Skip to main content

DePaul Catholic High School

Main Menu Toggle

Checklist for College Planning

Monthly Checklist for College Planning


Freshman and Sophomore Years


Although as a freshman and sophomore, college may seem like it is a long way off, there are still several things you can do to boost your chances of being a stronger candidate for admission when it comes time to apply to the schools of your choice.


9th Grade

  • Freshman year does count. Start of strong and do your best! Get good grades!
  • Never sacrifice grades for your social life.
  • Work on finding out what your strengths, weaknesses and talents are and develop them.
  • Get involved in extra-curricular, community, and volunteer activities. These will help build your resume.


10th Grade

  • Start researching and visiting colleges. It’s not too early for you to start to get a preliminary idea of the types of places you can see yourself at. Seeing what is out there can also serve as motivation for you to work hard to achieve a goal of getting into a particular school you are interested in.
  • PSAT in October. This is required for all DPCHS students and will give you an early indication of the path you are headed down with your standardized test scores.
  • Continue to cultivate your interests. You should begin to focus on some specific things that will show colleges what you are passionate about. It’s not quantity for colleges, but quality.
  • Ask questions. Develop relationships with counselor and teachers. They can help to give you advice and steer you in the right direction of a process that can sometimes seem overwhelming.


11th Grade


- Students take the PSAT in October


February, March, April                

- Individual college planning meetings begin.
- Draft preliminary college list
- Course selections begin for Senior Year
- Junior College Night (Required Attendance)
- Visit colleges during spring break
- Take SAT/ACT when appropriate
- Attend DPCHS College Fair
May & June                                       
- Take SAT/ACT when appropriate
- AP exams administered when applicable
- Have parent/student meeting with school counselor to further develop college list and discuss college options
- Plan potential summer college visits
- Work with English Teacher and Counselor to develop college essay
- Consider which teachers you will ask for recommendation letters



- Visit colleges

- Access the common application and create your account



Senior Year


- Individual meetings to finalize college options

- Ask your teachers to write recommendation letters on your behalf

- Meet with college reps visiting DPCHS in the fall

- Complete your college essay

- Take SAT/ACT if appropriate

- Work on you common application



- Begin to complete you applications especially for

EA/ED schools on your list.

- EA/ED applications are due in guidance by


- Take SAT/ACT if appropriate

- Finalize teacher recommendation(s) to the colleges

on your list



- Take SAT/SAT II if applicable

- Attend the Financial Aid workshop



- Most regular decision applications should be given to guidance prior to

Christmas Break


January & February                        

- Complete the FAFSA form and submit

- Mid-Year grades are sent to colleges from Guidance



- All admissions decisions should be received by the middle of April



- May 1 is the deadline for you to deposit at the college of your choice

- Schools may move to the waitlist during the month of May         

- AP exams are administered



- Final Transcripts are forwarded to the college you chose to attend