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
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT or the PSAT 10 and get feedback through your scores on your college readiness and a free, personalized SAT practice plan to help you get ready for the SAT and for college
- Learn 4 ways to make the most of your PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 scores
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
- Develop time-management skills and get more out of your time in high school
- Create a routine for finishing your homework more efficiently and effectively
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.