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College Checklist for High School Freshman

A brief outline of important activities and milestones for high school freshman and parents is listed here. As a valuable supplement to our Admissions Guide, you are more likely to get into your college of choice by following a roadmap. Navigating your freshman year in high school can be different for each student. Staying on track and directing efforts in productive means is within your reach.

Below you will find a list of important activities to consider as you move from quarter to quarter or semester to semester in high school. Setting yourself up for success starts early and requires consistent effort over time and is by no means a singular event.

It is important to use this guide to begin preparing for college. Admissions teams at colleges and universities look closely at academic performance starting freshman year and a commitment to grades plus quality extracurricular programs can be quite appealing. Get plugged in and get ready to get your college plans in place with our guidance below.

Freshman Year Fall:  September, October, November

  • Map out a plan. Set goals. Plan milestones and associated activities. Start by reading the Match College Complete Guide to the College Admission Process.
  • Meet with your counselor to establish a working relationship and talk about your goals. Map out a set of challenging classes that help you best prepare for college including AP classes.
  • Get involved with groups and/or athletics to demonstrate your burgeoning discipline and commitment.

Freshman Year Winter:  December, January, February

  • Do your research and discover colleges that may fit into your plans.
  • Schedule a time to sit for an SAT subject test to help build proper constructs to the actual test.
  • Build a plan to help you budget out college life.
  • Plug into extracurricular activities. Sports, non-profit organizations, clubs, memberships, groups or teams. Get involved and commit.

Freshman Year Spring:  March, April, May

  • Meet with your counselor to confirm a rigorous sophomore year class schedule.
  • Make your college profile more robust by getting involved over the summer. Whether you are considering extracurricular activities, classes at a community college, or a job, make it an impactful choice.
  • Revisit your goals, back check your progress on your milestones and sharpen your activities.

Freshman Year Summer:  June, July, August

  • Take the time to perform more research on colleges and prospective careers.
  • Road trip: go visit a few local colleges and universities. Create a list of pros and cons about each school you visit. Knowing what you like and what you do not like is an important way to filter choices.
  • Read voraciously and get mentally prepared for your sophomore year in high school.

The next step in your college planning process is to get ready for your next academic school year. To find out what steps are involved to be equipped for college as a high school sophomore, check out our guide here. The more organized and informed you are, the better equipped you will be to be ready for life's undulations while still remaining focused on your goals.For additional resources, make sure to visit MatchCollege and subscribe to our blog for the latest in college information.

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