Being proactive in your college preparation during your Sophomore year is a smart move. There are a few items you can start on this year to prepare you for next year.
- Talk to your school counselor. Your counselor can talk to you about the courses you are currently taking and the courses you should take your junior and senior year.
- Sit down with your parents/guardian and gain an estimate of your financial aid using FAFSA4caster.ed.gov.
- Consider registering to take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) Test. This test will prepare you for the SAT. You can also take the ACT Plan (pre-ACT) Test. The ACT Plan Test according to the ACT.org website, “contains four curriculum-based assessments—English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science—and includes a career exploration component that stimulates students’ thinking about future plans and relates personal characteristics to career options.” You will need to take these tests in the 11th grade in order to qualify for scholarships and programs associated with the National Merit Scholarship Program. Taking these tests now will prepare you when you take the ACT/SAT tests in the future.
- Attend college fairs in your area. If you have a local community college, check to see if they host a college fair.
- 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.
- Enroll in extracurriculum activities. This will assist your college applications in the future. Also, over the summer consider volunteering for a good cause.
- Start looking at schools to apply too. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created a useful resource to quickly look up facts about any college on the College Completion website.
- Continue doing your best in school!