Counseling Corner Junior Plan for College & Career Readiness

Choosing Classes for Senior Year

Choosing classes for senior year should be based on the following:

  • Graduation Progress - You must have 24 credits in specific areas in order to graduate. You can check which requirements you still need on PowerSchool. If you have questions see your counselor.
  • Future Education and Career Goals - Make sure you are college and/or career ready. Colleges often require or recommend additional coursework beyond what is required to graduate from high school. Completion of CTE courses and CTE Pathways can prepare you for a job or addition training in your field.
  • Concurrent Enrollment (CE) - You can earn college credit while in high school at a reduced rate. Highland offers CE classes on our campus, and there are additional CE classes offered on SLCCs campus.

Required for High School; Recommended for College

  • Language Arts - 4.0 credits
  • Math - 3.0 credits; 4.0 credits
  • Science - 3.0 credits; Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Social Studies - 3.0 credits
  • Fine Arts - 1.5 credits
  • Career & Technical Education - 1.0 credit
  • Computer Tech - 0.5 credits
  • Financial Literacy - 0.5 credits
  • PE/Health - 2.0 credits (PE Skills, Fit for Life, Lifetime Activity)
  • Electives - 5.5 credits; 2 years of a World Language in a progressive manner

Career Ready = 3 credits in a Career Pathway


The ACT and SAT are college readiness exams. Most colleges will require a copy of your ACT/SAT scores. Some colleges use it to accept or decline admission. Others use it for class placement only. In Utah we focus on the ACT, but students may take either. Every college will accept both.

Every Junior will have the opportunity to take the ACT on March 3 during school for FREE. Students will register during their Language Arts class. Students may take the ACT multiple times. It is generally recommended to take it twice, a third time if the student has done considerable preparation that might impact their score. The ACT is offered 6 times a year. In order to take it a second or third time, students must register online with ACT.

**Fee Waivers available for those who qualify

ACT Prep

UtahFutures offers free ACT prep through their Learning Express Library.

Shmoop offers an online ACT prep program that is FREE to Utah students. This program includes tutorials targeted toward the specific needs of each student as assessed in an initial practice test. To create an account, click the link below.

Magic Word: ZION

If in-person test prep is more of your style, Highland offers a $5 ACT prep class. It is a six week course, taking place Mondays after school. See the Highland treasurer, Jennie, to register.

There are additional classes in the community. Check out the links below.

Choosing a College

First and foremost, college choice should be based on career goals. Which career path you wish to pursue will dictate what education you need to attain. College = 1, 2, 4, or more. This means it can include a 1-year certificate, 2-year associates degree, 4-year bachelors degree, or more such as graduate school, law school, medical school etc. It's important to keep in mind that not every college will offer every major or degree program. The links below can help you to find a college program that is right for you. Not quite sure what you want to study in college? Keep in mind that larger universities will have more programs to offer.

College Tours & Events

Once you have a list of schools you are interested in, it's a good idea to take a tour or attend an event. Touring a college's campus and attending admission events allows you to get a sense of the school community to see if it's a good fit. If you aren't able to physically go to the school for a tour, many schools have virtual tours available on their website or on youtube.

It is also possible for you to set up a more specific tour or meeting with someone from a program or department of interest. Not every program is the same from school to school. Knowing the pros and cons and what they have to offer can help to inform your decision to apply or attend.

Contact your schools of interest to find out what tours and events are coming up.

Get Organized

Once you have found colleges with majors you are interested in, narrow them down to 4-10. You should have schools that fall into three categories: Safety Schools, Good Fit Schools, and Reach Schools. To find out what category the school fits into, use the UtahFutures link below to see how the college's average ACT score and GPA compare to your own.

Next, create a calendar of important deadlines. Deadlines to include are:

  • Application deadlines (Priority vs Final)
  • Scholarship deadlines (General and Department)
  • Financial Aid deadline
  • Audition/Portfolio deadline (if program requires)
  • NCAA deadlines and requirements

Paying for College

How to pay for college is on everyone's mind during this process. There are a lot of opportunities to decrease the cost of college. Paying attention to deadlines is equally important in this process as in the application process.

Financial Aid

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Up to $6,000 is available in grants per student. While federal aid is based on need, many colleges require students to fill out the FAFSA in order to be eligible for other scholarships as well. The application opens October 1 of your senior year. It is only necessary to fill out the application one time in order to submit it for all schools, but the deadline varies by school; Some deadlines are as early as February of your senior year so get it done early!

SLCC will cover the remainder of tuition costs if a student qualifies for any portion of the federal grant. See below:


Scholarships can come from a variety of places and can be awarded for a variety of reasons.

Scholarships may be awarded for:

  • Academics/Merit Based
  • Talent
  • Service
  • Leadership

You can get scholarships from:

  • College/University in general
  • Specific Department at College/University
  • Community Organization

Here are some tips:

For help finding scholarships, contact the colleges and universities of interest and work with Highland's Scholarship Coordinator, TBD. Scholarship bulletins, organized by month, are available on the Highland Counseling website.

Help is Available

See your counselor

  • Claudia Kassner, A-D
  • Mary Akers, E-G and IB Students
  • Mia Naddeo, H-Ma
  • Sierra Collins, Mb-R
  • John Vallentine, S-Z

College Access Advisor - Katie Dickson

Scholarship Coordinator - TBD

Registrar - Kerry Hardy


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