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College Prep

Postsecondary Pathways Explorer

Pre-College Programs

Get free homework help online or in-person through the Pima County Public Library.

Ever heard about Dual Enrollment? This is an opportunity to take college courses at your high school and earn college credits before graduating. Speak to your high school counselor to learn what Dual Enrollment course options are offered at your school. Save money and time, and take more classes you are interested in by starting college with credits already completed.


College Timelines

See the following college prep timeline guides for Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years of highschool.

  • Freshman Timeline

    Starting off right matters!

    Your GPA and class rank matter when apply applying to college. Establishing a solid academic foundation starts on your very first day of high school. Try your very best in school. Get good grades. Some scholarships won’t accept students who have had three or more Cs during high school. Aim for As and Bs.

    July

    • Participate in a summer bridge program.
    • • Participate in summer enrichment programs Enroll in dual enrollment classes for the upcoming school year

    August

    Familiarize self with school, campus, and clubs.

    September

    Join clubs. Get involved.

    October

    Talk to mentors and tutors.

    November

    Make sure you’re on track for semester grades.

    December

    FINALS! End Strong!

    January

    Begin to research colleges and careers.

    February

    Begin to practice ACT/SAT. Schedule practice exam.

    March

    Make sure you’re on track for 2nd-semester grades.

    April

    • Research summer enrichment programs.
    • Maybe consider a summer internship?
    • Make sure your next school year schedule contains some type of AP/Honors/IB course.

    May

    FINALS! End strong! Enjoy summer!

    June

    • Participate in summer enrichment programs.
    • Enroll in an internship Read (We can recommend books).
    • Practice Math.
    • Study for ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
  • Sophomore Timeline

    One year closer to college!

    You’re one year closer to college. Make sure to continuously take practice ACT/SAT tests. Remember, colleges and scholarship committees like well-rounded students so stay involved in and outside of school. Join clubs, volunteer, tutor younger students, and most of all, maintain a good GPA.

    July

    • Participate in summer enrichment programs.
    • Enroll in dual enrollment classes for the upcoming school year.
    • Enroll in internship.
    • Read (We can recommend books).
    • Practice Math!
    • Study for ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.

    August

    Start school off with a bang.

    September

    • Stay involved.
    • Volunteer.
    • Join clubs.

    October

    • Make sure to be studying for the ACT/SAT prep exams.
    • Schedule one.

    November

    Ensure grades are on track. The semester is almost over!

    December

    • Finals! Make sure to do well.
    • Re-Register for a different course if you thought a class was too easy or hard.

    January

    • Start of the semester on the right foot!
    • Consider volunteering for MLK.

    February

    • Stay active in and outside of school.
    • Keep researching colleges and careers.
    • Research summer enrichment programs.
    • Considering applying for an internship.

    March

    • Try another practice exam.
    • Volunteer during spring break.
    • Line up a college visit.

    April

    • Make sure you’re on track for finals!
    • Make sure to apply for summer enrichment programs by the deadline.

    May

    • Make sure you have a good junior year schedule lined up.
    • Junior year is the last year colleges will see when evaluating your college application.

    June

    • Participate in summer enrichment programs -Universities offer many of them to sophomores going into their junior year.
    • Enroll in internship - Get exposure to the career of your choice.
    • Read (We can recommend books).
    • Practice Math!
    • Study for ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
  • Junior Timeline

    One year closer to college!

    You’re one year closer to college. Make sure to continuously take practice ACT/SAT tests. Remember, colleges and scholarship committees like well-rounded students so stay involved in and outside of school. Join clubs, volunteer, tutor younger students, and most of all, maintain a good GPA.

    July

    • Participate in summer enrichment programs.
    • Enroll in dual enrollment classes for the upcoming school year.
    • Enroll in internship.
    • College visits.
    • Volunteer.
    • Intern.
    • Make sure you have the ACT/SAT scores you desire.

    August

    • Study ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay involved.

    September

    • Study ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay involved.

    October

    • Study ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay involved.

    November

    • Make sure you’re on track for finals.
    • Study for ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.

    December

    • End the semester off well!
    • Study for ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.

    January

    • Start the semester off well.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay involved.
    • Study for the ACT/SAT.
    • Continuously research career/majors/colleges.

    February

    • Study ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay involved.

    March

    • Take ACT/SAT.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay involved.
    • Visit college campuses.

    April

    • Make sure you’re on track for finals.
    • Volunteer.
    • Stay Involved.

    May

    YAY! Another semester down.

    June

    • Participate in summer enrichment programs -Universities offer many of them to juniors going into senior year.
    • Enroll in internship -Get exposure to the career of your choice.
    • College Visits.
    • Intern.
    • Make sure you have the ACT/SAT scores you desire.
    • Volunteer.
  • Senior Timeline

    Final Stretch!

    You’ve made it to the final leg of the high school race toward your educational goals! Make sure your ACT/SAT scores are where you want them to be and let’s start getting in applications for scholarships and college.

    July

    Early July

    • Enroll in dual enrollment classes for the upcoming school year.
    • Retake ACT/SAT if necessary.
    • Start writing personal statements for scholarships and college admissions.
    • Apply to Scholarships that are already open:
      • Arizona Federation of Republican Women.
      • Laura Bush Scholarship Earn to Learn.
      • QuestBridge National College Match program.
      • National Federation of Republican Women Betty Rendel Scholarship.
      • National Federation of Republican Women National Pathfinder Scholarship.

    Mid-July

    • Gates Scholars Application Opens July 23rd.
    • Begin applying to all three in-state universities.
    • Begin applying to other prospective schools.

    August

    August 1

    • Horatio Alger Scholarship Application Opens.

    Mid-August

    • Flinn Scholars Application Opens.

    September

    Early September

    • Quest for Education Scholarship Application.

    September 1

    • American Society of Safety Engineers Scholarship Application Opens.

    September 18

    • Gates Scholars Application Deadline.

    September 27

    • QuestBridge National College Match Application deadline.

    October

    Early October

    • Flinn Scholars Application Deadline.
    • Submit All Applications to Universities.

    October 1

    • FAFSA Opens.
    • Dorrance Scholars Application Opens.
    • Dell Scholars Application Opens.

    October 25

    • Horatio Alger Scholarship Application Closes.

    November

    Early November

    • University of Arizona’s New Start Summer Bridge Program Application Opens.

    November 1

    • Earn to Learn Application Deadline.

    November 16

    • Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Application Opens.

    December

    Early December

    • Begin to receive financial aid packages from universities.

    December 1

    • Dell Scholars Application Deadline.
    • American Society of Safety Engineers Scholarship Application Deadline.

    January

    Early January

    • Valley Foundation Scholarship Application Opens.
    • College Success Arizona Scholarship Application Opens.
    • Arizona Community Foundation Scholarship Application Opens.

    January 31

    • Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Application Closes.

    February

    Early February

    • Make sure universities have your final ACT/SAT Scores.
    • Northern Arizona University’s STAR Summer Bridge Program Application Deadline.

    February 6

    • Dorrance Scholarships Application Deadline.

    March

    Early March

    • Valley Foundation Scholarship Application Deadline.
    • College Success Arizona Scholarship Application Deadline.
    • University FAFSA Deadline.
    • Quest for Education Scholarship Deadline.

    March 1

    • Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Applications Open.

    April

    Early April

    • Finish University Next Steps.

    April 28

    • Arizona Federation of Republican Women Laura Bush Scholarship Deadline.

    May

    Early May

    • Complete Enrollment Process.
    • Sign up for Orientation.

    May 1

    • University of Arizona’s Next Start Summer Bridge Program Application Closes.
    • Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Applications Deadline.

    June

    Early June

    • Submit final transcript to university.

    June 1

    • University Admission Application Deadline.
    • National Federation of Republican Women Betty Rendel Scholarship Application Deadline
    • National Federation of Republican Women National Pathfinder Scholarship Application Deadline.
    • Participate in a summer bridge program.