Becoming College-Ready by High School Graduation

Tips for navigating high school to best prepare your child for college.

Staying on track with so many dates and deadlines can be a struggle. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you go through each year of high school.

Freshman Year

Although ninth grade seems so far away from college, this is technically when college prep begins. While there are no tests or deadlines to consider for this period, looking at clubs and extracurriculars is important. It’s an opportunity to explore your interests, and if something is not for you, choosing to leave an organization will not be impactful at this point.

Sophomore Year

In 10th grade, selecting the clubs you want to focus on is key. At this point, student organizations begin to consider which students are potential candidates for leadership positions later on. During the second semester, you can also take the PSAT10 and practice ACT to get some practice for standardized tests ahead of time.

Junior Year

During the first semester of 11th grade, you should begin making final preparations for standardized tests. Schedule at least one of each test (the SAT and ACT) before the end of this year. Eleventh grade is also the time to be thinking seriously about taking on leadership positions in student organizations.

Senior Year

College applications typically start during the first semester of 12th grade. Before applying, make sure you’re satisfied with your standardized test scores—this is the last chance to re-take the ACT and SAT. Are you going to be applying early action or early decision? Be sure to file on time. Most applications are due at the start of your second semester, with regular decisions going out in early spring.

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