Home > Resources > College Prep > Preparing For College > High School Action Plan

High School Action Plan

Your grandparents, or at least your great-grandparents, can probably remember a time when high school was a strictly optional educational opportunity that could prepare students to land a decent real-world job. In this day and age, high school is basically mandatory, and in most cases, its main purpose has become preparing students for college. While it might not seem like it, the classes you take and activities you do in high school play a role in shaping you as both a member of society and as a college applicant. Even if you are planning on attending a community college or a less-selective state college, you will still need to successfully fulfill basic requirements in order to progress to a level of education that can help you achieve your career goals, and if you want to gain admission to highly selective colleges or have a shot at winning scholarships, you will have to accomplish even more.

This doesn’t mean that high school has to be a dreary march of education requirements and mandatory service hours, though. It’s also time in your life to begin exploring options and figuring out who you are and where you want to go. The opportunities available to high school students in even the smallest and most remote school districts are impressive, especially given the increased communication and learning possibilities afforded by new technology. This makes it more possible now than ever before for high school students to find and begin to pursue their passions in life. All you have to do is decide what you want from life and start figuring out what tools are at your disposal to help you work toward your goals.

High School Action Plans by School Year

Set Goals

Whether or not you plan on attending college, high school is a good time to begin to take inventory of your aspirations, experiences, strengths, and weaknesses and start to figure out what sorts of things you might like doing when you’re on your own. You don’t need to have a precise career plan pinned down immediately, but during your first two years of high school, especially, you will want to begin to think about broad categories of education and employment you might want to pursue later on.

As a high school student, research potential scholarly or career interests and find out the requirements for college programs you may want to pursue. Set goals for yourself regarding grades, standardized test scores, and involvement, and work on ways to meet them. Begin seeking out experiences related to jobs you might want to do or subjects you might want to study. Clubs at your school, job prospects in your town, and volunteer activities in your community or others can all help you better explore your interests. If you honestly have no idea what you want to do, consider participating in a wide range of student experiences. These will at least help you beef up the "activities" section of your college applications and they may help you stumble upon your passion in life.

Break It Down By Year

Many students believe that the college application process is part of a student’s senior year of high school, but it actually begins much earlier. While sitting down with an SAT study guide as a kindergartener is a bit excessive, starting to think about getting into and paying for college as a high school freshman is a good idea. Going into high school with college in mind can help you better tailor your high school experience towards college preparation, which can in turn help you achieve your college goals. We’ve prepared high school action plans to help students stay on track with college planning and preparation as high school freshmen, high school sophomores, high school juniors, and high school seniors.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Free Cookie Tradition Yields College Camaraderie

February 21, 2017

by Susan Dutca

One Faculty Master is keeping his free cookie tradition strong for College House residents, even while he's on sabbatical. Every Wednesday at 10 p.m., freshman line up Master Dennis DeTurck's apartment for a sweet snack and the singing of show tunes. This is only one example of the many food-centric traditions found at the university. [...]

Fight Crime with Help from Criminal Justice Scholarships

February 16, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Fighting crime is no easy task and is not meant for everyone. Careers in criminal justice aren't limited to police officers. You can study to be a criminal law paralegal, a crime lab analyst or even work for homeland security. If you plan to take this route, don't forget to apply for these solid scholarships to reduce debt while also doing your part to reduce crime: [...]

Fight for Free College in Oregon(?)

February 14, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Due to Oregon's $1.8 billion budget crisis, public university leaders want funding reallocated from the Promise program to the state's need-based grant, which is awarded to low-income students who attend Oregon's public universities. [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed