Guidance Timeline



    • Seniors will meet with their guidance counselors to review the college admissions process & to receive an overview of how to use Naviance for the application process.
    • Visit colleges at every opportunity! The experience of walking on to a college campus will help students as they plan for their future and figure out what type of college they are best suited for.
    • Students should submit proof of visit to the attendance monitor.
    • Students should register for the October and/or November SAT’s or Subject Tests at For those colleges that require SAT scores, be sure to take advantage of your four free score reports when registering! If this is not done and the college requires SAT scores, you will have to make sure official scores are sent by the College Board for an additional fee.
    • Students should register for the ACT at; tests are administered in September and October. Be sure to register for ACT plus Writing. *Please note: all colleges accept either SAT or ACT scores. Students may choose to take both standardized tests and send the highest scores to their colleges.
    •  Students should check with their guidance counselor to check on graduation requirements.
    •  Attend Senior Parent Night. Check the PHS website & Naviance for announcements.
    •  Students should attend college fairs(PHS College Fair in September), Whitman Hanson Fair and Boston NEACAC College Fair) and be prepared to ask questions and collect information from the representatives.  Students should ask 2 teachers and their guidance counselor if they can write them a letter of recommendation.
    • Complete Guidance & Teacher letter of recommendation forms & provide ample time for the letters to be composed (at least 2 weeks). Thank you notes should be written to those who wrote the letters of recommendation!
    • Students should submit a transcript request form to their guidance counselor at least 2 weeks prior to their application deadline.
    •  Set up your Common Application account at if applicable.
    •  Seniors should schedule meetings with their Guidance Counselors frequently to touch base on postgraduation planning.
    •  Encourage students to work hard all year! Colleges see 1st & 2nd term grades. Fight senioritis…colleges can rescind their acceptance if final grades drop drastically!
    • Student-Athletes: (If you did not complete this during junior year) Fill out NCAA Clearinghouse Forms if students plan to participate in Division 1 or 2 athletic programs.
    •  Seniors check the guidance bulletin boards for information on how to sign up for their guidance counselor's twitter and text updates.


    • Attend Financial Aid Night with your parents and watch for financial aid deadlines.  THE FASFA can be filed after October 1st.
    • Read directions carefully! College applications can have different essay questions and testing & program requirements. Mistakes can reflect very poorly on candidacy for
    • Complete Early Decision/Early Action applications according to specific college deadlines.
    • File CSS Profile if seeking financial aid from a private College/University.
    • Students should complete application essays & have them proofread by a reliable source. All seniors are invited to attend the PHS College Essay Workshop that will take place after school.
    • Students should check Naviance for local/national scholarship information.
    • Register for ACT plus writing and/or SAT’s if you haven’t already!


    • Continue to attend College Open Houses.
    • College applications should be completed and submitted online. Transcript request forms should be given to your student’s Guidance Counselor at least 2 weeks prior to the first college deadline.
    • Read directions carefully & keep track of college application deadlines. Early action/decision deadlines can start as early as the end of October!
    • Attend College Goal Sunday if assistance completing financial aid forms (FAFSA) is needed. For time/location visit:


    • Wait patiently for admissions letters & think about potential college choices. Students should update college admissions results in Naviance.
    • Visit colleges to help make final commitment decisions. Review college acceptances and submit deposits by May 1st.
    • Check Naviance for important financial aid websites and local scholarships. Contact college financial aid offices or if you have questions or concerns about your financial aid package.
    • Students should complete the Senior Exit Survey in order to inform their guidance counselor of postsecondary plans. (Students will need to indicate if they are going to college, military, work, gap year, etc…)

    Helpful Guidelines for Parents:

    • All parents should be sure to obtain a Naviance log in information from their child’s guidance counselor! This is the most effective way of staying involved with the college application process!
    • Openly discuss future plans, including financial concerns and any restrictions with your child. This should be done early in the school selection process so that everyone is on the same page.
    • Encourage your child to develop independence! They are responsible for balancing homework, sports, work, and other activities now and when they arrive at college. Students should be seeking out help if they are having trouble in school. Self-advocacy is key! It is recommended that parents allow students to complete their own college applications, SAT registrations and scholarship applications.
    • Contact your child’s Guidance Counselor with any questions regarding graduation requirements or post-graduation planning.
    • Check your e-mail, phone messages, the PHS Guidance website & Naviance for important information regarding college visits, scholarships, financial aid opportunities, standardized tests, and career exploration. Sign up for guidance counselor tweets/texts.
    • Be aware of deadlines & keep records of contacts with schools – phone calls, names or
      representatives, meetings, etc.
    • Parents and students should be aware that there are fees associated with the college application process such as college applications, standardized tests, sending standardized test scores to colleges, transcript requests.
    • Remain positive and encourage your child to work hard in achieving success.
    • Stay in contact with teachers to ensure that grades do not dip once your child receives college acceptance letters. Colleges can rescind acceptances!



    • All juniors should review the Junior College Planning Handbook on our website.
    • Prepare for the PSAT – This is the year that students can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.
    • Visit for practice tips and tests. (The PSAT will be given to all sophomores and
      juniors in October.)
    • Students interested in the military should plan to take the ASVAB. You can see Mr. Shannon for more
      information or visit
    • Junior parents and students should consider attending the Senior Financial Aid Night.


    • Juniors will attend the Guidance Junior Seminars & have a meeting with their guidance counselor
    •  Research colleges on Naviance:
    • Create a list of “prospective colleges” you wish to apply to and enter that list into Naviance under “my colleges.”
    • Register for the Standardized tests for the May or June test date.
    • Register for the May or June SAT at (Students that may apply to competitive colleges - Register for the SAT Subjects.)
    • *Please note the June SAT tests typically falls on the same day as PHS Graduation.
    •  Register for the April or June ACT (plus writing) at
    •  Visit the College Board and ACT websites for advice and tips on SAT’s and college information.
    • Visit schools on your “prospective colleges” list – take a campus tour; meet with an admissions representative; talk to current students…etc.
    • All student-athletes interested in playing Division I or II programs: Complete NCAA Clearinghouse online registration at (Please note there is a $75 fee.)
    •  Plan to register for a challenging and rigorous senior year schedule.


    •  Narrow your list of “prospective colleges” to at least 6-8 schools you plan to apply to in the fall of your senior year
    • Create a Common Application Account by visiting if applicable.
    • Review the Common Application and be prepared to start working on it. (Make sure the application is dated with the following year before you start working on it, it usually changes in mid-August.)
    • Review the essay prompts on the Common Application and any school-specific applications on your list.
    • Compose a rough draft of a college admissions essay.
    • Visit to research free scholarship opportunities (Some require essays or projects)
    • Create a resume. List your extra-curricular activities, honors and volunteer service you have completed throughout high school. This information will be used to write your letter of recommendation. Be sure to include any awards, certificates you received in grades 9-11 and include all your community service, volunteer hours and activities. This is not a time to be modest!!!
    • Complete the Guidance Counselor Teacher Recommendation Form and the Guidance Counselor Teacher Recommendation Form. Consider which teacher you will plan to ask to write your letter of recommendation. You may make this request in the spring of your junior year or the fall of your senior year.
    • Register for Standardized Tests. The first SAT Reasoning Test takes place in October and the first ACT takes place in September. It is recommended that all students that plan to apply early action should test as early in the fall as possible.




    • Sophomore Seminars will take place during the school day with Guidance Counselors. Sophomores will receive information regarding college entrance requirements, how to navigate Naviance to conduct career searches and college searches and begin to develop a resume utilizing Naviance.
    • Sophomores will take the PSAT for practice/exposure purposes only. This will allows students to prepare for the real thing during their junior year.
    • Explore Potential Careers – Research careers that you may be interested in learning more about. Learn about the tasks, education, and training needed for potential careers.
    •  Sophomores should work on expanding their resume of activities; get involved with
      your extracurricular activities and work toward leadership positions in the activities you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.
    • Course Selection - Meet with your teachers and guidance counselor to make sure you’re staying on track. You can also discuss your PSAT scores and ask about postsecondary enrollment options and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
    • Sophomores should work diligently to keep grades up so you can obtain the highest possible grade point average.



    • Students will attend Freshmen Orientation before the first day of school and will receive their
      freshmen year schedule and meet faculty and staff as well as tour the building.
    • Freshmen should start the year off strong and make a plan to stay after school for extra help and
      support as they transition to high school.
    •  Students will meet with freshmen guidance counselor individually.
    •  Students will attend the Freshmen Seminar facilitated by the freshmen guidance counselors. Freshmen
      seminar focuses on:
    • Learn who is who in high school.
    • Learn about grade point average and the importance of challenging yourself as well as getting
      involved with activities outside of school.
    •  Learn about graduation requirements.
    •  Learn about college admissions requirements.
    •  Freshmen should plan to get involved in extra-curricular activities and begin required community
      service hours. Community Service Log Sheets are available in the guidance office and also under the forms section of our website. 
    • Students should utilize Naviance to discover learning style and work with teachers and guidance
      counselor to develop strong study skills.


    • Attend freshmen seminar with your guidance counselor during Titan Time. 
    •  Prepare for the course selection process, review the program of studies and thoughtfully choose classes
      that are challenging and will prepare you for the career path you may be interested in.
    • Students should continue to stay after school and sign up for Titan Time with teachers to finish their freshman year strong.

Helpful Planning Guides from Guidance