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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

High School

The LMSD guidance curriculum is a cornerstone of our k-12 School Counseling Program. Our School Counseling Program utilizes best practices and is at the forefront of current professional trends. Current trends in School Counseling suggests that the implementation of the guidance curriculum ties the integral role of school counselor to the success of the district's mission. The guidance curriculum supports the mission of LMSD by promoting student achievement and diversity and teaching students how to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Year by Year Overview

9th Grade

Fall

  • Attend first small-group meeting with your school counselor
  • Enroll in appropriate challenging courses
  • Create a Naviance account and know your log-on username and password
  • Get a good start with your grades; the grades you earn in ninth grade are included in your final high school GPA which is sent to colleges
  • Explore your interests and possible careers with your school counselor
  • Join extracurricular activities, both school and non-school sponsored

Winter

  • Meet with your counselor to select appropriate challenging courses for 10th grade
  • Investigate summer enrichment programs

Spring

  • Consider taking SAT subject tests in the courses you took this year while they are still fresh on your mind. These tests will be offered by The College Board in May and June. The SAT test that is most taken by freshmen is the Biology Subject Test.

10th Grade

Fall

  • In mid-October, take the PSAT/NMSQT for practice
  • Sign up for College Quick Start on The College Board web site, www.collegeboard.com
  • Familiarize yourself with general college entrance requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with PrepMe test prep on Naviance
  • Visit LM/HH college fairs that are held during the school day

Winter

  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your PSAT score
  • Meet with your counselor to select appropriate challenging courses for 11th grade
  • Continue to join extracurricular activities in or out of school
  • Join community service and other volunteer activities
  • Read, read, read! Read as many books as possible from a comprehensive reading list
  • Read the newspaper to learn about current affairs

Spring

  • Continue to keep your grades high so that your GPA can reflect your abilities
  • Continue to explore your interest and careers that you think you might like
  • Read all of the mail that you receive from colleges; you may see something you like
  • Begin zeroing in on the type of college you would prefer
  • If interested in attending a military academy, now is the time to start planning and getting information about that process
  • Begin to plan an enriching summer
  • Continue to explore your interests and careers
  • Consider taking SAT subject tests in the courses you took this year while they are still fresh on your mind. These tests will be offered by The College Board in May and June. The test most often taken by sophomores is the Chemistry Subject Test.

Summer

  • Visit college campuses
  • Work on PrepMe through Naviance or consider taking an SAT/ACT prep course

11th Grade

Fall

  • Check your current GPA from the end of sophomore year. Even if your grades have not been your best, it is never too late to improve. Colleges like to see an upward trend.
  • In mid-October, take the PSAT/NMSQT. In addition to National Merit Scholarship consideration, the test is also the qualifier for the National Hispanic and African American Recognition Programs.
  • Ensure that you have a Social Security number
  • Continue visiting college fairs at your school as well as other college or evening programs
  • Meet with college representatives who visit your high school
  • If you want to participate in Division I or Division II sports in college, begin your certification process through the NCAA Eligibility Center. The website is www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org.
  • If you are interested in attending one of the military universities, speak to your counselor about starting the application process now

Winter

  • Schedule a parent/student meeting with your counselor to begin the college selection process
  • Consider taking SAT subject tests in the courses you took this year while they are still fresh on your mind. These tests will be offered by The College Board in May and June.
  • Register for the ACT at www.act.org or the SAT at www.collegeboard.com for late spring
  • Continue preparing for the SAT or ACT tests
  • Meet with your counselor to review senior year course selection and graduation requirements

Spring

  • Stay involved with your extracurricular activities as colleges look for consistency, commitment and leadership.
  • Consider which teachers you will ask for college letters of recommendation and ask before the end of the year
  • Register online or call the admission offices for visits to colleges you are considering
  • Inquire about personal interviews at your favorite colleges

Summer

  • Visit the campuses of your top college choices
  • After each college visit or interview, send a thank-you note or email to the person with whom you met
  • Begin to work on your college application essays. The Common Application essays are available online and The Common Application will be available in early August.

12th Grade

Fall

  • Apply to all colleges with rolling admission as early as possible once the school year starts
  • Keep working on your grades and make sure you have taken the courses necessary to graduate in the spring
  • Attend evening programs related to college
  • Male students must register for Selective Service on your eighteenth birthday to be eligible for Federal and state financial aid
  • Meet with your counselor and parents about final college choices, and discuss the steps required to complete your application packet
  • Register for and take the ACT/SAT or SAT subject tests as necessary
  • If possible, visit colleges while classes are still in session
  • If you plan to apply for an ROTC scholarship, you must apply be December 1st. Information on all of the ROTC programs can be found at http://www.todaysmilitary.com

Winter

  • Send midyear reports to colleges that require them
  • After January 1st complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and if necessary, the PROFILE. If you need assistance, see your counselor
  • Attend evening programs on financial aid for colleges
  • Mail or send electronically any remaining applications and financial aid forms before winter break

Spring

  • Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges and universities where you have been accepted and notify the colleges of your decision by May 1st
  • Maintain strong grades as your college acceptance is contingent upon finishing your high school classes with solid grades
  • Graduation. Congratulations! You made it to the next step in your journey.