College Prep

It's never too early to start planning for college! This page is designed as a basic guide to help high school students plan their road to college.

Recommended College Preparatory Classes

If planning to attend university in the United States:

  • English and Literature: 4 years

  • Math: 3 to 4 years (if interested in STEM major, through Calculus AB or BC)

  • World Language: 2 to 3 years

  • Laboratory/Natural/Physical Science: 3 to 4 years

  • History and Social Science: 2 years

  • Electives: 3 years

Example Planning Calendar

The following is the recommended schedule for CAJ students who are planning to attend U.S. universities.

Freshmen- Grade 9

  • Start thinking about college and career possibilities.

  • Plan to take the following courses in high school (2 credits = one year):

- Bible: 4 credits (optional)

- English: 8 credits

- Fine Arts: 1 credit

- World Language: 4 credits

- Mathematics: 4 credits (more if going into STEM)

- PE/Health: 5 credits

- Science: 4 credits (more if going into STEM)

- Social Studies: 6 credits

- Electives: 12 credits

  • Get involved in some extracurricular activities. Colleges prefer students who are well-rounded in their activities.

  • Talk to your parents about your future plans and how you can get the most out of high school experience.

  • Create a high school resume. Include:

- Awards and certificates presented to you.

- A list of awards and honors you receive.

- A list of all community organizations you join.

- A list and brief description of paid and volunteer work.

  • Consider talking an AP course next year.

  • Update your resume each semester throughout high school.

Sophomores - Grade 10

  • Practice taking standardized tests by taking the PSAT in October.

  • Consider attending a college fair and talking to college representatives when they visit CAJ. If you live close enough to CAJ to do this, please contact the SSS Director to let her know the types of schools you’re interested in.

  • Consider whether or not you should take AP courses during your junior or senior year and which classes.

  • Update your high school file.

Juniors - Grade 11

Summer - October

  • Self-evaluation: Consider your personality, interests, values, abilities and spiritual direction. Talk with parents and consider online interest inventories.

  • Visit colleges if possible.

September - November

  • Begin researching colleges.

  • Prepare for the SAT or ACT.

- Most colleges accept either the SAT or the ACT.

- Look at both ACT and SAT prep material to determine which format you prefer.


  • Request more information from interest colleges and learn admissions standards.

  • Work on improving weak areas in the PSAT to prepare for the SAT or ACT.

  • Consider registering for the SAT in January or the ACT in Februrary or April.

March - April

  • Select courses for your senior year (remember college admissions standards).

  • Register for the May or June SAT (general or subject).

- You may take up to 3 subject tests on one test date.

May - June

  • Plan summer visits to colleges if possible.

  • Consider volunteer or internship summer jobs.

  • Take the ACT or SAT (general and/or subject).

Summer between junior and senior years

  • Continue your college research process throughout the summer and begin to narrow down your list.

  • Visit colleges if possible.

  • Update your high school resume with your accomplishments, activities, and work experience.

Seniors - Grade 12


  • Consider attending college fairs.

  • Arrange for an interview from college reps if possible.

  • Narrow down your list of colleges and decide where you will apply.

  • Brainstorm for your application essays.

  • Begin investigating scholarship opportunities.

  • Register online for the October and November SAT or ACT if you need to.

  • Note that the Japanese Language SAT subject test is only offered in November.

  • Decide if you want to apply for "early decision" or "early action" at any college. (Make sure you understand this option completely before you choose it.)


  • Begin the application process, remembering the possible components:

- Application form (paper or online)

- Essays

- Recommendations

- Transcript

- Interview

  • Be aware of the varying application deadlines.

  • Take the SAT or ACT.

  • Complete applications to meet November deadlines.


  • Talk to your parents about college financing strategies.

- Determine how much your parents can contribute.

- Become familiar with the financial aid options available from the colleges you are applying to.

- Begin researching for scholarships online.

- Know financial aid deadlines for the individual colleges you are applying to.

  • Take the SAT or ACT.

  • Complete applications to meet December deadlines.


  • U.S. citizens applying to U.S. colleges: Begin filling out the FAFSA.

  • If required by your colleges, fill out the CSS profile (for financial aid).

  • Complete applications to meet January deadlines.

January - February

  • Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 and before the March 15 deadline.

  • Continue searching for scholarships.

  • Complete applications to meet February deadlines.

March - April

  • Watch the mail or online postings for acceptance decisions.

  • Choose which college you will attend and notify ALL colleges of your decision.

  • Complete matriculation requirements:

- Housing application

- Medical forms

- International students: Apply for your student visa

- Pay your deposit

May - June

  • Request your final transcript.


Japanese Universities with English programs

Have you ever wondered how students who do their high school studies in English can attend a Japanese university? There are now 27 universities in Japan with English tracks:

1 Akita International University 秋田国際教養大学

2 Doshisha University 同志社大学

3 Hokkaido University 北海道大学

4 Housei University 法政大学

5 International Christian University 国際基督教大学

6 International University of Health and Welfare 国際医療福祉大学

7. Keio University 慶應義塾大学

8. Kyushu University 九州大学

9. Nagoya University 名古屋大学

10 Meiji Gakuin University 明治学院大学

11 Meiji University 明治大学

12. Osaka University 大阪大学

13. Rikkyo Universitty 立教大学

14. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) 立命館アジアパシフィック大学

15 Ritsumeikan University 立命館大学

16 Sophia Univeristy 上智大学

17 Tama University 多摩大学 (Japanese & English program)

18 The University of Tokyo 東京大学

19 Tohoku University 東北大学

20 Tokyo Christian University 東京基督教大学

21 Tokyo College of Music 東京音楽大学

22 Tokyo International University 東京国際大学

23 Tokyo Metropolitan University 首都大学東京

24 University of Tsukuba 筑波大学

25 Waseda University 早稲田大学

26 Yamanashi Gakuin University 山梨学院大学

27 Yokohama National University 横浜国立大学

Examination for Japanese university admission