Do you have a 10th grader that’s now HALFWAY through their sophomore year?

Here’s what your student should complete BEFORE 11th grade (great to focus on for winter semester, 10th grade):

• Meet his or her guidance counselor
• Get involved in extracurricular activities
• Consider a college savings plan and add to an existing one if you have already have one started
• Continue to build credentials – keep track of extracurricular awards, community service achievements, and anything else your student participates in
• Create a resume
• Begin getting ready for the ACT
• Stay on track with courses: make sure you’re enrolled in the classes you need to prepare you for college or a career
• Volunteer in your community
• Start the college search

Do you have an 11th grader that’s now HALFWAY through their junior year?

Here’s what your student should focus on for winter semester, 11th grade:

• Stay involved with extracurricular activities
• Study for the ACT/SAT
• Getting involved: holidays and winter break are great times to volunteer
• Organize college information
• Start narrowing down college choices: if you haven’t already, start planning some college visits
• Note merit scholarship requirements for these colleges
• Continue discussing careers and corresponding majors
• Shadow career fields
• Prepare for standardized tests: research the test requirements of the colleges you wish to attend (SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests) and register for the tests
• Learn more about financial aid
• Apply for scholarships: find scholarships with little competition but can fund a free ride
• Start planning for a productive summer: Check on internship deadlines

Do you have a 12th grader that’s now HALFWAY through their senior year?

Here’s what your student should focus on for winter semester, 12th grade:

• Continue building involvement
• Follow up on your college applications: check with the schools to make sure they have received all information, including test scores, transcripts, and recommendations
• Take the ACT/SAT if scores can still be submitted to colleges
• Keep working hard on your grades
• Complete remaining admissions applications
• Compare the costs of the schools your child is considering
• Update personal statement with fall semester experiences
• Work a part-time job for experience and to save money
• Continue with the scholarship search


As a parent, it’s easy to get caught up in college prep and encouraging your student to stay on top of things, be active, get good test scores and good grades, etc. Don’t forget to cheer your student throughout the process. They have worked so incredibly hard to get here! Make sure to plan breaks and time to reward your student with down time, too. It’s important to remember that, because many students are already putting enough stress on themselves to work hard and get into the college of their dreams.

Winter semester is the PERFECT time for your student to make huge strides towards college and their future, whether they are in 10th, 11th or 12th grade.

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