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As you settle into your sophomore year, think about taking on new challenges to prep for college—this is a great time to do it.

Review the college checklist for ninth grade and use it as part of your college planning process:

Meet with your high school counselor

  •   Schedule an appointment with your school counselor to make sure your course schedule is challenging enough to prepare you for college
  •   Learn about the AP Program and how it can lead to college credit, advanced placement, or both at most colleges in the U.S.
  •   Find out about the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)—it’s accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities and can help you get college credit, save money, and save time

 

Take the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10

 

If you’re thinking of attending a U.S. military academy

  •   Request a precandidate questionnaire from an academy you’re interested in

 

Along with your family, research how to get financial aid

  •   Find out how financial aid can help you afford college, where it comes from, and how you apply for it
  •   College can cost less than you think—learn the basics of college costs

 

Inside the classroom

 

Attend college fairs or a campus tour

  •   Attend at least one college fair and talk to representatives from colleges you may be interested in
  •   If possible, visit a college nearby to see what campus life is like

 

Visit bigfuture.org for more free, comprehensive college planning resources.