plan-aheadReminders about what students in each grade level should be focused on for post-secondary success.

9th Grade Checklist

Freshmen students should follow this checklist to help prepare for success in both high school and college.


- Develop good study habits.

- Get off to a strong start with your grades. The grades you earn in ninth grade will be included in your final school transcript and grade point average (GPA).

- Get involved in extracurricular activities (both school & non-school sponsored).

- Visit the Counseling and Career Center and introduce yourself to your counselor.

- Take the PSAT and consider also taking the Pre-ACT.

- Explore your interests and possible careers. Take advantage of the Ohio Means Jobs K-12 website highlighted in the career section of this website.

- Look at college information to begin exploring what aspects most interest you.

- Visit relatives or friends who live on or near college campuses. Check out the dorms, go to the library or student center, and get a feel for college life.

- Investigate summer enrichment programs. Visit the Counseling and Career Center or the Summer Programs section on the website for some ideas about opportunities available.

- Update your Resume/ Interests information with freshman year activities.

- Update your 4 year academic plan.

10th Grade Checklist

Sophomores should be doing the following to prepare for high school and college success:

- Keep your grades up so you can have the highest GPA possible.

- Visit the Counseling and Career Center and introduce yourself to your counselor.

- The people who read college applications are not just looking for good grades. Get involved in activities outside of the classroom. Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.

- Take the PSAT and consider also taking the Pre-ACT test.

- Explore the options available through the Delaware Area Career Center to explore opportunities available for your junior and senior years.

- Be certain you are fulfilling all course requirements to graduate.

- Ask your counselor about post-secondary enrollment options (attending college while in high school) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

- Continue to explore your interests and careers that you might like. You can utilize the Ohio Means Jobs K-12 website to assist in this exploration.

- Begin zeroing in on the type of college you would prefer (two-year or four-year, small or large, rural or urban).

- Begin to research some college choices.

- Update your Resume/ Interests information with Sophomore year activities.

- Update your 4 year academic plan.

11th Grade Checklist

- Improve your GPA. Even if your grades have not been that good so far it is never too late to improve. Colleges like to see an upward trend.

- Stay involved with your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistency, depth, and leadership in activities.

- Visit with College Representatives in Counseling and Career Center throughout the year.

- Take the PSAT (Practice SAT.) In addition to the National Merit Scholarships, this is the qualifying test for the National Scholarship Service and Fund for Negro Students and the National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program.

- Make a list of colleges that meet your most important criteria (size, location, distance from home, majors, academic rigor, housing, and cost). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you.

- Visit college fairs. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a college to your list.

- If you want to participate in Division I or Division II sports in college, start the certification process. Check with the Athletic Director or your counselor to make sure that you are taking a core curriculum that meets NCAA requirements.

- Review 4 year academic plan, graduation and college entrance requirements.

- When creating your senior year schedule, be sure to pick a rigorous schedule and include interesting electives.

- Schedule an appointment in the spring with your counselor.

- If you are interested in one of the military academies, talk to your school counselor about starting the application process now.

- Begin narrowing down your college choices. Find out if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT I, ACT, or SAT II Subject Tests for admission.

- Register for the ACT and/or SAT I (and SAT II Subject Tests if necessary) which are offered several times during the winter and spring of your junior year. See the "Testing" section of the website for specific test dates. You can take the tests again in the fall of your senior year to try to improve your scores. The college admissions tests can be taken as many times as you choose since the colleges will consider your best scores.

- Prepare for the ACT/ SAT tests. (Free online practice tests are available on the test registration sites. You can also investigate test preparation options like books/ CD's or organized preparation courses.)

- Have a discussion with your parents about the colleges in which you are interested. Examine financial resources and gather information about financial aid.

- If you are interested in the military, see your counselor to be referred to a recruiter.

- Set up a filing system with individual folders for each college's correspondence and printed materials.

- Take AP exams in May.

- Consider whom you will ask to write your recommendations. Think about asking teachers who know you well and who will write positive letters about you. Letters from a coach, activity leader, or an adult who knows you will outside of school may also be valuable.

- Update your Resume/ Interests information with Junior year activities.

- Visit the campuses of your top college choices.

- Talk to people you know who have attended the colleges in which you are interested.

- Compose rough drafts of your college essays. Have a teacher read and discuss them with you. Polish them and prepare final drafts. Proof-read your final essays at least three times. Ask an English teacher to proof-read them as well.

12th Grade Checklist

Seniors should do the following to prepare for high school and college success:

- Maintain a rigorous schedule.

- Review your schedule to make sure you have all the courses and credits you need to meet graduation requirements.

- Make a calendar listing application deadlines for admissions, financial aid, and scholarships as well as other important "Senior" dates.

- Attend Senior College Night with your family at WKHS.

- When your graduation verification form is sent home, check it very carefully for accuracy.

- Volunteer for school and community activities. Look for leadership possibilities in activities in which you are involved.

- Update resume/ activity information.

- Register for fall SAT and/or ACT.

- Be sure that you have requested that your ACT/ SAT test scores be sent directly to all colleges you are applying.

- Attend the Columbus Suburban College Fair at Otterbein College.

- Visit with College Representatives in the fall - See schedule on the WKHS Counselors’ website and in the Counseling Center.

- If you need a counselor recommendation letter, complete the "Counselor Recommendation Supplement Form.” Have your parents complete the “Parent Brag Sheet” as well. Turn them in to your counselor.

- Ask for recommendation letters from the teachers or other adults who know you well if needed. (See the “Teacher Recommendation Request” form.)

- Finalize list of colleges to apply to by early fall. Carefully note application deadlines!

- Finalize your college essays.

- Submit all applications online. Request your transcripts from the counseling center. Also include school report form, counselor report form, or any other document that the college requires the high school to complete.

- Keep a copy of every application you send.

- Apply for scholarships.

- Remind teachers that you need a letter of recommendation if you have not yet received one. Thank the teachers that have written one for you by writing them a short "thank you" note.

- Review your report card carefully and see your counselor immediately if you are having difficulty.

- Plan college visits. Schedule interviews if required.

- Attend the October Financial Aid Workshop.

- Apply for financial aid using FAFSA. (after October 1st)

- Male Students: You must register for the selective service on your 18th birthday in order to be eligible for federal and state financial aid.

- Do not ease up now! Colleges want a strong mid-year transcript report. Remember, colleges may rescind an acceptance or turn you down all together if your second semester schedule changes or you perform poorly in your classes.

- Request mid-year reports for all schools that require one. Students completing the Common Application do not need to request mid-year reports.

- Revisit colleges that need a second look. Check into overnight visits and class visits for your most likely schools.

- Check the progress of your applications with the colleges.

- Look for college decision letters or e-mails between March 1 and April 1.

- Notify your counselor about all college decisions (acceptances, wait-lists, and declines) and about the decisions you have made about the colleges.

- In the spring, check the local scholarship opportunities on the Counseling Center website. These offer the best chance to earn local money for college.

- Talk to schools you have been accepted to about their financial aid packages and compare the packages to help you make your decision.

- DECIDE

- Notify the college you have selected by May 1st. Notify the colleges you will be declining so they may offer the spot to another student.

- Take AP exams in May if applicable.

- Complete follow up paperwork for the college you chose (Scheduling, Orientation, Housing arrangements, and other necessary forms.)

- Request that final transcript be sent to the college you will be attending.

- Enjoy your Graduation Day!