College Planning

Freshman & Sophomore years

  • Plan high school coursework that will satisfy university admissions requirements. Generally you should plan on completing the following minimum core requirements (as recommended by the Washington State public universities):

    English - 4 years

    Math  - 3 years (through Algebra 2)

    Science  - 2 years (lab based), including Chemistry, physics or biology

    World Language  - 2 years

    Social Science - 3 years

    Fine arts - 1 year

    Senior year math or algebra-based science

  • Utilize you Career Education class to explore your interests and to learn about post high school training opportunities.  Discuss your ideas with your family. Meet with your PTHS Counselor for additional information.
  • Explore your skills and interests by being involved in school and community activities.
  • You may also choose to look more closely at your post secondary options by attending college fairs, visiting colleges, meeting with college representatives who visit PTHS, taking a practice PSAT.

Junior Year

  • Begin a list of colleges that are of interest to you.  Explore websites and visit campuses, if possible. Keep notes.
  • Meet with the college representatives that visit PTHS. Attend the National College Fair in Seattle
  • Take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in October.  This will give you some practice and insights into college testing.
  • Plan for taking a spring college admission test - either the SAT  (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT (American College Test).  Advance registration is required.
  • Narrow your colleges of interest.  Make a list of the application requirements for these schools – essays, recommendations, fees, deadlines, financial aid and scholarship procedures.

Senior Year

  • Take the SAT or ACT, if needed.

  • Apply for appropriate scholarships.  Keep informed by reviewing the scholarships that are posted at PTHS, are offered by the institutions of interest to you, and are listed on and

  • Apply to schools - many application deadlines will be before winter vacation, so plan ahead for letters of recommendation, transcripts, test results and other materials which will be mailed from PTHS.

  • When you submit admissions applications, also make sure to contact the financial aid offices and housing offices at each school.  These offices may have separate applications and deadlines.

  • Keep copies of all your applications.

  • Attend the Financial Aid Night hosted by PTHS and have your parents begin working on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This form is available in the Counseling Office or at
  • January - File your FAFSA form. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) when it is mailed back to you.
  • Confirm that the Counseling Office has a list of your submitted applications so that we may send your seventh semester grades.
  • April  - Finalize your decision about which college you will attend.  Be aware of notification deadlines and acceptance procedures for admissions, financial aid and housing.
  • Graduate, write thank you notes to all of those who have helped you on your way, enjoy your summer!