Georgia Student Finance Commission

College Planning Timeline

College Decision Guide

College Planning Timeline

It’s never too early to start thinking about college. Some parents start planning before their children are even born by starting a 529 savings plan. Some students know exactly what college they want to go to by the time they are in middle school. But don’t worry if you aren’t sure where you’re going or how you’re going to pay for it just yet. GAfutures’ college planning timeline can help you stay organized and be prepared as you plan for your education after high school.

In addition to the year-specific to-do lists, below are some things you should plan to do each year.

  • Save for college – check out Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan. It’s never too late or early to start saving!
  • Investigate Advanced Placement (AP) and other honors-level courses that can help you prepare for college or earn college credits.
  • Investigate your options for participating in Dual Enrollment. This program allows 9th through 12th grade students to take college-level coursework for credit towards both high school and college graduation requirements. You can begin taking Dual Enrollment classes in 9th grade.
  • How are you spending your summer or holiday breaks? Volunteering and participating in educational programs can help give you a better idea about what kind of training or career would be right for you. If you have room in your schedule, consider a part-time job or volunteer work.

Beginning in 10th grade, go to your My GAfutures account to check your preliminary HOPE GPA in February. Talk with your counselor and keep track of your HOPE GPA to ensure you will be eligible for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship.

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