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Beginning the Home Stretch. A guide to college planning for junior year. Over View . Review Requirements : SMHS Graduation TOPS Louisiana Public University Minimum Admissions Criteria as set forth by the Louisiana Board of Regents College Readiness PSAT Scores LSU Representative.

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beginning the home stretch

Beginning the Home Stretch

A guide to college planning for junior year

over view
Over View

Review Requirements:

SMHS Graduation


Louisiana Public University Minimum Admissions Criteria as set forth by the Louisiana Board of Regents

College Readiness

PSAT Scores

LSU Representative

smhs graduation requirements for the classes of 2012 2013 2013 2014 2014 2015
SMHS Graduation Requirements for the Classes of 2012-2013, 2013-2014, & 2014-2015

Total of 24 Credits Required

Religion 4 Credits-I,II,III,IV

English 4 Credits-I,II,III,IV

Mathematics 4 Credits-Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and 1 unit from Adv. Math, Calculus, Probability and Statistics, or Financial Math

Science 4 Credits-Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and 1 units from Environmental Science, Physics, Biology II, Chemistry II

Social Studies 4 Credits-1 unit of Civics, World History, American History, and 1 unit from Religion I,II,III,IV

Foreign Language 2 Credits-2 units of same, Foreign Language or of Speech Courses

Art 1 Credit-Art, Band, Choir, Fine Arts Survey

Health and Physical Education 2 Credits-PE I/Health, PE II


These are the minimum courses necessary to graduate from SMHS. College entrance standards have changed. Most major universities require their incoming freshmen to have two (2) credits in the same foreign language as well as a fine arts course.


The Board of Regents and TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students) require completion of a specific high school curriculum. Detailed information about each of the programs is available at and is reviewed with the students during the course selection process each year.

putting it all together
Putting it All Together

SMHS Graduation Requirements, Board of Regents, and TOPS have a few differences. It is important to meet the requirements for ALL entities that are included in your goals.

Example 1: 1 unit of Financial Math meets the requirement for SMHS graduation, Board of Regents, but not for TOPS. Probability and Statistics, Advanced Math, and Calculus meet all 3 entity requirements.

Example 2: An additional course to take note of is Foreign Language. While SMHS provides the option to take 2 units of Foreign Language or 2 units of Speech to meet graduation requirements, and the minimum requirements set by the Board of Regents will allow Speech I and II in lou of Foreign Language, TOPS requires 2 units of Foreign Language. If you are interested in receiving TOPS your student must complete 2 units of the same Foreign Language.

Example 3: 1 unit of Fine Arts or 1 unit of a performance course meets graduation requirements, Board of Regents and TOPS; however, some universities, like LSU requires 2 units of a performance art or 1 unit of Fine Art Survey.

Even though the Board of Regents establishes minimum standards for admission to Flagship, Statewide, and Regional universities, institutions still establish their own admission requirements

Each post-secondary institution is different. It is the responsibility of the student to research the requirements for schools that he/she is interested.

louisiana board of regents tops
Louisiana Board of Regents & TOPS

Refer to Websites.

Minimum Admission Standards.

TOPS Core Curriculum.

TOPS Standard Eligibility Requirements.

  • ACT/SAT: It is recommended that all college-bound Juniors take the ACT/SAT at least once in the spring of junior year.
    • Most colleges and universities will accept either the ACT or SAT score, so it may be worth the while to look into both tests.
act vs sat

The ACT and SAT are two very different college entrance exams. Both are nationally administered and are used to help colleges evaluate applicants.

The ACT is an achievement test with four core sections (English, Math, Reading and Science).

The SAT is essentially a three-part aptitude test (Reading, Math, and Writing).

test registration
Test Registration
  • When registering for the ACT or SAT, be sure to have the testing agency send scores directly to LA Tuition Opportunity Program-Students (TOPS) as well as each college or university the student is considering.
    • TOPS ACT Agency Code 1595
    • TOPS SAT Agency Code 9109
  • Note: Some colleges may require that the ACT be taken with Writing at least once. Please look at individual admission requirements before registering for the test.
    • Additionally, special programs within universities, for example, LSU’s Honors College, require the writing section.
  • ACT Registration Website:
  • SAT Registration Website:
act sat test preparation
ACT/SAT Test Preparation
  • Being in the Classroom
  • PSAT Scores
  • On our website you will find many resources that are designed to prepare your student for the ACT or SAT.
    • Kaplain
    • Princeton Review-offers free practice tests at local libraries
    • St. Michael’s online software
course selection
Course Selection

Late February scheduling will take place.

Maintaining a rigorous schedule and competitive GPA.

create an email account for college admissions
Create an Email Account for College Admissions

Students should establish an email account for college admission purposes prior to senior year.

Colleges and universities send periodic updates on the application process and the student’s admission status.

academic r sum
Academic Résumé
  • Prior to the senior year, students should create an academic résumé.
  • Academic résumés are useful when:
    • Requesting letters of recommendation from teachers, administrators, and counselors.
    • When completing college and scholarship applications.
    • When visiting with college representatives.
    • When applying for a part-time job, apprenticeship, or internship.
what should an academic resume include
What Should an Academic Resume Include?
  • Content
    • Grades
    • Volunteer accomplishments
    • Sports awards
    • Leadership accolades
    • Extracurricular Activities
    • Any other achievements from a high school career
  • Sections
    • Identifying Information
      • Name, address, home phone, email
    • Education Section
      • GPA, class rank, anticipated graduation date
    • Academic Awards
      • Academic letterman, Principal’s list
    • School Activities
      • Varsity swim team, Student council, peer ministry team
    • Athletic Awards
      • Varsity letters in swimming
    • Extracurricular Activities
      • Boy Scouts of America, 4-H Club, Altar Server: St. Patrick’s Church
    • Community Service
      • Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, St. Patrick’s Church VBS
    • Additional Activities
      • March for Life, Student Council Retreat, Boy Scout Camp
    • Work Experience
      • Lifeguard
    • Professional Certifications
      • CPR, Lifeguard Training and First Aid
college visits
College Visits

Visit the Campus

Contact admissions office in advance to schedule a tour of the campus.

preparing for your college visit
Preparing for Your College Visit

Prepare a list of questions.

Bring a notebook to record thoughts and impressions.

Take photos.

Schedule an appointment with an undergraduate admissions counselor.

junior check list
Junior Check List
  • College Exploration
    • Websites
  • College Visits
    • Campus Tours
  • Formulate Academic Resume
    • Getting more involved
  • Register for ACT or SAT
    • Take either test this spring
  • Begin thinking about your applications
    • Summer applications
senior year
Senior Year

Senior Meeting in September

FAFSA Information (Deadlines to Apply)

College Application Information

Read the Newsletter

sources cited
Sources Cited

(2012). College Planning Checklist.

Retrieved December 10, 2012 from NACAC website.

(2012). Minimum Admission Standards for First-time Freshmen.

Retrieved December 10, 2012 from the Louisiana Board of Regents Website:

(2012). TOPS Core Curriculum.

Retrieve December 10, 2012 from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance Website: