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Course Planning

Freshman and Sophomore Years

⧫ Earn the best grades possible and stay focused

⧫ Meet with a guidance counselor

⧫ Take challenging classes that are appropriate to your ability level

⧫ Get involved with extracurricular activities to help discover potential careers

⧫ Consider leadership positions

⧫ When taking the PSAT in October, do your best work

⧫ Attend college fairs

⧫ Learn about college costs and how financial aid works

⧫ Research college admission requirements

⧫ Visit colleges

⧫ Begin a summer reading list - ask teachers for recommendations

⧫ Finalize summer plans - consider college summer programs for high school students, jobs, internships, or volunteer positions

⧫ If grades qualify, apply for CSF (first available January of sophomore year)


Junior Year

⧫ Take the PSAT in October

⧫ Make lists of potential colleges and research them

⧫ Visit colleges

⧫ Explore career interest paths

⧫ Use online college search engines to aid your information gathering

⧫ Meet with guidance counselor

⧫ Attend the Christian College Fair and College Night

⧫ Attend East Bay College Connection college fair at St. Mary’s in spring

⧫ Use financial aid calculators to estimate your aid eligibility and college costs

⧫ Your PSAT score report arrives in December- review it and consider ACT and SAT schedule of test dates

⧫ Register for SAT and/or ACT with writing

⧫ Plan testing schedule

⧫ Finalize summer plans - consider college summer programs for high school students, jobs, internships, or volunteer positions

⧫ Do well on AP exams and receive college credit and placement at many colleges

⧫ Create a resume (include school activities, community activities, community service, sports, awards and honors, hobbies, and work experience)

⧫ Open a checking account and savings account (families discuss use of ATM and credit cards)

⧫ Finalize your list of 8-10 colleges to apply to and write your college essays during the summer


  • Register for the necessary college entrance exams (SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests) at www.collegeboard.com and www.actstudent.org in order to improve scores.

  • Complete Cal Grant permission form (will be completed and returned to the front office during registration).

  • Common App and UC applications are available online beginning August 1st.

  • Complete the CSF (California Scholarship Federation) application if you quality (due September 6th).



  • September 5- Senior Parent Night at 7 pm in the Student Center

  • Complete the Senior Appointment Form and sign up for a senior appointment with Miss Grieb.

  • September 24- Christian College Reps on campus during the day

  • September 24- Christian College Fair from 6 to 8 pm in the Gym with a Financial Aid Workshop at 6:30 pm in the Student Center

  • Finalize top 8-10 choices for colleges.

  • Investigate websites of your target colleges and determine if the school will have a Bay Area information session.

  • Get your applications in order by creating files for target schools.  Make a list of application requirements (preferred entrance exams, essays, transcripts, recommendations, required financial aid applications) and deadlines for each.  Consider creating your own personal timeline or calendar for this process. An Excel worksheet is a great tool for organizing this information. College Board’s Big Future, College Essay Guy, and Naviance all have great organizational tools.

  • Maintain strong study skills.  Senior grades count!

  • Set up a budget for college application costs.  If your family has not already done so, determine a college budget (who will be responsible for tuition, fees, room and board, spending money).

  • Create a separate email account to manage college and scholarship applications.

  • Participate in extracurricular activities, clubs, or other organizations.

  • Complete your list of accomplishments, activities, and job experiences (resume and Personal Data Sheet) and develop a portfolio if needed.

  • Register for the ACT or SAT if necessary.

  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers, advisors, and employers.  Allow a minimum of three weeks. (See Personal Data Sheet on the CCC page of the Berean website for how to request a letter of recommendation.)

  • Complete college application essays.  (Collegeessayguy.com is a great resource, and other resources are also available in the CCC.)

  • Seek out jobs, internships, and/or volunteer work in your community.  In addition to being a rewarding experience, it shows an admissions officer your commitment to improve your community.

  • Determine Early Decision/Early Action deadlines.

  • Schedule interviews with prospective colleges.  Practice your interview skills before heading in for the actual interview.



  • CSU applications are available online beginning October 1st.

  • The FAFSA can be submitted beginning October 1st at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Apply for a FAFSA PIN now by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov.  In order to apply for federal and state financial aid, students and their parents will file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  To file the FAFSA online, both the student and one of his/her parents/guardians must have a PIN. Review the FAFSA form. Gather as much data as possible before filing.

  • Visit top school choices.  Interview students, faculty, and staff from those schools.

  • Find out which financial aid applications the colleges require and when the forms are due.



  • November 15- Submit admission applications to UC and/or CSU systems.  The deadline is November 30, but the server is often busy as the end of the month approaches.

  • Athletes should be registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

  • Recommended last month to take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or ACT, especially for a UC or CSU campus

  • Have your transcripts sent to requesting colleges.  To do so, email Mrs. Shafer (sshafer@bereanchristian.com) and include the complete mailing address of each college to receive your transcript.  Miss Grieb will automatically submit transcripts for all Common Apps.

  • November 30- Deadline to submit UC and CSU applications

  • Recommended last month to complete all college applications



  • The last month to take the ACT or SAT

  • If you plan to take additional AP exams, register with the AP Coordinator (Mrs. Miller).

  • Visit college campuses during vacation (but a visit while college students are on campus offers a better sense of campus life).



  • If you have not already done so, file the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

  • If required by colleges, request that your seventh semester transcript be sent.  (Mrs. Shafer- sshafer@bereanchristian.com)

  • Use your writing skills to pen thank you notes to those who helped you (especially teachers who wrote recommendations, if you have not done so already).

  • Complete the CSF (California Scholarship Federation) form if you qualify (due January 24th).



  • Update your portfolio or resume.

  • Ask your colleges about possible scholarships.

  • File the FAFSA no later than March 2nd.

  • Mrs. Miller submits the GPA Verification Forms for the Cal Grant (BCHS automatically submits them electronically if parents previously signed the Cal Grant permission form).

  • File the College Scholarship Service PROFILE if required.

  • Follow specific campus policies regarding on-campus housing applications.



  • March 2- FAFSA filing deadline

  • Plan your summer activities: school, work, or community service.

  • Apply to community college, take assessment exams, and follow the school’s recommended application timeline.

  • Attend college informational meetings and visit campuses.



  • Start researching summer jobs.

  • Register for summer classes at community or four-year colleges.

  • Take Analytical Writing Placement Examination if attending the University of California and required to do so.

  • Communicate intent to register to your chosen campus before May 1 and notify the colleges you are not attending.



  • National College Decision Day!  Wear your college apparel to school.

  • Take AP exams.

  • May 15- Senior Chapel

  • Return forms for on-campus orientation programs to your college campus.

  • Notify Mrs. Shafer to send a final transcript to your chosen college via the Senior Check-Out Form.

  • May 17- Baccalaureate at 3 pm

  • May 22- Senior Breakfast/Rehearsal at 8:30 am; Graduation at 7 pm

  • Register to vote if you have not done so already.

Question 1: Is this school supporting and enhancing ideas that I want to develop over the next four years?

  • Look at the school’s mission statement.

  • Compare mission statements from Christian and non-Christian schools.

  • Decide if this is the direction you want to go.

  • Be careful of investing yourself in a school that is not leading in the direction you want to go.

Question 2: How will this school support my goals?

  • Academic

  • Social

  • Spiritual

  • Physical

  • Emotional

Question 3: How can I tell if the school is doing what it says it is doing?

  • Read course descriptions.

  • Email and dialogue with professors in the field of study you wish to pursue.

  • Talk to current students (not just the tour guides).

  • Attend chapel services.

  • Ask if chapel attendance is required.

  • Ask for names of recent graduates for references.

Question 4: Is there a built-in program for internships in undergraduate school?

Question 5: What percentage of the freshman class returns after one year?  What percentage of the graduates go on to graduate school?

Question 6: Is there a career development office, and what role does it play after a student graduates?  What percentage of graduates are working in their intended career field six month or a year after graduation?

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