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  The Key Focus by Month

January
Juniors -
Make sure you are enrolled in the right classes for your college career. Register for the spring taking of the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. Also check on taking the SAT Subject Matter Tests in the spring.

Seniors -
You should make certain that your spring semester courses will complete all of your high school graduation and college entrance subject requirement by June. Make sure that you order your mid-year transcripts to be sent to those colleges that need them. Double check with your colleges to make sure that your application is complete and that all the necessary forms have been submitted.
February
Juniors -
Investigate summer opportunities on local college campuses. This is a great way to find out what college life is all about and make you a more attractive candidate for admission in the future.

Seniors -
Seniors should check with their school to make sure that their GPA verifications have been sent to the colleges they have applied to. February is also the time to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Get copies from your school’s office, these need to be submitted by March 2nd. If you are mailing them, make sure to send them via certified mail.
March

Juniors should be cognizant that the semester is winding down and grades are paramount in the quest for realizing your dreams to attend the school of your choice. This month on March 13th is the next of several SAT's being administered. At the end of the month is spring break for many and others it is early in March or in the first part of April. Please make sure you signed up for either the March and/or May SAT and are thinking about taking the ACT on April 10h or June 12th.

Plan on working with your coach and figuring out where you should go visit colleges for spring break. Begin finalizing your summer plans i.e. work, summer school, travel, summer program, sports, performing arts training, visiting schools.

April

Juniors April will be hectic with AP exams fast approaching for those taking them, standardized tests given April ACT and May 1st SAT. Please sign up for the May 1st SAT if you have not done so already. Grades, grades, grades are paramount- do not lose a moments focus- school is almost over. Follow up with your summer plans to insure you have a full summer in between writing your personal statement, filling out your Common Application starting July 1st and having fun.

If you are taking an AP exam it is time to really focus on mastering your study time because out of all the studying and taking the AP exams comes signing up and taking the subject exams in those AP disciplines June 5th. The AP exam is a precursor to the big game the Subject Tests in June. If you are not taking AP exams and are planning on attending a University of California school or a Tier 1 college or university you will need to prepare outside of school for the Math 2 and or Literature subject test plus any other you feel confident that wit extra studying you can master.

May

Start of the craziness at the end of the year. There is a lot going on May 1st SAT, AP exams the second two weeks of May, possibly you are taking finals depending on where you attend school. Grades, grades and grades are critical at this point. Do not hesitate to get help from your teachers or a tutor. Let your coach know if you need help. If you are planning on taking the Subject tests then you need to start studying or practicing for those tests which would be on June 5th. They are very difficult. If you are not taking the exams you are not excluded from some pressure.

Please make sure you are signed up for your summer school classes, summer programs or camps and begin discussing a possible summer college trip. At the very least you and your coach will be gearing up for the end of school and the start of discussing your Personal Statement that we want to get started over the summer. The prompt comes from the common application which will be out July 1st. However the main essay, the Personal Statement has never changed so there is no excuse for not getting started in early-mid June. if you are considering to take a class at the community college in the fall or spring make sure you have your Academic Enrichment form in at the school of your choice, taken the Assessment test, gone through Orientation and have a date to register for the Fall.

June
Juniors -
Continue to investigate colleges, and plan any remaining visits. Begin work on your applications and essays.

Seniors -
Congratulations! You have graduated from high school. Enjoy this break before embarking on the next exciting chapter of your life.
July
Juniors -
Continue to gather materials for your applications. Most colleges will have their applications available online by no later than August. July is also a great time to work on crafting your essays before you get loaded down with homework when high school resumes in the fall.

Seniors -
You are done. Time to work on that tan!
August
Juniors -
Summer is a great time to get involved with community work that will help to enhance your college essay and resume. Find something that you are truly passionate about and make a real difference.

Seniors -
Make sure that you will fulfill all the subject and credit requirement for high school graduation and college entrance. If necessary, plan on changing your high school program to meet specific college requirements.
September
Juniors -
Make sure that you are ready to take the PSAT. You need to register at least six weeks in advance for these tests.

Seniors -
Check the accuracy of your transcript. Make sure that any necessary correction are identified and resolved immediately. Time to check your calendar. Make sure that you have recorded standardized test dates, application deadlines, financial aid deadlines as well as following up with letters of recommendation and the like.
October
Juniors -
Take the PSAT test. Taking this test as a junior will qualify you for some scholarship consideration and identify you to colleges as a potential applicant.

Seniors -
Students need to submit their applications to the University of California and California State Universities. The deadline is November 30th. Seniors should also take the SAT and ACT tests, as well as any remaining SAT Subject Tests.
November
Juniors -
Plan to on taking the SAT or ACT tests in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year. Check out various programs that can help you prepare for these critical exams.

Seniors -
If you are interested in scholarships and financial aid from California public institutions, be sure to check the appropriate item on the application form. Also, be sure to apply with the Financial Aid Office of any private college you are applying to. Make sure that you stay on top of all the deadlines! If you are interested in community college, now is the time to meet with a community college counselor. Many specialized courses of study have unique requirements.
December
Juniors -
Receive your PSAT results. Review them to determine your strengths and weaknesses as you begin to prepare for the SAT and ACT tests. Talk over your results with your family.

Seniors - Students may still be able to apply to some state universities, but your application will not receive priority treatment.
Rick Singer's Latest Book


Getting into college today is far more difficult, competitive and expensive than ever before. Even a small oversight or mistake in the college admissions process can make all the difference in your son or daughter gaining admission to the school of their dreams or receiving a valuable scholarship. Less than 10% of students get into their first choice college, and 25% drop out their freshman year.
The Key’s programs help your son or daughter to identify their strengths, unlock their potential, choose the right college, position themselves for admission, and outline a course of study and extracurricular experiences to lead to a life of success.

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