High School Checklist: Freshman through Senior Year

Quenosha Payton

Navigating the college process takes proper planning and early action! Here’s a short checklist to help you keep track of important tasks to complete in each year of your high school journey. 


Freshman Year


Sophomore Year

  • Meet with your school counselor for a follow-up on your grades from freshman year
  • Implement any advice gained from your school counselor check-in into your yearly plan
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT® or PSAT™ 10 to get familiar with the testing format and time constraints before taking the SAT/ACT your junior year
  • Get more involved if you can by adding extracurricular activities to your schedule (Guide to Choosing the Best High School Extracurricular Activities & Electives)
  • Add electives to your schedule that all you to explore areas of study that you might be interested in
  • Research your future career
    • Learn its education requirements
    • Expecting annual earnings for the next 3-5 years
    • Review LinkedIn profiles of people currently in that profession to see the steps they took to get there
  • Start your college search!
    • Decide what you want and need in a college
    • Research and develop a list of 20 colleges that offer your major and fit those needs you’d like to attend
    • Request information from those colleges
    • Review their acceptance/graduation rates, financial aid, scholarships resources, and tuition costs


Junior Year

Senior Year


More Helpful Reads

How to Create a Four-Year Plan for High School Freshmen

College Readiness Tests: PSAT/NMSQT® and PSAT™ 10 Guide

Why You Should Visit Your School Counselor (Early College Prep)

Should You Apply to College Early?

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