Your Annual Plan to Pay for College

If you’re in 8th Grade

  • Make sure you’re taking college-prep classes.
  • Find out about jobs that sound interesting.

If you’re in 9th Grade

  • Talk to a guidance counselor.
  • Choose classes that challenge you, and that meet college entrance requirements.
  • Get involved in special activities at school or in your community.
  • Learn how to plan and organize your time.

If you’re in 10th Grade

  • Create a file about colleges that interest you.
  • Take the lead on a volunteer project at school or in your town.
  • Get ready for the college entrance tests. This year, you can take the PLAN, a pre-ACT test.
  • Discuss college costs with your parents, and see how you can help save money for college.

If you’re in 11th Grade

If you’re in 12th Grade

  • Request recommendations from your teachers or other adults who know you well.
  • Send your college applications out early.
  • Keep taking advanced college-prep classes.
  • Beginning in January, get those financial aid forms finished.
  • Apply for scholarships available in your community or through your college.
  • Take your AP Exams.
  • Send your final high school transcript to your college.
  • Attend the freshman orientation at your college.


Even if you haven’t done some of the steps above, don’t quit. Focus on a few colleges, find out the requirements to attend and get your applications in.