College Prep Calendar

College Prep Calendar (Grades 7-12)

Seventh Grade

  • Attend the summer bridge program at the College of Mount Saint Joseph to prepare for success at Dater.
  • Work hard in classes and develop the strong study skills you will need for the rest of your Dater career.
  • Join the clubs and sports teams offered at Dater based on your interests.
  • Students in this grade should expect about 45 minutes of homework per night.

Eighth Grade

  • Continue to excel in academic course work and utilize strong study skills.
  • Continue to participate in Dater's clubs and sports teams.
  • Create a four year optioning plan (standard curriculum or SCPP curriculum) to guide the remainder of your time at Dater.
  • Students in this grade should expect about 1hour of homework per night.

Freshman Year

  • Utilize your strong study skills developed in seventh and eighth grade to continue to excel in academics.  Remember- from now on, every grade you get counts towards your grade point average (GPA). This number determines your class rank and is important for college admission and scholarships.
  • Become involved in the new extracurriculars offered to grades 9-12 at Dater.
  • Begin to think about the kid of things you like to do and how they might develop into a college major or career. Learn as much as you can about different types of jobs by attending career fairs, doing job shadowing, and participating in internship opportunities.
  • Students in this grade should expect about 1 hour and 15 minutes of homework per night.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue to study hard and perform to your highest potential in coursework.
  • Continue involvement in volunteer and extracurricular activities.
  • Take the PSAT (Pre-SAT) in October.  
  • Take the PLAN (Pre-ACT) in November.
  • Begin to build a college/career file by compiling materials about colleges and careers of interest.  
  • Utilize school vacations, the GEAR UP Scores! program, and the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative Program to visit colleges of interest.  
  • Plan summer activities such as programs held at colleges, volunteer work or paid work.  
  • Students in this grade should expect to have about 1 hour and 30 minutes of homework per night.

Junior Year


  • Keep performing well in academics and remember it's never too late to improve your GPA and class rank! Your junior year GPA is the GPA you will send in with college applications!
  • Ensure you are taking college prep courses needed for college admission.
  • Continue involvement in volunteer and extracurricular activities.  
  • Take on leadership roles.
  • If you are interested in a military academy start the application process now.  
  • Sign up to meet with college representatives when they visit Dater.
  • Take the PSAT in October. The scores from this test are used to determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • Consider taking ACT and/or SAT preparation tests and courses.
  • Students in this grade should expect about 1 hour and 45 minutes of homework per night.


  • Think about where you would like to go to college. Consider size, costs, location, and academic programs. Use the internet to explore your options.
  • Participate in Cincinnati Youth Collaborative's FAFSA workshops.
  • Think about which teachers you will ask to write recommendations.
  • If you want to seek an athletic scholarship, begin contacting coaches at schools you are interested in attending.
  • Study for the ACT and/or SAT tests.  
  • Register for the ACT and/or SAT in early spring. 


  • Take the ACT and/or SAT tests. 
  • Discuss your ACT and/or SAT scores with your guidance counselor.  If necessary, develop a plan to increase your scores when you retake the test senior year.
  • Develop a list of "stretch" and "sure bet" schools.
  • Visit colleges when and if possible.  Students are permitted two excused absences during junior and senior year for college visitation.
  • Research scholarship opportunities.
  • Develop a timeline for college and scholarship application deadlines. Note any early action or early decision deadlines.
  • Write a response to the common application essay and submit to your English teacher for editing.
  • Apply for a summer job.  It's important to save most of your earnings for college.  Be prepared to pay for college application, financial aid, and testing fees in the fall.

Senior Year


  • Continue excellent academic performance and involvement in extracurricular activities. Don't just take easy courses. The more you are challenged, the better prepared you are for the first year of college.  
  • Meet individually with guidance counselor to narrow list of colleges and discuss financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
  • Student athletes should complete the NCAA Clearinghouse application.
  • Visit colleges of major interest and plan an overnight dorm visit if possible.
  • Apply for scholarships (Find current Scholarship Opportunities )
  • Obtain letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, counselors, volunteer organizations, etc.
  • Meet college application deadlines. Apply early. Make sure you have applied to at least one college you know you can afford, and where you will be accepted. (Learn more about the College Application Process )
  • Students should expect about 2 hours of homework per night.


  • Complete official FASFA. 
  • Finish completing our college admission and financial aid applications. All applications should be sent prior to winter break. Keep a copy of everything.  


  • Meet Acceptance Reply Date. Write to inform and thank colleges whose offers you did not accept.
  • Write thank-you notes to teachers who wrote letters of recommendation.
  • Create a college budget and begin applying for additional student loans if necessary.
  • Enjoy graduation!