It’s smart to start thinking about college early, but we don’t want you to burn out before senior year. College search and application planning will naturally speed up as you near the end of high school. But if you’ll feel calmer following a college prep guideline, here’s a brief one for you:

  • 9th and 10th grades:
    • Push—but don’t overwhelm—yourself with challenging classes
    • Take the PSAT for National Merit eligibility
    • Involve yourself in personally meaningful extracurriculars
    • Explore different career fields based on your interests
  • 11th grade:
    • Research and visit colleges
    • Create a college list of schools you plan to apply to
    • Take the SAT or ACT tests in the spring
    • Plan purposeful summer activities
  • 12th grade:
    • Write college application essays
    • Take the SAT or ACT one last time (optional)
    • Submit college applications that accurately reflect YOU
    • Apply for scholarships and grants
    • Make an enrollment decision and commit to the right college for you