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1333 Main Street, Suite 200
Columbia SC 29201
Phone: 1.888.200.0562
Fax: 803.734.2279

 SC GEAR UP Home | Preparation Timeline | Tips for Making the Grade | Helpful Links


Preparation Timeline
The earlier you begin gearing up for college, the better! Here’s a timeline—beginning with the 7th grade—of activities designed to prepare you. (We’ve also included a chart comparing the high school graduation requirements to the college/university admission requirements to help you stay on track—"Tips for Making the Grade".)

Preparation Timeline:
Seventh Grade

  • Explore career and higher education options

  • Read various materials in addition to assigned reading

  • Develop good study and time management habits

  • Try an extracurricular or volunteer activity

  • Keep track of your activities for your resume and write one

  • Study hard, take challenging courses, and make the best grades you can

  • Start a savings account for college

Eighth Grade

  • Explore career and higher education options

  • Take classes that prepare you for challenging high school courses

  • Add an extracurricular or volunteer activity

  • Keep track of activities and update your resume

  • Look ahead to high school by planning courses, doing advanced reading, and visiting your new school

  • Continue saving for college

Ninth Grade

  • Explore career and higher education options

  • Raise your academic expectations

  • Add extracurricular and volunteer activities

  • Keep track of your activities so you'll have a record for college applications

  • Continue saving for college

Sophomore Year

  • Research college options and requirements

  • Research financial aid

  • Take college prep classes

  • Take practice tests such as the PSAT (for the SAT) and the PLAN (for the ACT)

Junior Year

  • Tour college campuses

  • Research financial aid options

  • Prepare for college entrance exams

  • Take required tests such as the ACT or SAT

  • Senior Year
  • Take required tests again, if you think you can increase your scores

  • Apply to colleges

  • Apply for financial aid Senior Year

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