High School Freshman Checklist. Prepare to go to college by following this simple checklist.High School Freshman Checklist. Prepare to go to college by following this simple checklist.

Listed are high school checklists by grade:

Freshman College Prep Checklist

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.

  1. Talk to your school counselor. Your counselor can talk to you about the courses you are currently taking and the courses you should take. If you can take honors or AP courses you should take them. If you have a career or major in mind, talk to your guidance counselor about it so you can be sure to take electives and courses that will help you out in that field.
  2. Sit down with your parents/guardian and gain an estimate of your financial aid using FAFSA4caster.ed.gov.
  3. Enroll in extracurriculum activities. This will assist your college applications in the future. Also, over the summer consider volunteering for a good cause.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Start looking at colleges and universities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created a useful resource to quickly look up facts about any college on the College Completion website.
  7. Checkout your state's graduation requirements.
  8. Continue doing your best in school! Your grades affect your overall GPA, and colleges look at that.

Sophomore College Prep Checklist

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Sit down with your parents/guardian and gain an estimate of your financial aid using FAFSA4caster.ed.gov.
  3. 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.
  4. Attend college fairs in your area. If you have a local community college, check to see if they host a college fair.
  5. 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.
  6. Enroll in extracurriculum activities. This will assist your college applications in the future. Also, over the summer consider volunteering for a good cause.
  7. 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.
  8. Checkout your state's graduation requirements.
  9. Continue doing your best in school!

Junior College Prep Checklist

Being proactive in your college preparation during your Junior year is a smart move. There are a few items you can start on this year to prepare you for next year.

  1. Talk to your school counselor. Make sure you are on track to graduate next year. Your guidance counselor should also be able to provide information on how to register for standardized tests and may recommend a different course load.
  2. Sit down with your parents/guardian and gain an estimate of your financial aid using FAFSA4caster.ed.gov.
  3. You will want to register to take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) Test. You have to take this test in the 11th grade in order to qualify for scholarships and programs associated with the National Merit Scholarship Program. This test also prepares you for the SAT.
  4. Register to take the SAT and ACT. You may only need one or the other depending on the colleges you are interested in. If you know what colleges you want to attend already, see which test they require. If you don't like your score this year, don't worry, you can take the test again next year.
  5. Check out scholarships already. Did you can apply for some scholarships the summer before your senior year? Use the U.S. Department of Labor's scholarship search to find scholarships.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Checkout your state's graduation requirements.
  9. Continue doing your best in school!

Senior College Prep Checklist

  1. Keep doing good in school, especially in the 2nd semester. Colleges (and scholarships) still consider those grades.
  2. Enroll in school activities and take on leadership positions if you can. This will help your college applications.
  3. Make sure you are meeting your high school's graduation requirements. You can stop by your guidance counselor to be sure. You can also visit the high school graduation requirements by state page on YourFreeCareerTest.com.
  4. Take the standardized tests colleges expect (SAT/ACT). If there is a college(s) you are interested in, find out what test they require. Also, if you took these tests as a Junior and you are not happy with your school, you can take them again.
  5. Work on your college essay. Many college applications make you have one.
  6. Apply to your chosen colleges by the application deadline.
  7. File your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible after the new year. Ask your parents/guardians to fill out their taxes as soon as possible. You will need their tax information.
  8. Find scholarships and apply to them. Contact the colleges you are applying to and find out if they offer scholarships or have any local scholarships posted.
  9. Checkout your state's graduation requirements.
  10. When you're ready to graduate, visit the dorm room checklist to make sure you have everything you need.