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Freshman and Sophomore Years

Every year of high school is important if you want to keep your options open for life after graduation.  Whether you are planning to go to work, to a training program or to a college directly after school, the courses you plan to take in high school will matter.  To keep your options open and to plan for college you should take the following courses in high school:

  • English: 4 years of college preparatory English

  • Mathematics: 4 years of college preparatory mathematics, including at least Algebra 1 & II and Geometry

  • Science:  3 years of college preparatory science (with laboratory) such as Chemistry or Physics

  • Foreign Language:  at least 2 years of a single foreign language, such as Spanish or French

  • Social Studies:  3 years

  • Electives:  Students generally may select additional courses from the categories listed above, as well as computer science, visual and performing arts and humanities.


  • Family: discuss College with your family.  Discuss your interests, current school course work and how to begin planning.  Ask your parent or guardian to schedule some time to talk with your counselor.  Look for support and information for parents and from EduDreamer Consulting.

  • Join a college preparation advising program in your school for continued support toward your college preparation. See your counselor for programs in your school or area.

  • Begin to use websites and apps which provide a significant amount of information to help you learn about careers, colleges, college costs and financial assistance options.  Check with your teachers, counselors or college advising program to get internet addresses and other internet information. See our Resources page.

  • Request from your school the opportunity to take the (PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.) It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. It also gives you a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship (NMSC) programs in your junior year and gain access to college and career planning tools. By the years 2024 and 2025, the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT will be digital - testing on a device. Check with your school counselor for details.

  • Begin exploring different career opportunities and the post secondary education required for these careers.   Use free websites including Education Planner - or Career OneStop Interest Assessments  to take a career assessment or an interest inventory or assessment to help you learn more about your interests, talents and skills.  Go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook to research specific careers   Talk with a college access advisor, your teachers, and your school counselor for more help with career exploration. 


  • Become a part of student government, school newspapers, an athletic team, a school club, a community agency volunteer, a band or orchestra, drama club, dance team, a youth group at church or anything that interests you and will either enhance skills you already have or give you new ones.  Look for a job to give you experience and money.  All these things will help you become an active student who the college admission process will value.


  • Increase the amount of reading you do outside of schoolwork.  Read news websites, newspapers, magazines, and novels with subjects you enjoy on a regular basis.


  • Research and register for summer enrichment programs and internships to have new experiences and develop new skills.  


  • Cost of attendance seems overwhelming.  Stay Confident!  Do not let the cost of a college education scare you away.  There are many financial aid programs available and the counselor or a college advisor may be available to help you understand and apply for aid.  Contact EduDreamer Consulting or college financial aid offices for details on financing.

As of September 2023

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