You have a few years to go before going to college but there are a few items you can work on to be college-ready. Review this high school freshmen college checklist to track your progress.
- Talk to your school counselor about your college aspirations. Your counselor can talk to you about the courses you are currently taking in high school and the courses you could consider taking your sophomore through senior year to set you up for success. If you can take honors or AP courses, consider taking those. If you have a career or major in mind, talk to your guidance counselor about the career so you can be sure to take electives and courses that will help you out in that field and prepare you for the courses you will take in college.
- Sit down with your parents or guardian and gain an estimate of your financial aid using FAFSA4caster.ed.gov. Bear in mind, the government has many grants, loans, and tax credit programs to help those with financial need go to college.
- Enroll in extracurricular activities in high school. This will assist your college applications in the future. Also, over the summer consider volunteering for a good cause. Volunteering gives you experience and a sense of accomplishment when helping others. It also demonstrates to a college that they will be gaining a student who helps the community and goes over and beyond.
- Attend college fairs in your area. Even though you are a Freshman, you can still go. If you have a local community college, check to see if they host a college fair. These fairs are fun, you can ask questions, and you can usually walk away with a lot of swag from colleges. Enjoy!
- Learn about careers and their occupational outlook. Research what career you may be interested in — this will help you when selecting a major and a college. Use the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook for your research.
- Start looking at colleges and universities now. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created a useful resource to quickly lookup facts about any college on the College Completion website.
- Continue doing your best in school! Your grades affect your overall GPA, and colleges look at that.