College Planning

How to Start Planning for College in 10th Grade

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

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.