Students: 10th Grade Checklist
Try new things during your sophomore year: take a hard class, join a club and explore college and career options.
☑ Do well in school.► Set academic and personal goals for the year.
● Know that any setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.
► Do your best to earn good grades - they matter for college and scholarships.
► Go to all of your classes. Attendance counts!
► Discover how you learn best and adopt strategies to support your learning style.
► Build good habits now to get ready for college.
● Learn how to take notes, make outlines, and do research.
● Doing well in school is like getting good at a sport – you need to practice in order to improve.
► Ask for help from your teachers, parents, counselors, tutors, or friends or use online resources.
► Turn in all assignments.
● Reading improves your focus, concentration, imagination and knowledge – in short, it makes you smarter!
► Practice good written and oral communication skills.
● Write more: keep a journal, start a blog, or join an activity like the school newspaper.
● Speak confidently: join the debate team, try out for the school play or practice public speaking in your community.
☑ Take the right classes.► Challenge yourself with honors or advanced classes, if available at your school.
● Colleges care about which courses you’re taking in high school. Colleges will be more impressed by respectable grades in challenging courses than by outstanding grades in easy classes.
► Explore opportunities to take college credit while you're still in high school.
► Plan to take math all four years in high school.
► Take a foreign/world language if offered.
● Four-year public universities in Oregon require at least two years of the same language while more selective colleges might require more.
► Take as many classes as your schedule allows.
● Explore new interests with electives offered at your school.
☑ Get organized.► Use a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of assignments and deadlines.
► Find a system that works for you to keep notes and papers organized like a binder or folders.
► Determine the place that you study best (at home or at the library, for example).
● Practice good study habits like turning off unnecessary technology. Use class and advisory time wisely and attend after school study programs.
► Update your file of important documents and list of activities.
● Include copies of report cards and lists of awards and honors. These will be useful for college and scholarship applications.
☑ Prepare for college admission tests.► Take the PSAT 10 or the ACT ASPIRE test.
► Review your scores with a teacher or counselor to find out what areas you need to work on to get ready for college.
☑ Get involved.
☑ Spend time with good people.► Choose to hang out with friends that share positive goals and interests.
► Find a mentor – a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, other trusted adult, or older student that you can talk to.
☑ Make good choices.► Be safe online and on your phone.
● Choose appropriate privacy settings on social media.
● Only share information with people you know and trust.
● Always ask yourself: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?
● Remember that whatever you post or share can live forever online.
► Avoid risky behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.
► Be kind; treat others with respect.
☑ Explore college and career options.► Continue exploring different occupations that match your interests.
● Consider volunteering or a job shadow to learn more.
● Talk about your future dreams and plans with your family, friends and other adults and set goals.
► Review what is most important to you in a college.
► Make a list of colleges and universities that interest you.
● Think broadly: include two-year and four-year options as well as in-state and out-of-state choices.
● Confirm that these colleges have the program or major for your chosen careers.
● Research admission requirements for each college to make sure you’re on track.
► Get to know colleges.
● Visit a college campus that you haven't been to yet on a field trip with your school or your family.
● Explore colleges online with virtual tours or on their websites and social media.
● Attend a college fair if there is one in your area.
☑ Learn about paying for college.► You can afford college. Learn about financial aid.
● Attend financial planning or how to pay for college programs with your family.
► Explore the different costs of college.
● Complete the FAFSA4Caster to estimate how much financial aid you may receive.
● Explore the net price of the colleges on your list - use a calculator to get an estimate.
► Set up and regularly contribute to a college savings account.
● Set aside money from your summer or after-school job.
● Look into matched savings accounts that provide extra money for college.
► Make a list of scholarships and apply for any available to you now.