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High School Planning Guide

Even if you don’t think college is in your future, most of these steps are useful. And if your plans change, you will be ready.

Freshman Year (9th Grade)

  • Research high school course requirements for several colleges you might attend. Plan a tentative four-year plan for high school.
  • Explore career interests.
  • Begin a list of church, sports, community service, and other extra-curricular activities, especially note any leadership roles. Keep a file with records of these, as well as any awards, letters of recommendation (from employers or leaders of volunteer activities), etc.
  • Begin a list of books read.
  • Begin your transcript. (You can view a number of sample transcripts at http://www.hslda.org/highschool/academics.asp#transcripts.)
  • Prepare a tentative budget for high school and college. Consider part time work to meet future financial needs.

Sophomore Year (10th Grade)

  • Research high school course requirements for several colleges you might attend. Revise your four-year plan for high school.
  • Begin to investigate potential colleges (plan visits) and scholarships. Note dates for early admission and scholarship deadlines.
  • Explore career interests.
  • Continue list of church, sports, community service, and other extra-curricular activities, especially note any leadership roles. Keep a file with records of these, as well as any awards, letters of recommendation (from employers or leaders of volunteer activities), etc.
  • Continue list of books read.
  • Consider making a plan to earn CLEP credits (www.collegeboard.com).
  • Revise your transcript, adding this year’s courses and grades. (See http://www.hslda.org/highschool/academics.asp#transcripts.)
  • Prepare a tentative budget for high school and college. Consider part time work to meet future financial needs.
  • If you are strong academically, at the end of the school year consider contacting your local public or Christian school for registration information about the PSAT and to request from them the Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT. PSAT tests are given in October to juniors (www.collegeboard.com).

Junior Year (11th Grade)

  • Research high school course requirements for several colleges you might attend. Revise your four-year plan for high school.
  • Investigate potential colleges (plan visits) and scholarships. Note dates for early admission and scholarship deadlines.
  • Explore career interests.
  • Continue list of church, sports, community service, and other extra-curricular activities, especially note any leadership roles. Keep a file with records of these, as well as any awards, letters of recommendation (from employers or leaders of volunteer activities), etc.
  • Continue list of books read.
  • Consider taking the PSAT in the fall (see information in sophomore year).
  • Prepare for SAT/ACT. The Official SAT Study Guideand the The Official ACT Prep Guide are available from My Father’s World.
  • Register online for the ACT (www.act.org) and/or the SAT (www.collegeboard.com) to take the test junior year, winter or spring. This allows you time to retake the test if needed.
  • Create a resume that includes community service, extra-curricular activities, awards, travel, and employment.
  • Consider CLEP credits (www.collegeboard.com). Check with the colleges you may attend for their CLEP policies.
  • Revise your transcript, adding this year’s courses and grades. (See http://www.hslda.org/highschool/academics.asp#transcripts.)
  • Prepare a tentative budget for high school and college. Consider part time work to meet future financial needs.

Senior Year (12th Grade)

  • Research high school course requirements for several colleges you might attend. Revise your four-year plan for high school.
  • Possibly retake ACT/SAT early in the senior year.
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application of Federal Student Aid) on time.
  • Explore career interests.
  • Continue list of church, sports, community service, and other extra-curricular activities, especially note any leadership roles. Keep a file with records of these, as well as any awards, letters of recommendation (from employers or leaders of volunteer activities), etc.
  • Continue list of books read.
  • Investigate potential colleges (include visits) and scholarships. Note due dates for applications, and complete all applications before due dates.
  • Update resume to include community service, extra-curricular activities, awards, travel, and employment.
  • Consider CLEP credits (www.collegeboard.com). Check with the college(s) you intend to attend for their CLEP policies.
  • Complete your high school transcript, adding this year's courses and grades. (See http://www.hslda.org/highschool/academics.asp#transcripts.)
  • Celebrate your graduation with family and friends.
  • Prepare a tentative budget for college. Consider part time work to meet future financial needs.
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