The Darien High School Guidance Department strives to provide optimal educational planning through individually guided course selection, personal assistance with the college selection process, student training in study skills, and awareness of summer enrichment programs, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities while providing parents and teachers with information to help in our joint endeavors of assisting the development of the individual student


  • Think about career plans
  • Register for PSAT/NMSQT
  • Obtain dates/places of College Fairs
  • Purchase or borrow college reference books
  • Plan next two years extracurricular and community service activities
  • Be sure to have your Social Security number


  • Read PSAT/NMSQT Bulletin
  • Take PSAT
  • Develop list of interests
  • Study hard!


  • Talk to counselor about college interests
  • Begin to involve parents in college choice process
  • Put forth best academic effort in these last years
  • Attend Darien/New Canaan College Fair


  • Using PSAT/NMSQT results and materials begin to develop range of colleges

  • Read “Taking the SAT”

  • Talk with graduates who are home from college

  • Attend “Financing College” night

  • Attend “How It Is” on the last school day before the holiday to hear DHS alumni talk about college


  • Continue career exploration
  • Prepare for Semester Exams - - colleges look at junior year grades
  • Register for Spring SAT or College Board Achievement Tests (ACT)


  • Plan senior year courses
  • Begin college search
  • Research interesting and challenging summer courses, jobs, or activities
  • Check deadlines for Advanced Placement (AP) tests


  • Complete your senior pre-registration with your counselor

  • Consider taking ACT in courses you are finishing this year
  • Apply for proposed summer activities


  • Develop a preliminary list of colleges
  • Write or call for applications and viewbooks
  • File service academies and ROTC scholarship applications
  • Begin college visits (Spring vacation is a good time for this)
  • Explore Early Decision/Early Action options


  • Identify teachers whom you may ask for recommendations
  • AP Exams
  • Take SAT/ACT
  • Plan challenging senior year


  • Take SAT or Achievement Tests
  • Continue the college search, and discuss it with your counselor
  • Arrange summer visits to colleges and/or interviews for summer
  • If you don’t have a job, try volunteering