personal)

Senior Year (September-Late November)

  • Understand the College Application Process (Student & Parent) -- see Guide here

  • Visit with college reps and revisit prospective colleges (Check your Naviance account)

  • Continue rigorous college prep curriculum [AVOID SENIORITIS]

  • Develop your resume

  • Retake ACT or SAT if necessary (Be sure to send SCORES with time --- at least 6 weeks before college deadline)

  • Decide when you should apply [EARLY ADMISSION vs. EARLY DECISION vs. REGULAR DECISION] (consult with your counselor)

  • It is critical students FOLLOW ALL DEADLINES and AVOID submitting until the last minute

Follow COLLEGE application procedures:

  • Talk with your counselor about plans and schools OR make an appt. with the college counselor Ms. Amador-Zapata

  • Submit your applications and fees [click here for fee waiver form]

  • Develop your application essays (if required)

  • Request high school transcripts through Parchment*

  • Be sure to send out your ACT/SAT scores to EACH college you are applying to

  • Ask teachers and/or counselors to write recommendations IF the college requires it

  • Apply for FAFSA if possible when it opens OCTOBER 1

  • Research scholarships through Naviance or other websites (if additional applications are necessary and check deadlines)

  • Research financial aid (add ALL schools you are applying to FAFSA application)

December-May (Senior year)

  • Follow up and check that all materials have arrived at your colleges and see if additional documents are needed [Midyear reports or 7th semester transcripts, financial verification, additional essays]

  • Receive admission decisions and begin to compare FINANCIAL AID PACKAGES & AWARD LETTERS

  • Select your college by May 1st and send necessary deposit(s) and secure housing

  • Notify the schools you did not select

  • Make sure FINAL TRANSCRIPTS <-------instructions)are sent to the college you will be attending in the fall

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