Asset 1ScholarMatch

College Ready Milestones

Get college ready! Complete the steps below by the recommended due dates and track your progress.



  1. First MeetingAfter matching with your coach or after your first visit to the ScholarMatch college center.

    Your Coach will provide crucial support during the college application process. We want you to feel comfortable building a relationship with them and learn more about how the two of you will work closely together.

    As part of your first meeting, you will review the student and coach agreement that goes over how you will engage and communicate with your coach, and creating action items that will help you apply to college.

    If you are dropping into one of our centers to receive support, you’ll meet with a ScholarMatch staff member to review the student agreement and create action items that will help you apply to college.

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Set up a meeting with your coach, review their coach profile, and save their contact information.
    2. If you are a drop-in student, set up a meeting with a ScholarMatch team member to review the student agreement.
    3. Review the agreement prior and during your first meeting with your coach or with a ScholarMatch team member.
    4. After your meeting, make sure that you follow up with your coach or ScholarMatch staff with any questions.
  2. Explore Interests08/31/2019

    What do you love to do? Whether it’s design, entertainment or social issues, your interests say a lot about what your career might be in the future and can help you decide which majors and potential colleges you should consider.

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Go to
    2. Complete the “Interest Profiler” under the “Tell Us What You Like To Do” section to learn about your interests and potential careers to explore. This will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  3. Review Transcript 08/31/2019

    Your high school transcript, which shows your grades, classes taken and GPA, will be carefully reviewed by admissions officers and provides concrete evidence of how prepared you are to attend college. It’s important to make sure that the courses you are taking will make you a competitive applicant.

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Get a copy of your most-up-to-date transcript from your high school counselor or staff member.
    2. Review your transcript and use this calculation worksheet to determine your GPA.
    3. Indicate the following GPAs: Weighted, Unweighted; CSU/UC* GPA.

    *If you are from the state of California, use this website to help you determine if the classes you took are A-G required coursework. You can use this CSU/UC GPA Calculation Worksheet as well

  4. Create Application Timeline 08/31/2019

    Applying to college entails multiple steps; create an application timeline to keep track of college application requirements, tasks and deadlines!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Make a copy of the College Application Tracker. (Be sure to rename it, including your name in the new title!)
    2. Share a copy of the College Application Tracker with your Coach or someone at ScholarMatch once you have filled it out, so that you can review your college deadlines and requirements together.
  5. Register & Take ACT/SAT08/31/2019

    Test scores are just one part of your college application but doing well on the ACT/SAT means you’ll have more choice in the colleges you get into.

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Make sure to sign up ahead of time to take the ACT or SAT (we recommend choosing one and taking it more than once.)
    2. See your school counselor as early as possible to get a Fee Waiver if you are eligible!
    3. Check out the resources here (ACT Guide, SAT Guide) to prepare for the test and talk with your coach or someone at ScholarMatch about creating a testing plan.
    4. Once you receive your scores, submit them in the Milestone Submission form.
  6. Build a College List10/1/2019

    Creating a balanced list is a key step in this process so have an open mind and use tools, like the ScholarMatcher, to help you “shop” around and explore schools you’ve never heard of before. Building your list requires that you determine if a college will be a good match and fit for you.

    Colleges on your list should include a mix of safety, match, and reach schools. If you meet or exceed the average accepted ACT or SAT score and GPA from last year’s freshman class, then the college is considered Safety School. If you fall within the average accepted GPA and ACT or SAT score from last year’s freshman class, then the college is considered a Match School. If you fall below the school’s average accepted GPA and ACT or SAT score from last year’s freshman class, then the college is considered a Reach School.

    Use websites and tools such as the College Board to ensure your list is balanced! Want to learn more about match and fit, then click here! We encourage that you begin your initial list with 10-12 schools and have 8-9 schools as part of your final list!

    You can only get so much from reading a college brochure. From virtual tours to overnight stays, there are many ways to visit a college and find out if it’s the right match!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Create your college list using the ScholarMatcher and add them to your College Application Tracker.
    2. Once you’ve made your list, complete the Milestone Submission form to answer a few questions about it
    3. Remember, building your college list will be an ongoing process that should include reach, target, and likely schools.


  1. Draft & Revise College Essays11/01/2019

    The most important part of your application is your personal statement! Consider this an opportunity to let admissions officers know something that tests and grades can’t tell them – your unique story!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Review the personal statement prompts for each college you are applying to. If you are applying to a college using the Common Application, click here to review the prompts. If you are applying to the University of California, click here. If you are applying to the California State University system Educational Opportunity Program, click here.
    2. Once you review the prompts, determine which one you will answer. We recommend that you discuss which prompt will be a good fit for you with your Coach or  ScholarMatch staff.
  2. Request Teacher Recommendation11/01/2019

    Letters of recommendation can help college admissions officers get a more complete picture of you but obtaining quality letters is a process and advance planning is required. Review the Letter of Recommendation tips and tools handout to learn more about how to ask your teachers for a letter of recommendation, determine how many teachers to ask, and what information you should give them.

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Complete this letter of recommendation brag sheet to give to your teachers. The brag sheet is a way for you to list all of your accomplishments, strengths, interests, and additional information that your recommender should know about you.
  3. Submit 8-10 Applications11/15/2019

    Now that tests and essays are behind you, it’s time to show off all your hard work in an all-star application!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Contact the schools about application fee waivers if possible.
    2. Complete the UC/CSU EOP application, if applicable
    3. Complete the Milestone Submission form to let us know which colleges you applied to.
  4. Apply for Financial Aid12/15/2019

    Complete the FAFSA and/or CSS profile, or the Dream Act Application to let colleges know what your financial need is and to become eligible for grants, loans, scholarships and work-study. Before you can start an application, make sure that you create your login ID for each application (if applicable).

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. On the Milestone Submission form, state your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which you can find in your Student Aid Report (SAR) once you complete your FAFSA or Dream Act. If you don’t know how to download your SAR please view the the “Download and Save SAR” document and follow the instructions.
  5. Apply to Scholarships2/1/2020

    Scholarships are an important way to help finance your college degree. Apply to as many as you can- we recommend between 3-5, especially local ones!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Add the scholarships you are applying to on your College Application Tracker.


  1. Review Financial Aid4/15/2020

    Review the different financial award packages to find your best financial fit.

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Sign up for a meeting with ScholarMatch staff or with your College Coach to compare your offers and understand your financial aid award letters.
  2. Accept Offer5/1/2020

    Carefully review all your offers and decide which school is the best fit for YOU!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Submit survey about SM services, and let us know what school you are attending!
  3. Create College Transition Plan6/1/2020

    You did it— you’re going to college! Now, make a plan to prepare for a great college transition this summer!

    How to complete this milestone:

    1. Complete checklist (Download Checklist Here)