High School

High School

Freshmen

This is the start of something big. Your first year of high school is an exciting time, full of new faces and new experiences. The next four years will have some new challenges, and you’ll build up some new accomplishments along the way. After high school seems like forever away – you only just started! It’s important to start your college plan early though, because it will be here before you know it.


Getting prepared for college and your career can be easy. This checklist will help you to be prepared for what’s ahead. Read through the list items and follow the links to work through each one.

  1. Read LEARN MORE magazine
    Take some time to read through your Learn More magazine. It’s all about thinking about your career, planning for college and how you can pay for it all. You should have gotten a copy from your school, but if not, you can also download a copy here.
  2. Review and update your high school graduation plan
    Meet with your guidance counselor at the beginning of the year to make sure your graduation plan reflects your college and career goals. If you’ve been keeping track of your plan online, login in to Indiana Career Explorer to review it and make any adjustments in your class schedule as soon as possible. Learn more about graduation plans here.
  3. Explore careers
    Use the resources on this site to learn about different careers, explore your interests and take a career assessment. You can also learn about what degrees are required for different careers. Visit the career section and learn more about which future sounds right for you.
  1. Participate in extracurricular activities
    You’re finding your way around your classes, but be sure to participate in activities both in and out of school. These activities will let you explore what you like doing, they’ll help you meet great friends, and they’ll help add experience to your college applications. Learn more about extracurricular activities here.
  2. Research Indiana colleges
    Learn about the different kinds of colleges around Indiana and the types of degrees that they offer. You can start making a list of colleges that you might be interested in attending based on your career goals. Visit the college section to learn more.
  3. Talk to your parents about money
    Start saving for college now! Talk to your parents about opening an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan. If you already have an account set up, great job! You can help your parents save by setting aside allowance, birthday money or money you’ve gotten from a job that can go into your account. You can login or sign up for an account at CollegeChoiceDirect.com.
  4. 21st Century Scholars: Complete your requirements
    If you’re a 21st Century Scholar you will need to complete three activities each year as part of the Scholar Success Program. Track your progress online and complete the requirements by creating a ScholarTrack account here.


Sophomores

There’s a year of high school behind you, and your whole future in front. It’s your sophomore year. You know your way around school and your classes are going well. You might be thinking that it’ll all be easy from here, but it’s important to stay focused and keep on track. See how you can continue preparing for college through your sophomore year.


Applying to colleges and choosing where you want to go after high school will be here before you know it. This checklist will help you to be prepared for what’s ahead. Read through the list items and follow the links to work through each one.

  1. Read LEARN MORE magazine
    Take some time to read through your Learn More magazine. It’s all about thinking about your career, planning for college and how you can pay for it all. You should have gotten a copy from your school, but if not, you can also download a copy here.
  2. Review and update your high school graduation plan
    Meet with your guidance counselor at the beginning of the year to make sure your graduation plan reflects your college and career goals. If you’ve been keeping track of your plan online, login in to Indiana Career Explorer to review it and make any adjustments in your class schedule as soon as possible. Learn more about graduation plans here.
  3. Sign up for the PSAT
    As a sophomore, you should sign up to take the PSAT. It’s a free test for Indiana sophomores that will help you get ready for college entrance exams. A high score could even potentially open up scholarship opportunities. Learn more about entrance exams here.
  1. Take a career interests assessment 
    A Career Interest Assessment is an online tool that asks you a series of questions to help identify careers that align with your interests and goals.First, you should think about your interests and skills. You can explore your interests, find out your personality style and learn about career clusters – all by researching careers here. The easiest way to assess your interests is to access Indiana Career Explorer.
  2. Talk to your parents about money
    Start saving for college now! Talk to your parents about opening an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan. If you already have an account set up, great job! You can help your parents save by setting aside allowance, birthday money or money you’ve gotten from a job that can go into your account. You can login or sign up for an account at CollegeChoiceDirect.com.
  3. Get workplace experience
    Real-world experience is a great way to get a better sense of what a certain job or workplace is like. Plus, you’ll learn about responsibility, time management, and how to act in a professional environment. Learn how you can get workplace experience here.
  4. 21st Century Scholars: Complete your requirements
    If you’re a 21st Century Scholar, you will need to complete three activities each year as part of the Scholar Success Program. Track your progress online and complete the requirements by logging in to your ScholarTrack account.


Juniors

This is a special year for you. Driving, prom, and planning for college. From taking entrance exams like the SAT, to scheduling college visits to get a feel for how each college might work for you, there’s so much to work on that it can be easy to be overwhelmed. Don’t worry, just take the process one thing at a time.


Graduation will be here sooner than you think, so the following checklist will help you to prepare for what’s just around the corner. Read through this list, and follow the links to work through each item.

  1. Read Indiana NEXT
    Take some time to read through Indiana NEXT: it’s a guide to life after high school. You should have gotten a copy from your school counselor, but you can also view a copy here.
  2. Review and update your high school graduation plan
    Meet with your guidance counselor at the beginning of the year to make sure your graduation plan reflects your college and career goals. If you’ve been keeping track of your plan online, login in to Indiana Career Explorer to review it and make any adjustments in your class schedule as soon as possible. Learn more about graduation plans here.
  3. Sign up for the SAT and/or ACT
    As a junior, you should sign up to take your college entrance exams. Strong test scores will look good on your college applications, and may help you qualify for scholarships. If you haven’t already taken the PSAT, you might want to take that and get in practice before the real thing. Learn more about entrance exams here. Speak to your school counselor to find out if you’re eligible for fee waivers, which could qualify you to take your exams for free or at a reduced rate.
  1. Visit colleges you’re interested in
    By now, you hopefully have an idea of the colleges you might want to attend. If not, no worries, visit the college section to learn more about which colleges might fit with your interests. This year you should plan visits to colleges you think you may want to attend. Review the map of Indiana colleges and the list of Indiana college degree programs to help you make a list of your top schools. Make sure to select colleges that will help you achieve the career goals you’re going after. To see which colleges offer virtual tours, visit here and begin touring.
  2. Calculate the cost of college
    Start thinking about the type of college you want to attend, how many years you might be in school, and how much you have saved so far. You can plug this information into the Indiana College Costs Estimator to help you compare college costs. Knowing the cost will make it easier to plan on how you’ll pay for your education.
  3. Search for Scholarships
    College is expensive. You should pursue as many scholarship opportunities as possible to help cover these costs. Search for local Indiana scholarships, as well as national scholarships. Many free scholarship search sites are available online to help you search for national scholarships. You can find more information about financial aid and scholarships.
  4. 21st CENTURY SCHOLARS:  Complete your requirements
    If you’re a 21st Century Scholar, you will need to complete three activities each year as part of the Scholar Success Program. Track your progress online and complete the requirements by logging into your ScholarTrack account.


Seniors

This is it. The last push. You’re at the top, and graduation is almost here. Sometimes it’s easy to slow down and coast, but this year is do or die for your college education.


High school graduation is coming up, so this checklist will help you stay prepared for what’s ahead. Read through the items on the list and follow the links to work through each one.

  1. Read Indiana NEXT
    Take some time to read through Indiana NEXT: it’s a guide to life after high school. You should have gotten a copy from your school counselor, but you can also view a copy here.
  2. Review and update your high school graduation plan
    Meet with your guidance counselor at the beginning of the year to make sure your graduation plan reflects your college and career goals. If you’ve been keeping track of your plan online, login in to Indiana Career Explorer to review it and make any adjustments in your class schedule as soon as possible. Learn more about graduation plans here.
  3. Retake the ACT or SAT if needed
    The college you are hoping to attend could have minimum scores they are looking for on entrance exams. If you want to try for a higher score before you submit your applications, you can retake these tests. Read more about entrance exams here.
  1. If you haven’t already, make a list of your top colleges
    This is the year when you apply, so it’s important to know where you’ll want to go. To help you make your list, review the map of Indiana colleges and the list of Indiana college degree programs. Make sure that the colleges you select will actually be able to help you achieve your career goals.
  2. Start applying to colleges
    Once you have narrowed down the colleges you plan to apply for, work on researching the application requirements for each one. Review a list of steps to help you with the application process here.
  3. File your FAFSA
    Remember, April 15 is the deadline to file your FAFSA. You will have to do this before you can receive financial aid. An overview of the process is available here.
  4. 21st CENTURY SCHOLARS: Complete your requirements
    If you’re a 21st Century Scholar you will need to login to your ScholarTrack account to complete your Scholar Success Program requirements in order to receive your scholarship.


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