Your Sophomore year is your time to shine and get your foot in the door!
Below are some things you should do to stay on track to your college plan.
Tip: Paying for Standardized Tests can be expensive. There are also options of getting a fee waiver for your SAT, ACT or AP Courses based on your family's income. You can ask your school counselor for assistance, or contact SAT/ACT Testing Helpine.
Tip: Once your GPA is high from the start, it is easier to work with. If your GPA falls low it is hard to bring it back up!
Tip: When you attend summer programs at the specific college you are applying to this can make your application stand out more, by showing your interest in the school at a young age.
Begin Your College List
It's time to start building your college list. For a guide on how to keep track of your college list click here
There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to pick the best college for you. For a more detailed list check out the Choosing The Right College page
The SAT/ACT are tests that everyone needs to take to get into college. But no fear, there are practice SAT/ACT Prep books and free online sources for you to use. Make sure you check the colleges you're interested in to determine what tests you need to take. Some colleges, depending on the major you choose, will require you to take an SAT Subject Test. This is basically an SAT Test based on a specific subject like Math, English, Science, etc.
Begin Taking AP Courses
Taking Advanced Placement (AP) Classes are great for boosting your GPA and earn college credit in high school! Talk to your college counselor to see if your school offers AP courses, if not do not worry! When they apply to college they know that not every school has AP courses, so they will look to see how much you challenged yourself. Take honors courses instead.
Begin Taking Dual Enrollment Courses
Dual Enrollment is taking college classes at a local community college or university for college credit. This is also a great way to get a head start and experience college-level difficulty. Make sure that the classes you are taking, the credits will transfer to the colleges you are interested in. To figure this out, email or call the admissions office at that school to find out more information.
Participate in a Club, Organization, or Service Learing
Starting your own club at school or joining one you are highly invested in shows the people reading your application that you have leadership skills and dedication to the cause of your organization. It is also a great talking point in your college application essay. If there is an organization that you see yourself being in a high leadership position within the board, then join as a sophomore and work your way up!
Participating in Service or Service-Learning events is a great way to serve your community for a greater cause. By participating in these events you will be able to impact others and have something to reflect on when it comes to writing college essays.
Maintain a Good GPA
One super important thing to keep in mind is your GPA throughout your time in high school. If you try your best to make your GPA as high as possible in your first year then you will be in good standing once classes get a bit harder as you progress to senior year. This is something colleges will look at when you apply to college. For more information on how GPA's work and how it affects you click here.
Spend the Summer at College
Don't want to sit around all summer? Why not spend the summer at college? It doesn't have to be your local college it can be anywhere your parents are willing to take you. By going to college summer programs it exposes you to college life, getting a feel for the campus, and also help figure out what major you may want to get your degree in. There are endless opportunities when it comes to spending the summer at college.
To find a summer program at a college near you, click here!