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

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by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is "intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities" who currently "account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August. [...]

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill. [...]

Gap Year for National Service as a College Graduation Requirement?

January 13, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Should students be required to and serve their nation either before or during college? Pete Buttigieg thinks so, as he has rolled out a $20-billion proposal to enlist young people in national service after high school in order to produce "civically informed and dedicated Americans." In his commentary, Why Colleges Should Require a Gap Year, Jonathan Zimmeran outlines why a gap-year would be the ideal timeline for this initiative. [...]