High School Freshman Timeline and Checklist

Freshmen in high school can begin planning for college with our step-by-step guide.

High School Freshman Timeline and Checklist

It’s never too early to start preparing for college. Since colleges look at your accomplishments from all four years of high school, you don’t want to wait until your junior year to start thinking about your GPA and college admissions. Our checklist can help you get started.

  • Fall (September-November)
    • Learn about college admissions from A to Z by checking out our college prep glossary.
    • Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss what you can do today to plan for college.
    • Get a jump on college prep by choosing a challenging class schedule with honors and AP classes.
    • Show colleges you’re a well-rounded student by getting involved in extracurricular activities.
  • Winter (December-February)
    • Explore colleges: What kinds of schools should you be looking for?
    • Worried about how you’ll pay for college? You can prepare for college expenses now.
    • Find volunteer activities that are good for you and good for the world.
    • Think about taking SAT subject tests while the curriculum is still fresh in your mind.
  • Spring (March-May)
    • As your peers are losing momentum, refocus your study habits and finish the year off right.
    • Build your college credentials by planning fun ways to get involved this summer.
    • Set yourself up for college success with a sophomore class schedule that emphasizes college.
  • Summer (June-August)
    • Use your summer to explore jobs and careers that interest you.
    • Get yourself to campus! Visit colleges to start finding things you like and don’t like about campuses.
    • Prepare for a new year by finishing your summer reading and AP prep.

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