College Preparation While in High School
High School students should do most of your college planning and preparation in your junior and senior years.
College planning starts in earnest in the junior year of high school. So, if you’re a freshman or sophomore, does that mean you should not be thinking of college? Of course not! In some ways, your choice of high school classes and course load during those first two years does have an impact on your college applications, but, in terms of beginning to identify, narrow down, and apply to colleges… well, that process really starts your junior year and continues through the end of your senior year when college acceptance letters arrive.
It’s in your junior year that you’ll take the PSAT early in the year and the SAT and/or ACT later in the year… and begin getting more and more letters and materials from colleges.
It’s in your senior year that you may take the SAT and/or ACT one more time, make some final choices about which colleges to apply to, and then spend the spring waiting for those decision letters.
To view more about each year, click the right arrow below.
Need help with any of the terms described on this page? If so, find the answers in our High School College-Bound and College Planning Glossary.
Return to the main page of the College Planning Tutorial.
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