College and Career Center » College and Career Center

College and Career Center

Jennifer Bunnell,
College and Career Specialist 
MHS Local Scholarship Coordinator
MHS Room 135

Timeline for College Planning

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Every Year

  • Do your best in all class work; establish and maintain strong study habits and time management skills.
  • Participate in student/parent college and career planning opportunities
  • Develop a reading plan that includes newspapers, magazines, and books. Reading from a variety of sources and materials helps prepare you for the SAT and ACT reading sections, college application essays, college, itself, and being a knowledgeable member of society.
  • Be sure to track all activities on your Activity Chart. You will need the information later for scholarship, college, and job applications.


Freshman Year

  • Enjoy school! This is a place where you are developing as a student and a person.
  • Take your grades seriously. Freshman year counts!
  • Pay attention to your Naviance assignments, this program will help you find a career that best fits you.
  • Join or start a club. Try new extracurricular activities; it’s a great time to explore.
  • Keep your attendance record up and your behavior record clean.
  • Explore some community-service activities. Not only does this help out your community, it also builds your resume.
  • Participate in College Month during your PAT class ask parents, staff, and family friends about their pathway to their careers.
  • Visit college campuses when your travels take you near them.
  • Begin having open and honest discussions with your parents about college financing.
  • Review your curriculum plan in the winter when you forecast. Ensure that your scheduling requests for sophomore year meet your career/education goals.
  • Use your summer well: volunteer, work, travel, develop new skills, read.


Sophomore Year

  • Stay focused on your schoolwork.
  • Consider your interests and how they relate to possible career options.
  • Continue to visit colleges when your travels take you near them. Learn what your preferences are for different college characteristics.
  • Involve yourself in meaningful community service.
  • Take the PSAT at school in October. Find your PSAT results in your College Board account in early December. Focus on areas to improve to prepare for the SAT. Don’t forget to link your PSAT results to the Khan Academy for free, customized SAT prep.
  • Plan junior year courses carefully. College entrance requirements may differ from high-school graduation requirements. If you are on the honors diploma track pay close attention to what is required.  Schedule conflicts happen and sometimes you need to make a choice. 
  • Consider applying for the National Honor Society in the spring. It requires a 3.5 GPA, evidence of community service, leadership experience, and good character.  (Mr. Burgher is the advisor)
  • Plan interesting summer activities, including new learning opportunities, volunteering, work, and plenty of reading.


Junior Year

  • Participate in extra-curricular, community-service, and leadership activities that reflect your academic, personal, and career choices.  Keep track of the hours you spend on these activities for use on applications. 
  • Research colleges. Use college websites, reference books, college fairs, alumni interviews, reputable social-media sites, college search sites in Naviance and subjective college review sites like Unigo.
  • Research careers using Naviance.
  • Investigate college costs and financial-aid and scholarship opportunities on your colleges’ websites.
  • Take the PSAT at school in October if competing for a National Merit Scholarship or if you want to practice for the SAT. Find your PSAT results in your College Board account in early December. Focus on areas to improve. Don’t forget to link your PSAT results to the Khan Academy for free, customized SAT prep.
  • National Honor Society applications usually are available in early M. If you have a 3.5 GPA, volunteer experience, and leadership experience, consider applying.
  • If you decide to apply to a school that will require an SAT/ACT, plan to take a test by spring break of your junior year. Also plan to take one if you want to apply to highly-selective, highly-competitive schools, even if they don’t require the tests, if you think you can get a high score.  (None of the Oregon public colleges and universities require an SAT/ACT anymore, but it can make a difference for scholarships)
  • Participate in college visits and other events offered by schools you’re interested in.  Spring and summer breaks are a good time for live campus visits, especially if the college is in session when you’re visiting.
  • Attend the Junior Night meeting in the spring. It will give you important information about your senior year, including Senior portfolio expectations.
  • Begin identifying teachers from whom to request recommendations next year. Some teachers are asked to write many letters of rec. You may need to give them plenty of time to write these for you.  It helps to give them a copy of your activities chart and your resume.
  • Plan meaningful summer activities. Get a job. Do community service. Travel. Participate in a job shadow. Retake the SAT or ACT if necessary.
  • Start writing college essays. The Common App opens in August. Pay attention to DEADLINES!


Senior Year

  • Get organized; develop a schedule with application deadlines, scholarship due dates, etc.
  • Take or retake the SAT or ACT in the fall, if necessary.
  • Investigate college costs, financial-aid opportunities, and scholarships on your colleges’ websites.
  • Also, attend Financial Aid Night (live in early October or as a recording).
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in October. This includes creating your electronic signature, also known as your FSA ID.
  • Check college websites to see if your schools also require the CSS Profile.
  • Complete your Senior Portfolio on time.
  • Attend college and career visits, mostly during Fall.  Keep your eye on the announcements for when college representatives are on campus. Ask thoughtful questions of the college reps, and remember that the rep you’re talking to may be the person who reads your application for admission.
  • Narrow your list of colleges to five to ten schools including ‘Reach,’ ‘Match,’ and ‘Safety’ schools, both in terms of likelihood of getting in and affordability.
  • Update Naviance list of Colleges I’m Applying to and confirm email address is up-to-date.
  • Arrange with teachers and counselors for letters of recommendation at least two weeks (and preferably four weeks) before you need them. 
  • Complete admissions applications and essays.
  • Regularly check the local scholarship postings (found in Class of Google classroom), especially during winter and spring. Find a scholarship search that you like and check that regularly.  It is your responsibility to find and apply for these.
  • Update colleges with your final grades after applying. Colleges may rescind acceptance if grades drop.
  • Write thank-you notes to those who wrote recommendations, offered you scholarships, or otherwise supported you.
  • Choose your college; notify all schools that accepted you. Send deposits and final transcripts.
  • Good luck! You’re off on a new adventure!

ALL students:  Remember you can log in to Naviance (through the student portal) for your Career and College needs.  There is also a good scholarship search on this site.


Not sure what to do first?

* Khan Academy - SAT Prep and homework help!
* Oregon Gear Up:

ALL students:  Remember you can log in to Naviance (through the student portal) for your Career and College needs.  There is also a good scholarship search on this site.



College Tests:
Costs for the SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests, and
ACT vary from year to year. Fees are listed on their websites.
1. PSAT/NMSQT The PSAT/NMSQT is usually administered in October. College bound sophomores and juniors are encouraged to take the test. The PSAT is a shorter version of the SAT Reasoning Test which is used by many colleges for admission purposes. Research shows that students who use the results from the PSAT to develop a study plan score better on the SAT. Results of the PSAT are used to select finalists for National Merit Scholarships.

2. SAT Reasoning Test Sometimes referred to as the "College Boards" since the test is produced by the College Entrance Examination Board. The SAT Reasoning Test is a 3-hour test measuring basic verbal and mathematical abilities and writing skills. It is one of the two most widely used national tests for college admissions. The test is available to juniors and seniors. (If students take it during the junior year, they generally register for one of the spring sessions.) Registration is done online at
3. The SAT Subject Tests. Formerly called the Achievement Tests, the SAT Subject Tests measure knowledge of a specific subject and are offered in most of the academic areas. Each test is one hour long and a student may take as many as three tests in a single session. Since these tests are administered on the same days as the SAT Reasoning Test, you cannot take both the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests at the same time.
Most selective colleges require their applicants to take two or three SAT Subject Tests in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test. Some colleges specify which tests are to be taken; others allow the student some choice. Consult the individual college's website to see which they require.
4. ACT (American College Test). The aptitude test is used for college admissions purposes. The test covers four areas--English, mathematics, social science, and natural sciences. To register for the ACT go to:
5. AP (Advanced Placement Tests). All students enrolled in advanced placement courses have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement tests in May. Most colleges waive or give credit for qualifying scores. Student must notify the teacher of the intent to take an AP test. Fees for the tests vary