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Sunday, January 31, 2010

College Prep 101 - 10th Grade

All 10th grade planning steps are shown.
College Planning steps are highlighted.

Keep those grades up!
You might have a lot going on this year, but it's important to stay focused on your schoolwork. Calculate your GPA and see if you need to brush up on any subjects.
Sign up for a college savings account or continue to add money to an existing account.
Talk to your parents about financial aid options. It's a good idea to start talking about how you're going to pay for college.
Continue your conversations with your guidance counselors, teachers, family members or trusted adults about your plans to meet your education and career plans.
Find out about AP and other honors-level courses for junior year.These can help you prepare for college or earn college credit. Explore post-secondary credit opportunities including college, technical schools, special purpose schools, apprenticeships, and the military related to your selected career interest.
Update your college planning file — or start one, if you haven't already.
Continue extracurricular activities.
Remember, many admissions officers look for well-rounded students who participate in the world around them.
If you have room in your schedule, consider a part-time job or volunteer position.
Look into participating in academic enrichment programs, summer workshops and camps with specialty focuses such as music, arts and sciences.
Check into work-based learning experiences such as career-related field trips, job shadowing, entrepreneurial ventures, internships, cooperative education and youth apprenticeships.
Take the PSAT in October.
The scores will not count for National Merit Scholar consideration this year, but it is good practice for taking the PSAT in your junior year (when the scores will count).
It's not too early to start studying for standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. A great place to start is with the Test Prep section.
Investigate your options for participating in post-secondary credit course enrollment next year.
This allows juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses if they meet certain requirements. Examples include the Accel program, dual enrollment and articulated credit.
Make a list of reasons why you like different post-secondary institutions - programs, location, cost and so on.
Visit college campuses and "tour" colleges in the Explore Schools section.
Start thinking about what factors are important to you in choosing a college: size, location, availability of extracurricular activities, for example.
Meet with your school counselor and talk with your parents and teachers to discuss future post-secondary plans: explore all your opportunities.
Keep reading!
Expanding your vocabulary and learning new things will help with many things over the next few years.

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