High school juniors and seniors are well into their college preparation. But college counselor Lisa Micele says it’s not too early for sophomores to start planning.
6 Tips For Sophomore Students
- If you participated in any practice tests this year (i.e. practice ACT or a practice to the PSAT you will take as a junior), now is the time to correct your mistakes. Review your results with your school counselor and seek assistance from your high school English, science and math teachers to correct mistakes as well. Use free online test preparation tools. Your practice PSAT, for instance, will connect you to Khan Academy (in partnership with the College Board).
- Begin to take more ownership of your education. Take the initiative to talk with teachers. If you are seeking advice on how to best prepare for the next test, or you need help finding summer opportunities, you (as the student) should reach out to your school counselor, teachers and mentors. And, if you need a letter of recommendation to endorse you for any summer opportunity, this request should come from you (and not your parents).
- Start creating your profile on free scholarship search engines. Here are two great sites to get you started: Cappex and Fastweb.
- Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts as you begin to think more deeply about your likes, dislikes, hopes and desires for the future. College planning starts with you knowing yourself first — not grabbing a list of colleges. Here are a few sample questions to get you started. Be open to this journey of self-discovery, and embrace the fact that you will grow and change over time.
- Nothing is more important than a strong high-school curriculum. Review your course schedule plans for next year with your school counselor and parent/guardian. While you do not need to declare a major in order to apply to college, if you are showing natural curiosities in an academic area, see what advanced courses, electives, online learning or community resources can feed this interest.
- Summer is right around the corner. You should seek a balance of organized activities with fun downtime. Share your hopes for summer with your parent(s) or guardian(s), and make sure that you show initiative in planning out a summer that is rewarding to you both intellectually and socially. Do you have a genuine desire to serve others? Check out local volunteer efforts that are happening in your backyard, and don’t forget about simply reaching out to a friend in need. Summer employment may be in your future, too.
6 Tips For Sophomore Parents…
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