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Schedule Your First Meeting 

Your Catalyst 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 agreement that goes over how you will engage and communicate with your coach, and creating action items that will help you apply to college.



  1. Email the CatalyzED representative at your school.

  2. Use their GoogleCalendar link to sign up for your first appointment.

    • Doctors Charter School Fellows Click Here

    • Miami Beach School Fellows Click Here

  3. Make sure you have all of the required forms completed before the meeting.

    • Parent Consent Form (English, Spanish, Haitian)

    • MDCPS Mutual Consent Form (English, Spanish, Haitian)

    • Tax Forms (Instructions)

Explore Your Interests

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.


  1. Go to

  2. Submit at least 3 majors you are interested in.

  3. Optional: Complete an informational interview with a professional in a field you are interested in, see these resources for more information and schedule a special appointment with your Catalyst to get help!

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Start Researching Colleges

Creating a list of colleges to apply to can be the most challenging part of this whole process. By starting early you will be ready to apply to Fly In programs and Summer Programs offered by colleges you are interested in!

  1. Use to start your search. Make sure to review the CatalyzED powerpoint first to help you determine what is important in finding a “right fit” college. Be sure to check out: colleges with great financial aid and colleges that don’t require SAT/ACT.

  2. There are many great web resources to explore colleges, use this graphic organizer to help you navigate all the noise.

  3. Make sure you have a balanced list by using this analyzer!

  4. Apply to summer programs and fly in programs (scholarships, free and paid opportunities to check out your top choice schools!)

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Create Your Resume

From scholarships to FSU, you will need to submit your resume! This one-page document will will showcase your accomplishments outside of the classroom. Be sure to include family responsibility like watching your siblings, as well as clubs and part time jobs.


  1. Read these instructions on creating a resume for college, be sure to use some of the action verbs.

  2. Review sample exemplar high school resumes from real CatalyzED alumni.

  3. Create a resume from one of the CatalyzED templates or choose your own. Remember, to edit you simple select “File” and “Make a Copy” don’t forget to rename your resume with your full name.

  4. Share with your Catalyst!

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Register and Plan for the ACT/SAT

Doing well on the ACT/SAT means you’ll have more choice in the colleges you get into, even though there are many wonderful test optional schools. Brightfutures will reward students based on their GPA, SAT/ACT, and community service hours by paying for 75% or 100% of Tuition at state universities or colleges. For more information click here!


  1. Make sure to sign up ahead of time to take the ACT or SAT (we recommend taking it more than once.) Here’s a breakdown of the differences.

  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 Catalyst about creating a testing plan.

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Plan Your Summer

Using your summer wisely is a great way to show colleges (and yourself!) that you value your time.


  1. Identify a job, virtual courses, or volunteer placement

  2. Visit a college (check out these resources to plan your visit)

  3. Prepare for August SAT or September ACT

  4. Start your common application after 8/1

  5. Start big scholarships like Questbridge or Gates Scholarship

  6. Work on your personal statement (more on this in the next section!)