How to Prepare for College in 12th Grade

9th Grade 12th Grade


  • Take placement tests required for your desired college or training program, such as the ACT or SAT
  • If you’re headed to college after high school, consider taking Advanced Placement or other college-level courses to prepare for the challenging academics of college. If you’re head to a technical training program, enroll in a vocational program – many high schools enable students to take classes at local community and technical colleges for free.
  • Keep up with your classwork and maintain a good GPA through the end of the year – schools will request final transcripts even after you’ve been accepted and may withdraw offers if your academics decline.
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  • Discuss post-high school plans with your guidance counselor and parents.  Be sure to consider what postsecondary options matches your career goals, strengths, and abilities.
  • Develop your studying, time management, problem solving, stress management skills

In the Community

  • Consider getting a mentorship or internship in a field related to your chosen career path.
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  • Work and save for college; seek out  jobs related to your post-high school objectives
  • Engage in regular volunteering and/or take the initiative to manage a community service project of your own creation.
  • Visit colleges and vocational training programs, comparing the different programs

At Home

  • Create a calendar of both school and scholarship application deadlines, then apply, apply, apply!
  • Anytime after January, you and your parents should submit the FAFSA, in order to receive financial aid or work study opportunities from your college.
  • After you’ve chosen a school or program and received financial aid offers, develop a budget to determine the cost of attending school (don’t forget books, supplies and living expenses), then work with your parents or guardians on how you will pay for it.
  • Determine where you will live next year – in a school dorm, in an apartment off campus, or even staying at your parents’ house to save money.
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  • Save money for tuition and living expenses
  • Practice independent living skills, such as learning to cook
9th Grade 12th Grade
Yearly checklists of what you should do each year of high school to prepare for higher education.