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Education and Training Timeline – It's Never too Early to Plan

Start thinking about high school classes that will prepare you for your future.

  • Ask your parents or teachers to help you build good study habits.
  • Practice setting and reaching goals.
  • Volunteer in your community.
  • Talk with your school counselor and parents about careers that appeal to you.
  • Plan a class schedule.
  • Enroll in a summer enrichment program.

High school is a time to prepare for your future. There are things you can do to improve your chances of getting the most out of high school. Here is a timeline that can help you prepare for further education and training.

In 9th & 10th Grade:

  • Take interest and skills assessments to help you explore career options.
  • Talk with your school counselor about the education and training required for careers.
  • Talk with your parents about saving for college.
  • Talk with friends, teachers, counselors and your parents about college.
  • Check if your school advises taking PLAN to prepare for the ACT.
  • Join in extracurricular activities.
  • Review your high school classes.
  • Stay focused on your schoolwork.
  • Explore internships and apprenticeships.
  • Enroll in a summer enrichment program.

In 11th Grade:

  • Attend college and financial aid events.
  • If you plan to attend a college that requires the SAT, consider taking the PSAT to help you prepare.
  • Consider career options and research the education or training required.
  • Request materials from schools that interest you and visit their websites.
  • Arrange campus visits.
  • Join in extracurricular activities.
  • Request admissions and financial aid forms.
  • Consider earning college credit while in high school.
  • Register for and take the ACT and/or SAT.
  • Review your high school classes and make sure you are meeting your graduation requirements.
  • Enroll in a summer enrichment program.
  • Get a job to earn money for college.
  • Explore internships or apprenticeships.
  • Research scholarships.

In 12th Grade:

  • Meet with your counselor to review your classes.
  • Consider earning college credit while in high school.
  • Arrange campus visits to schools that interest you.
  • Take or retake the ACT and/or SAT.
  • Choose the schools you want to attend and apply for admission. Pay attention to deadlines for each school. Follow all guidelines and instructions.
  • Attend college and financial aid events.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1.
  • Join in extracurricular activities.
  • Prepare a résumé and/or portfolio of your work and high school achievements.
  • Search and apply for scholarships.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors and others who can comment on your abilities and talents.
  • Get a job to earn money for college.