College Planning

Click on your grade level below for tips on how to stay on track in your college planning process and make the most of your experience at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

Tips and Timelines

Seniors

College Application Checklist

 

Click here for a short printable checklist to help keep your College Application process on track.

Monthly College Planner for your Senior Year

SEPTEMBER

  • Register for the October 5 SAT. The deadline is September 6.
  • Request a letter of recommendation from two teachers to be uploaded onto your Naviance and the Family Connection account. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Register for tests needed for admission (for example: SAT, SAT Subject test, ACT).
  • Check on Naviance and the Family Connection to see what colleges are visiting PWHS. Obtain a pass from the College Counseling Office to meet with the representatives. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Meet with our College Counselor, Mrs. Lynch, to be sure that your list includes colleges appropriate to your academic record and personal interest.
  • Write application essays and have them reviewed by your English teacher and/or the PW Writing Center.
  • Review your personal records to ensure their accuracy.
  • Write, call or e-mail the colleges still on your list and request information.
  • Plan visits to colleges.
  • Check for scholarship opportunities on Naviance and the Family Connection. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Parents should attend Open House - Back to School Night September 12 at 7:00PM.
  • Register now for a FSA ID from the Federal Government. This will allow you to file the FAFSA form on line. You will need an ID for one parent AND an ID for the student. Click here to go the FSA website.
  • Register for the November 2nd SAT. The deadline is October 3.

OCTOBER

  • The FAFSA becomes available October 1st. Check college deadlines.
  • Complete and submit early decision/early action applications.
  • Set up tours and interviews at colleges of your choice. Call the Admission Office to schedule an appointment. Remember to also make appointments with the financial aid offices and ask what type of financial aid application is required and if scholarships are available.
  • Consult with Mrs. Lynch again to review your final list of colleges.
  • Plan to attend NACAC college fair (if needed) on Sunday, Oct 20, 11:00AM to 3:00PM at the PA Convention Center. 
  • Check to see if the colleges on your list require the CSS Profile. If they do, register online at www.collegeboard.com.
  • Have official test scores sent by the testing agency to colleges on your list. Click here for a link to the Collegeboard website.
  • Be sure your grades are strong. Colleges often request to see senior grades.
  • Meet with colleges that visit PW.

NOVEMBER

  • Division I and II athletes must register for initial eligibility at the NCAA Eligibility Center website. Click here to access the NCAA Eligibility website.
  • Applications should be completed (for many institutions) by Thanksgiving.
  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS ABOUT MILITARY RECRUITING. Both federal and state laws of Pennsylvania require that any local educational agency receiving assistance under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided to post secondary education institutions or prospective employers of students. In compliance with these laws we must provide military recruiters with a student directory of names, addresses and phone numbers of all juniors and seniors. The military use these directories for recruiting purposes and for informing students of scholarship opportunities. Parents have the right to request their child's information not be included. Send a written request to the attention of Mrs. Marino in the College Counseling Center by 11/29/2019 in order for your child's name to be deleted from the directory. Additional information on this requirement may be found in the PA Dept. of Education's Web site www.pde.state.pa.us in Basic Education Circulars—Access to Secondary Students. Click here to access the PA Department of Education website.
  • Meet with colleges that visit PW.

DECEMBER

  • If you applied for early decision or early action, you should have an answer in this month. If you are accepted, follow the directions for admitted students. If you have not been admitted, check to make sure your other applications are processed and that you have a good chance to be admitted.
  • Complete and return Transcript Request Forms prior to the first Friday in December to have your transcripts mailed before the winter break.
  • Continue to search for scholarships on Naviance and the Family Connection. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Check for financial aid and scholarship deadlines on college applications.

JANUARY

  • Contact the College Counseling Office to have your mid-year grades sent to the colleges where you are applying IF they are required.
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, if you have not done so. All types of aid (including a student loan) originate as a result of filing the FAFSA.

FEBRUARY

  • AVOID SENIORITIS. Remember, colleges will evaluate your final high school record.
  • Call colleges that you have not yet heard from and inquire about the status of your application.

MARCH

  • File the FAFSA form now if not yet completed. Many colleges have a February 15 deadline.
  • Check on any financial aid forms that the college(s) may require.
  • After submitting the FASFA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) online. You will have to check this form for corrections. Read and follow all directions.

APRIL

  • Keep track of acceptances, denials and financial aid letters. Your cooperation in informing our office of all admission decisions will be requested. Update Naviance and the Family Connection. Click here to access the Naviance.
  • Make sure you have sent in housing reservations.
  • Bring in a copy of all scholarships received for inclusion in the graduation booklet by May 16.

MAY

  • All students enrolled and pre-paid for their test(s) in AP classes will automatically be scheduled for AP exams.
  • Let the college know if you are going to accept their offer of admission by May 1 by submitting a tuition deposit.NACAC's statement of Principles of Good Practice suggests that only one deposit be submitted.
  • Update your Naviance Family Connection account as to your college and university acceptances, denials, etc.

JUNE

  • You will be asked to complete your post-graduation on-line STATE SURVEY. Your final transcript to the college you will attend is sent based on the information in this survey. It is also considered an "obligation" if you do not complete this requirement.

YOUR FINAL TRANSCRIPT CANNOT BE SENT IF THE POST GRADUATION on-line STATE SURVEY IS NOT COMPLETED. YOUR FINAL HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT WILL BE SENT TO ONLY ONE COLLEGE.

  • Write thank you notes to those people who have written letters of recommendations for you and for any scholarships you have or will receive.

Juniors

Monthly College Planner for your Junior Year
 

SEPTEMBER

  • If you are registered to take the PSAT on October 16th, start to prepare for it. Booklets will be distributed to you in September. Look at the PSAT/NMSQT page on www.collegeboard.org.
  • Practice good study habits from the first day of school.
  • Check the schedule for college visits from admission representatives to PWHS. The schedule is posted on the bulletin board outside of the Counseling Center and may also be found on Naviance and the Family Connection. Visit College Counseling to receive a pass to attend a session. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Plan to attend a college fair. Check the PWHS Counseling Calendar for dates.
  • Register for the November SAT. The deadline is on October 5.

OCTOBER

  • Plan to attend the National Assoc for NACAC National College Fair on Sunday, October 20 at the PA Convention Center in Philadelphia, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
  • If you have registered, you will take the PSAT/NMSQT on October 16 to prepare for the SAT and to be eligible for National Merit Scholarship competition.
  • Look to participate in a job shadow related to your career interest.
  • If you are interested in a military academy or ROTC, get information now.

NOVEMBER

  • Keep your grades up. Your junior year is extremely important in college admission.
  • Plan college visits whenever possible.
  • Become familiar with what is available in the Counseling Center.
  • Register by early November deadline for the December SAT.
  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS ABOUT MILITARY RECRUITING: Both federal and state laws of Pennsylvania require that any local educational agency receiving assistance under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided to post-secondary education institutions or prospective employers of students. In compliance with these laws, we must provide military recruiters with a student directory of names, addresses and phone numbers of all juniors and seniors. The military uses these directories for recruiting purposes and for informing students of scholarship opportunities. Parents have the right to request their child's information not be included. Send a written request via postal mail or email to the attention of Mrs. Marino in the College Counseling Center by 11/29/2019 in order for your child's name to be deleted from the directory. Additional information on this requirement may be found in the PA Dept. of Education's Web site, www.pde.state.pa.us, under Basic Education Circulars—Access to Secondary Students. Click here to visit the PA Department of Education website.

DECEMBER 

  • Receive results of PSAT/NMSQT. Students should visit www.collegeboard.org/psatextra to receive explanations of the answers to this year's PSAT/NMSQT questions and free access to career, major or college exploration. Click here to visit PSAT webpage on Collegeboard.
  • Use Naviance and the Family Connection to manage your college search, testing, and application information. Click here to access Naviance.

JANUARY

  • Think about which college(s) you would like to explore.
  • Visit www.collegeboard.com for college information and test preparation. Click here to access Collegeboard.
  • Memorize your Social Security number and the PWHS School Code (394040).
  • When registering for senior year courses, be sure to take strong college preparatory courses.
  • Get teacher recommendation forms from the college counseling office. Ask one or two teachers from the first semester NOW for a letter. Request they return the letter to the counseling office.
  • Register for the March 14 SAT. The deadline is February 14.

FEBRUARY

  • Meet with Mrs. Lynch to begin to refine your list of colleges to explore.
  • When selecting your senior courses, be sure to continue to challenge yourself. If you have a particular college major in mind, check to see if a particular high school course is required.
  • Think about taking the SAT Subject Test this spring. Some colleges require them for admission.
  • Begin to think about majors and careers. Visit Naviance and the Family Connection and/or www.pacareerzone.org. Click here to access Naviance. Click here to access PA Career Zone.

MARCH

  • Use the Internet and Naviance and the Family Connection to access college web sites and become familiar with the materials available to you in the Counseling Center. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Keep all college information sent to you filed alphabetically in a box.
  • Research interesting and challenging summer courses, jobs, travel, or activities. These are important for your resume and might help as you write your college essays.
  • Visit colleges during spring break.
  • Register for the May 2 SAT. The deadline is April 3.

 

APRIL

  • Continue to evaluate colleges.
  • Begin eliminating some choices from your original list.
  • Ask one or two teachers to write you a letter of recommendation if you have not already done so.
  • Plan to attend a college fair.

MAY

  • Take SAT Subject Tests (if appropriate).
  • Take Advanced Placement exams (if appropriate). All students in AP classes will automatically be scheduled to take the AP test.
  • Make wise use of your summer; pursue a summer school program or work as a volunteer.
  • Plan visits to colleges during the summer.
  • Use Naviance and the Family Connection to create your "resume." Record all your accomplishments, involvements, and work experiences of the past three years. Click here to access Naviance.

JUNE

JULY – AUGUST

  • Visit colleges, take tours, and schedule interviews. Continue to refine your list.
  • Attend summer programs offered at PWHS on college admissions.
  • Get involved with your community in an employment or volunteer capacity.

Sophomores

Sophomore Tips and Guidelines

Below are a few guidelines that you should follow:

  • Do your best work. The better you do in school, the more options you create for yourself.
  • Read as many books as possible and work on your writing skills.
  • Begin to investigate occupations and professions. Use the career link on Naviance Family Connection. Explore job shadowing opportunities.
  • Consider the type of higher education you desire: business school, trade school, junior college, four-year college or university.
  • The PreACT will be administered in April to those sophomores who pre-register. A letter and registration form will be sent home to all families of sophomores in January. 
  • PSAT/NMSQUT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Scholastic Qualifying Test) will be administered in October to those sophomores who pre-register for the test in June. Further information will be mailed to your home in September.
  • SAT Subject Tests
    Since a number of colleges require these, some sophomores may want to take an SAT Subject Test at the end of the first or second semester. SAT Subject Tests are administered in a variety of academic subjects and are designed to test the level of knowledge of a student in a particular academic discipline. Students enrolled in an Advanced Placement class as a sophomore may want to take the SAT Subject Test for that subject area this year.

With help from your counselor, you should also begin to do the following:

  • Map your course work and long-term goals.
  • Register to take the PSAT at PWHS. The PSAT takes place in October. The PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin will be handed out in I-block. This guide will help students prepare for the PSAT. After you receive the results in December, access the website www.collegeboard.org/PSATextra to get the answers to this year's PSAT/NMSQT test. Click here to access the PSAT section of the Collegeboard website.
  • Identify your interests, values and aptitudes, and begin establishing future goals.
  • Learn about occupations and the world of work, through interviewing and job shadowing. The Occupational Outlook Handbook website is http://stats.bls.gov/ocs. Click here to access the Occupational Outlook.
  • Gain experience related to your possible vocational choice, through employment, volunteerism and coursework.
  • Investigate and explore college options. Keep in mind the importance of courses taken, grades earned and extra-curricular involvement.
  • Visit college campuses.
  • Familiarize yourself with general college admission requirements.
  • Remember the importance of being a well-rounded individual. Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you most enjoy. Become involved in community service and/or other volunteer activities. Visit the Counseling Center to learn about summer opportunities at college campuses or volunteer work.
  • Keep an ongoing record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work and employment on Naviance and the Family Connection. Click here to access Naviance.
  • Take NCAA approved courses if you want to participate in Division I or II sports in college. Students should understand the guidelines and core requirements for eligibility. The NCAA Clearinghouse has a participation form which must be completed as soon as possible and brought into the College Counseling Office. For additional information, and/or to register for the Clearinghouse, visit www.ncaa.org and search under Academics & Athletics
  • Attend a college fair sometime this year. Colleges from across the region (sometimes nationally) are represented at these programs. Check the PWHS Counseling Calendar for dates. Click here to access the NCAA website.

Freshmen

Ninth Grade Information and Timelines

How can you make the most of your high school experience?

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Maintain communication with your parents, teachers, counselors, and friends.
  • Actively participate in all your classes.
  • Get involved in athletics and/or extracurricular activities.
  • Don't procrastinate! Do it today!
  • Work hard, yet work smart.
  • Persevere. It's not where you start, but where you finish that counts.
  • Challenge yourself. Expect more from yourself, and you will achieve more.
  • Make good decisions and set goals for yourself.
  • Be positive. Understand that you will make mistakes. Just try not to make the same mistake twice!
  • Don't be too serious. Learn to laugh at yourself.

We are confident that if you incorporate the above guidelines into your freshman year, you will be happy and quite successful.

IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE:

  • Work to your potential. The grades you earn in ninth grade will be included in your final high school GPA and class rank. This is important for college admission and scholarships.
  • Strengthen your vocabulary by increasing your reading. Strive to read as much as possible.
  • Investigate summer enrichment programs.
  • Know the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) requirements if you want to participate in Division I or II sports in college. The information is available on the NCAA website, www.ncaa.org. Click here to access the NCAA website.
  • The PSAT (which is designed for 10th and 11th graders) is in October. Though few freshmen take this test, it might be an appropriate option for you. Call Mrs. Lynch, College Counselor, if you would like more information.
  • Visit the College Counseling Center. There are brochures and literature for the taking and all questions are welcomed.
  • Check out which high school courses colleges require.
  • Tour a nearby college.
  • Involve yourself in school activities.
  • Use Naviance and the Family Connection to create a path for your future. You can build course plans, create goals and to-dos, take interest tests and start a resume. Click here to access Naviance.

Important Information

It's never too early to start looking at what different colleges have to offer. College fairs are a great way to sample a lot of schools in a short amount of time. Here you'll find information and dates for upcoming fairs.

Read more about College Fairs