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college countdown: your college success starts here


Freshman Year

Freshman: Summer

Jump to Parent Timeline.


Should have done by now
  • Sign up for a challenging but manageable sophomore year.


girl school

  • You are not required to do anything right now.


Helpful, But Not Required
  • Sign up to take the PLAN test in the fall if your school offers it.
  • Sign up to take the PSAT in the fall if your school offers it and allows sophomores to take it. It may be good practice if you plan on taking the PSAT during your junior year to qualify for the National Merit program.
  • Start a file to keep your college and career information organized.
  • Talk to college students about their experiences.
  • Do something productive during the summer, such as volunteer work, internships, or summer classes.




For you to do
  • Think about how your child's college education will be paid for.
  • Determine your family's affordability threshold.
For you to help your student
  • Start getting informed about colleges.
  • Help your child with time management and organization.
  • Walk around nearby colleges with your child.
Ongoing Tasks

- Create your four-year academic plan; include challenging courses.

- Work hard to get good grades.
- Save a few examples of your best work (essays, projects, etc.).
- Keep an updated resume.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities.
- Explore potential career options: talk to people, check the Internet, etc.