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college countdown: your college success starts here


Sophomore Year

Sophomore: Summer

Jump to Parent Timeline.


Should have done by now
  • Sign up for a challenging but manageable junior year.
  • Talk with your parents about how your college education will be paid for and how much you can afford to spend.

teens laptop studying 

  • Nothing is required right now.
Helpful, But Not Required
  • Think about what you need and want in a college.
  • Register and prepare for the PSAT if your school offers it. Scholarsips are awarded for high scores
  • Plan how many times and when to take the SAT or ACT.
  • Register and prepare for the SAT and/or ACT.
  • 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.
  • Talk with your child about how his or her college education will be paid for and your family's affordability threshold.
To help your student
  • Help your child with time management and organization.
  • Make sure your child has a quiet place to study without distraction.
  • Start getting informed about colleges.
  • Walk around nearby colleges with your child.
  • Start thinking about SAT and ACT test prep.
Ongoing Tasks
- Review and update your 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.
- Stay involved in extracurricular activities.
- Explore potential career options: talk to people, check the Internet, job shadow, etc.
- Prepare for standardized tests.
- Start thinking about colleges you'd like to visit.
- Establish relationships with your teachers and your counselor.
- Talk with college students about their experiences.
- Keep and organize any college or career information that you think is important.