High School Freshman PlanCollege is something that you need to be thinking about now. A college education will help you take charge of your future. A college degree means more career opportunities and a greater earning potential; but, it takes some planning and preparation. Don't wait! Now is the time to take charge and aim high! Beginning where you are now, plan your high school program using the checklist below.
9th or 10th Grade – The Freshman and Sophomore Years
- The most important step is to get started.
- Develop an organization system to log your assignments, exams, social events, appointments, job interviews, etc. This will help you manage your time and develop organizational skills.
- Be sure the courses you sign up for are "college prep." These courses will best prepare you for college. Seek the advice of your parents and/or a counselor. Challenge yourself! Take honors and advanced courses when appropriate.
- Begin to explore careers and talk to people in jobs that interest you. What education do those jobs require? Your school library or career center are good places to start.
- Get involved in school and community activities. Develop leadership skills. Involvement may lead to scholarships and/or summer jobs. But don't overdo it; your grades are very important!
- In the 10th Grade, register for the P-ACT (Preliminary American College Test). This will help identify areas for improvement and give you a chance to strengthen future courses.
- Discuss with your parents now about college costs. You can help too by starting to save money from part-time jobs, gifts, etc. Start learning about college costs and financial aid. It is not too early to investigate information.
- Read books continuously. Reading helps you to build your vocabulary and has been proven to help increase math ability as well. Just think, if you read a lot about the things that interest you, you will eventually become an ‘expert’ in those areas.
- Organize any college information you get, such as brochures. Even if it just means putting them in the same pile somewhere. Familiarize yourself with the college application process, so you're not surprised when it comes time to apply. Don’t be the one saying ‘Man, I knew that I should have taken that other class!’
Information, Considerations and Getting Started
Sources of Information
- college catalogs, information bulletins, and videos
- college representatives
- parents, students, and alumni
- school counselors and teachers
- directories and computerized information
- professionals in the field
- community leaders or mentors
- majors available
- opportunities for financial aid
- size of enrollment
- admissions selectivity
- affiliation (public, private, or church related)
- type of community
- minority representation
- sex ratio
- types of housing
- specialized programs
- campus activities
- athletic program
- know yourself and reasons for attending college
- consider college characteristics
- list, compare, and visit colleges
- apply for admission and observe deadlines
- develop a plan to finance your education review and finalize your plans
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