High School Sophomores

Action Plan

With your freshman year behind you, you are one step closer to finding a college that fits your needs. In addition to keeping your grades up, you can begin researching prospective schools. Continue meeting with your counselor and involving yourself in outside activities, such as athletics and community service. Your senior year will arrive before you know it, and you can be ready when it does.

Continue To Meet With Your Counselor

Your guidance counselor can help you plan a schedule and choose sufficiently challenging classes. When reviewing your records, colleges take into consideration both your GPA and the amount of effort required to earn it. If you were not automatically placed in advanced classes, think about asking to be placed in them. Many high schools will allow you to move to an accelerated class if you are successful at the current one. Others will want you to pass a test if you would like to change your schedule. Whatever the requirements, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Continue Dedicating Time To Outside Activities

As we mentioned before, colleges love to hear about your life outside of the classroom. If you didn't dedicate your time to an activity as a high school freshman, you can do so now. It is not necessary to join every club on campus, just pick one or two things that interest you. Admissions committees are impressed with awards or leadership positions, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to be a superstar. As long as you consistently dedicate your time to something you enjoy, you will make an impression. If you can convince schools your extracurricular activities have positively impacted someone’s life, including your own, your commitments will be even more notable.

Research Colleges

During your sophomore year, you should begin researching colleges of interest. Speak with friends and family about their college experiences, and ask them about the positive and negative aspects of schools they attended. Take a look at student requirements, and find high school classes that will help you fulfill them. A common requirement is knowledge of a foreign language. Try to take four years of a second language during your time in high school. Even if you are not in an Advanced Placement class, many colleges will give you credit for testing out of language classes.

Begin Financial Planning

College may seem like a financial burden, but it doesn’t have to be. If you create a financial plan, you can avoid falling into debt. Check college websites to get an estimate of tuition costs. You should also take into account the costs associated with living on campus. By using our college search tool, you can compare the living expenses of schools that interest you. This includes estimates for book fees and the costs of room and board. Whatever these expenses may be, Scholarships.com will help you fund your education. Just create a profile on our website, and we’ll take care of the rest. Based on the information you provide, our scholarship search will filter our database of scholarships to find scholarships directly applicable to you. Best of all, this service is completely free of charge!

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Yale to Ditch "Freshman", "Upperclassmen", Adopt Gender-Neutral Terms

September 19, 2017

by Susan Dutca

In an effort to modernize, Yale will no longer use the terms "freshman" and "underclassmen" and will instead adopt gender-neutral terminology, such as "first-year" and "upper-level students." University officials still anticipate students and faculty to use the old terminology, since they're "deeply ingrained in our everyday language and in Yale's history."

The new terminology can be found in the Undergraduate Regulations and the First-Year Handbook and is expected to appear in all Yale College's publications and communications by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The effort to phase out the older terminology is "a piece of a larger movement to reflect the diversity of college campuses" and also in part because the "two words in particular are gendered," according to Jennifer Keup, Director Of the National Resource for the First-Year-Experience and students in Transition. [...]

Senate Bill to Make College Affordable and Accessible for Homeless, Foster Care Youth

September 13, 2017

by Susan Dutca

A bipartisan group of U.S House of Representatives and U.S. Senate lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would help homeless students and foster youth get the financial support they need for college. The bill would also remove other barriers to higher education, such as providing housing options, improving outreach, and streamlining the FAFSA to homeless and foster care students. [...]

Harvest Fall Scholarships for College

September 7, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Enjoy a seasonal treat this season with fall scholarships from Scholarships.com to help pay your college tuition bill. Harvest some of the largest dollar scholarships, most prestigious scholarships, and brand name scholarships out there with our list of October scholarships. These autumn scholarships are so good you'll scream! So hurry and apply for these scholarships due in October and don't let them fall by the wayside. For a complete list of scholarships due in October, click here. [...]