College-Ready Timeline: Your Sophomore Year

During your sophomore year, you should continue to work on activities that will assist you with your goal to attend college. Here are some steps you can take to keep you on track and moving forward.

At Home

  • Communicate your thoughts about college with your parents.
    –  Are you thinking of staying close to home and commuting or moving away for college?
    –  How will you pay for college? Will your parents be able to assist with tuition or will you need to explore scholarship, loan or work opportunities?
    –  Use a tuition calculator to get an idea of what your college education will cost.
  • Chat with a college student that you know about their experience. Is there anything they would have done differently to prepare for college?
  • Obtain a Social Security card if you don’t already have one. ( A Social Security number is required for college applications, standardized tests, and financial aid.

In School

  • Meet with your counselor as early as possible in the school year to be sure you are enrolled in the appropriate academic track.
  • Colleges generally prefer three to four years of English, history, math, science, and a language. Talk to your guidance counselor about what Advanced Placement classes you can take and how to enroll in them.
  • Get involved with extracurricular activities such as DECA and/or other student organizations. Being involved can often lead to scholarship opportunities. (
  • Learn about the PLAN or PSAT ( tests which will help prepare you for the ACT/SAT. Information can also be found at and

Research Majors and Careers

  • Consider learning more about possible majors that you might like to study.
  • If you’re unsure, try taking a quiz at Based on your interests, you’ll find a list of majors that can help you decide.
  • Watch career videos and learn more about the training, employment opportunities, and salary for your career interests.

Explore Colleges

  • Begin thinking about what schools you’re interested in attending. For suggestions, talk to people who know you well, such as family, teachers or friends.
    –    Talk to your guidance counselor about college programs they recommend based on your interests and career aspirations.
  • Learn more about colleges online by attending virtual college fairs, such as College Week Live and Virtual College Fairs.
  • Once you’ve made a list of possible schools, visit their Web sites. Send emails to those schools to get on their mailing lists.
  • Visit colleges while they’re in session to get an idea of what they’re like.

Sophomore Year Assessment

As the end of the school year comes to a close, now is a good time to reflect on what you have accomplished during the year as well as areas for improvement.

  • Check in with your guidance counselor before the school year ends. Ask for an assessment on how well you are doing preparing for college. Are you missing any critical classes or other factors that could impact admissions?  
  • If you took the PLAN or PSAT test, review your scores. See where your weaknesses are and work on those areas.
  • Review your extra-curriculum activities. If you haven’t been involved you should make every effort to do so during the upcoming school year.
Categories: College, College Career Advice