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College Planning

College Planning Overview

When it comes to planning for college, the list of things to think about may feel endless and overwhelming.  However, Mayfield School Counselors are here to help you through the entire process from start to finish. Below, you will find a helpful step-by-step College Planning Timeline as well we numerous links (left hand side) to help you through the process. Please do not hesitate to contact your School Counselor for support—We are here to help!

9th & 10th Grade:

Meet your School Counselor

Your school counselor will be one of your greatest supports throughout the college process. Get to know your counselor so that he/she will be able to best advise you based on your personal interests, abilities, and long-term goals.

Get Involved

High school is a wonderful time to get involved in clubs, sports, and activities.  Colleges value well-rounded students.  After all, you are more than just your GPA and exam scores!

Select your courses wisely

Create a four-year high school plan (schedule) that will not only meet your graduation credit requirements, but will also challenge you with a rigorous course load. Consider taking Honors and AP classes.

Get good grades

Colleges see all of your grades from 9th-12th grade.  Do your best to get off on a good foot!

Explore your interests

Knowing who you are and what interests you will allow you to make smart choices when it comes to selecting a college and future career.  Visit your School Counselor and explore your passions and interests.

Consider a college savings plan

College can be expensive.  If you haven’t already, start a college savings plan.

Build your resume

Create an ongoing document to record your activities, involvement, and volunteer hours.  This will come in handy when filling out your college applications during Senior year!


Take the PSAT (10th Grade)

Mayfield offers the PSAT to all 10th grade students.  This exam provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice for the SAT.


11th Grade:

During Junior Year, college planning activities kick off in full-force.  This year is meant for exploration, as well as developing a list of potential colleges students plan to apply to their Senior year.  Here are some guidelines for navigating Junior year:

Get to know yourself:

Make a list of your abilities, qualities, interests, and passions. Use resources such as Naviance to take Interest Profile tools. The more you know yourself, the easier it will be to find a good college “fit.”

Learn about colleges:

Explore websites, get on campus, speak with current students.

Meet with your School Counselor:

Students and families are encouraged to meet with their School Counselor in order to discuss their college planning progress, as well as resources available to students and families.

Register with NCAA (*Athletes only):

If you are a student athlete planning to play a sport in college, be sure to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (

Create a resume:

Junior will have the opportunity to create a resume in their 11th grade English class. A resume provides an overview of your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and work experiences, and will be helpful when filling out college applications during Senior year.   

Take the ACT and SAT:

We recommend that students take the ACT and SAT in the Spring of their Junior Year.  Students can register online for these exams.  Visit  the MHS Counseling website for links to test dates, registration links, etc.  

Develop a preliminary College List:

During Junior year, students should have a list of 15-20 colleges that are of interest.  At this time, try to stay open to all of your options-- public, private, in-state, out-f-state, etc.  Be sure to add your list of colleges to Naviance so that you will receive notifications when admissions officers visit Mayfield!

Visit Colleges:

Junior year is an excellent time to get on college campuses, take a tour, sit in on college classes, and explore student life. Contact the admissions office to set up a tour and visit.

Attend Junior College Meeting: 

Mayfield will be offering a Junior College Planning Night for parents on Thursday, January 24th, 2019 in the HS Cafeteria. Mark your calendnar! 

12th Grade:


Attend Senior College Meetings:

Mayfield will be offering a Senior College Planning Night Thursday, August 30th 2019 at 7:00 pm in the HS Cafe. Mark your calendar. 

Narrow your College List:

Begin to narrow your College List to 5-8 schools.  Spend time learning as much about these schools as possible through their websites, current students, the Counseling Department, etc.

Create a calendar:

Create a calendar of important dates including college application deadlines, college fairs, scholarship deadlines, ACT/SAT test dates, etc.

Finalize your list:

By October, Seniors should decide where they are applying.  Early Decision and Early Action applications should be submitted as soon as possible.  Please see your School Counselor if you have questions about the difference between applying Early Decision and Early Action.

Ask your teachers/counselor for recommendations:

Find out if your colleges require letters of recommendations.  If so, be sure to give your teachers/counselor plenty of time to write your letter (minimum of 2 weeks notice).  Remember to provide them with your “Brag Sheet,” resume, or list of activities and accomplishments.

Early Action/Early Decision:

For students applying Early Action or Early Decision, most application deadlines fall between November 1-15 (make sure to check the deadline for each of your colleges!). Students applying early will need to request a transcript to be sent to their college(s) from their School Counselor.

Complete applications:

Mayfield students are encouraged to complete their college applications before Thanksgiving Break.  If your application requires essays, consider having an English teacher read over it in order to provide feedback. Don’t forget to proofread!  Request a transcript from your counselor (allow two weeks notice). Remember to keep application deadlines in mind.


Mid-year transcripts:

Some colleges request first semester Senior year grades.  If your colleges require mid-year transcripts, request a transcript from your Counselor upon returning from Winter Break.

Avoid Senior-itis!:

Many colleges continue to monitor your grades and academic performance throughout your Senior year.  Continue to work hard until graduation!



For Regular Decision applications, most acceptance letters and financial aid offers are provided by mid-April.  Before accepting your final school, consider going back to the campus for one final visit.

Securing your spot:

Once you have decided on the college you plan to attend, send your deposit (only commit to ONE school). Final Senior year transcripts will be sent to your college of choice upon graduation.

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