College planning information and Timeline
As a college preparatory school, we are here to support, encourage, and advise students as they navigate the many available college options. We do expect students to take responsibility for researching colleges and financial aid options, meeting important deadlines and completing applications.
Metro Arts graduates attend some of the finest schools in the country, including Emerson, Fordham, The Honors College at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. Our visual arts students have gone on to attend Cooper Union, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, NYU, Parsons Paris and Pitzer.
Our graduates also attend some of the best performing arts colleges in the country including the California Institute for the Arts and The University of Arizona. Many are successful as working professionals in theater, television and film, music, and dance, both in New York and Los Angeles, as well as the Phoenix community.
High school is a critical time of learning and developing as a student. If your plans include attending any sort of college after graduation, you will need to pay extra attention to certain timelines during high school. Below is a comprehensive list of things you may want to focus on throughout your four years at Metro - critical dates are italicized. Although it is not necessary to strictly follow the suggestions, they are there as a guideline for what will make you stand out as you apply.
BEFORE 11th/12th GRADE:
- Learn good study habits. This may seem like a given, but it will help you get the most out of your education. Testing will never go away, and it is there to assess your depth of understanding. There are plenty of places online to go for advice and your teachers will always be more than happy to give you study tips.
- Explore extracurriculars. Colleges want to see that you are involved beyond your required academics - this shows them that you are driven, passionate and an obvious candidate for leadership. At Metro, there are always plenty of opportunities to get involved with what you love. Take advantage of them!
- Read often. Reading is an excellent way to keep your verbal, writing, and critical thinking skills sharp - three things that the SATs will test you on extensively. Whether it's articles online, re-reading the Harry Potter series or delving into assigned books for class, enjoy yourself!
- Use summers wisely. Summers are great for decompressing from the stress of school, and a large chunk of free time you can use to your advantage. Traveling, volunteering and going to camps are some of the things you can do to strengthen your college applications before you begin applying.
- OCTOBER: Take the PSAT. This isn't a necessity, and colleges won't see or use your scores in the admission process. HOWEVER, not only is it great practice for the actual SATs, it can be used in awarding scholarships. A high PSAT score can qualify you for a National Merit Scholarship - these students are heavily recruited by colleges.
- Assume a leadership role in an extracurricular activity. This will show colleges that you are an active leader, not a bystander.
- Take the SAT or ACT test.
- Start drafting a college list. Think about what you want in a college. Consider different locations, environments, sizes, available housing, etc. Here is a great list of factors you should identify as you begin to draft your list.
- Visit colleges. Spring is a great time to visit nearby campuses. You can even utilize spring break to travel further away. This is a good time to take advantage of as you may want to use your summer for volunteering or employment.
- Register for the August SAT
- Register for Fall ACTs. If you're planning on taking the SAT or ACT test, and you want to do so during the fall, you will need to register in August.
- Explore admission requirements for colleges that interest you.
- Register for Fall SATs. This will be the last SAT test you will take. Study hard!
- Request letters of recommendation. This is especially important if you're planning on applying to colleges early. Your recommenders will appreciate the early heads-up and will have more time to write a great letter!
- Create a Common Application account. The Common Application is used almost universally by all colleges. You will often submit the Common App and have to fill out another application unique to the college as a supplement. You can create an account here.
- Create a deadline calendar. Gather early decision/early action/preferred application deadlines together from all colleges you're interested in sending applications to early. This way you won't miss anything important.
- Take the SATs, SAT Subject Tests, and/or the ACT, depending on what you've registered for.
- Complete your early decision applications.
- Research financial aid and scholarships. You may even want to start doing this earlier. There are thousands and thousands of scholarships, which can be overwhelming, but chances are you are bound to find several that you will qualify for. Here and here are some great places to start your search.
- Make sure you've submitted your early decision applications.
- Complete applications for regular admission. Don't procrastinate this either. Get it done now while you aren't worrying about finals and the big shift from high school to college.
- Have midyear grades sent out to colleges. Colleges will want a midyear transcript and a final transcript after you graduate.
- DON'T GET SENIORITIS! Push through until the very end. Colleges can revoke offers of admissions if your grades fall.
- Look over your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will have received this if you submitted your FAFSA. Be sure it is accurate as mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars.
- You may start getting acceptance letters around this time. Keep in mind, though, that many acceptance letters are not mailed out until April. Some will take even longer.
- If you are waitlisted, take time to think about your options. You can always change plans if necessary.
- Send out final transcripts to your college(s).
- GRADUATE! Congratulations! College is an amazing experience and we wish you all the best. Keep on top of deadlines for housing, registering, etc.