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College Bound


Overview of the College Process

Grade 9: Freshman Year
  • Consider the YPIE Scholars Program, which supports you through the college process from Grades 9-12.
  • Take challenging courses in high school.  Colleges like that.
  • Considering and research career opportunities.  
  • Volunteer in your community.  It helps with future employment in high school.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities both in school and in the community.
  • Create a resume 
Grade 10: Sophomore Year
  • Take the PSAT or PLAN (ACT) as a practice examination (usually October). It’s important to figure out which test works better for you.
  • Continue to take appropriate courses for high school graduation requirements.
  • Continue to talk to family and counselors about career choices.
  • Ask your school counselor if the guidance office has special software packages, such as Discover, My Road, Career Cruising, and Guidance Direct.
  • Begin to look at different colleges using their websites. 
  • Update your resume.
Grade 11: Junior Year - fall/winter
  • If you are not already a YPIE Scholar, consider the YPIE Fellows Program to help with the application process.
  • Continue to take appropriate courses for high school graduation requirements and college admission. Discuss AP courses with your school counselor. Many colleges look for AP courses, and in the long run they may shorten your time in college.
  • Continue your college search and begin to narrow down the list
  • Consider a tuition-free SUNY/CUNY education with the NYS Excelsior Scholarship if you meet eligibility requirements
  • Begin to attend college fairs, college nights, and financial aid seminars in your community
  • Take the PSAT (usually October), which establishes eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program, National Hispanic Scholars Awards Program, and the National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Black Students.
  • Study for SAT/ACT.  Resources:, LearningExpress, and CollegeBoard 
Grade 11: Junior Year - spring
  • Begin to visit colleges. 
  • If you are interested in attending a military academy, check with school counselors about the timetable and application process
  • Take the SAT or ACT. Check with your school counselor for timetable and cost.
  • Make sure that you understand the admission requirements for the colleges on your “short list.”   Examples:  portfolios, writing samples, audition tapes, or a personal interview
  • Update your resume.
Grade 12: Senior Year - fall (September - December)
  • Work on your personal statement (college essay).  Resources: (create a free account with library card), Learning Express, School Advisors
  • Meet with college representatives when they visit your school or sponsor an event in your community
  • Continue to take the appropriate high school courses for graduation requirements and college admission
  • Continue to apply for private and outside grants and scholarships. (Deadlines vary)
  • Contact WEOC (Yonkers) for assistance with the application process if needed.
  • Submit the college admissions application according to the college’s timetable. (Check if your colleges use the Common Application)
  • Register in October to receive the CSS Financial Aid Profile form, if any of your prospective colleges require it. Submit the Profile according to the college’s timetable.
  • Take the SAT/ACT if you plan to attend college after your senior year (or retake for better score).
Grade 12: Senior Year - winter (January - March)
  • Submit the FAFSA online or mail after January 1 of your senior year but before February 15. If the college requires the FAFSA submitted any earlier, follow its timetable.
  • Submit any supplemental financial aid forms to colleges based on their timetables.
  • Continue to apply for private and outside grants and scholarships. (Deadlines vary)
  • After you submit the FAFSA, you will receive an SAR (Student Aid Report), which will have an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) listed on it. 
  • Males 18 years or older must register for the Selective Service to receive federal student aid. To register, complete the appropriate box on the FAFSA or register at your local post office.
  • Apply for state financial aid according to the state’s timetable and application procedure. Check the tuition-free SUNY/CUNY education with the NYS Excelsior Scholarship.
College Decision (April- May)
  • Review financial aid award letters with your parents. 
  • If you need more money to attend a particular college, contact their financial aid office.
  • Notify the colleges if you are not planning to enroll.
  • Be aware of the deadline for the deposit on the school of your choice.
  • Note: You have to reapply for aid annually