Going to college is a no-brainer. But how to get there is a more difficult question to answer. No matter you are a high school freshman or senior, here’s a simple roadmap to college for you:

I am a high school freshman.

Plan Discover Do
  • Find a school counselor, teacher or mentor you trust for guidence, help and support.
  • Talk with your parents/guardians now about your goals.
  • Use the Student Planner at StudentAid.Ed.Gov.
  • Visit college.gov for info on financial aid resources.
  • Estimate how much federal student aid you may be able to get at Fafsa4Caster.Ed.Gov
  • Find out what classes you’ll need to graduate.
  • Ask what type of college prep classes you can take.
  • Check into Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in your school.
  • Participate in school and community activities – they can help your college application stand out.
  • Take foreign language and math courses if you aren’t already. Colleges may require them.

I am a high school sophomore.

Plan Prepare Track
  • Find a school counselor, teacher or mentor you trust for guidence, help and support.
  • Ask a college graduate for advice on preparing to go.
  • Use local libraries and the internet to research schools.
  • Consider school options (e.g.: 4-year, 2-year, trade school) and what you’d want in a school (e.g.: size, programs, location).
  • Check into Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in your school.
  • Keep your grades up.
  • Join clubs, sports or volunteer activities.
  • October: take the PSAT test. It’s a good practice for the SAT Reasoning Test, and could win you a scholarship. And/or, take the PLAN test (to prep for the ACT test).
  • Confused about tests? Ask a counselor or teacher.
  • Keep lists of activities you do and awards you win.

I am a high school junior.

Plan Test Do
  • Find a school counselor, teacher or mentor you trust for guidence, help and support. Check in regularly with them for guidance on classes and testing.
  • Check into Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in your school.
  • Find out which college prep tests you should take in your junior year, and be sure to sign up by the deadlines: PSAT, SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Test, ACT and AP exams.
  • Check into test prep offered at your school.
  • Take the appropriate college prep tests: PSAT, SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Test, ACT and AP exams.
  • Keep your grades up. It’s especially important this year.
  • Make a list of up to 10 colleges that you’re interested in.
  • October: get admission requirements from colleges.
  • Spring: attend college fairs, visit colleges.
  • Spring: research scholarships; watch for deadlines.

I am a high school senior.

Fall Spring
  • Get your high school transcript: compare to your choosen college requirements.
  • Ask teachers for letters of recommendation.
  • Apply “early decisions” for your dream schools, if you choose.
  • November: submit all college admissions applications.
  • Register for and take SAT and/or ACT tests. Send your scores to colleges you’ll apply to.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) at Fafsa.Ed.Gov after Jan. 1st or call 1-800-4-FED-AID.
  • Send your last batch of scholarship applications.
  • Ask your schools to send transcripts to colleges you’ve applied to.
  • May: take exams for any AP/IB courses you took.

If you’d like to personalize your own roadmap to college, choose your color, messages or even download it as your PC wallpaper, please click here.

Content source: College.gov

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