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Welcome to the Mentor and Mentee Learning Center

HS Checklists for College Planning

This article gives a broad overview of what is expected of students through each grade in high school. It will help you have a better understanding of upcoming milestones your mentee might have as they prepare to go to college. Of course, every student has a different path, so the tools below act as guidance for support. 

9th Grade

Freshman Year

Believe it or not, your mentee is probably doing something to prepare for college each and every day as they attend high school. From finding a support network, to taking challenging classes, to attending sports practices, they're well on their way to becoming a successful college applicant.

This checklist from CollegeBoard provides an overview of how your mentee can start the college process now.

10th Grade

Sophomore Year

If 9th grade acts as a preparation year, 10th grade serves as the year of action. From participating in meaningful activities, to asking questions to the guidance counselor, to identifying areas of academic strength, help your mentee hit the ground running with developing good study habits and extracurriculars. 

This checklist helps identify other ways to prepare for college.

11th Grade

Junior Year

Not only does your mentee need to maintain their good grades, but the college application process begins now. Applying to college is a process that involves a lot of steps, each of which must be completed by a specific deadline. Your mentee should apply to colleges during their senior year of high school, but identifying possible post-secondary pathways, majors, college preference happens here.

This checklist helps to provide guidance through this pivotal year.

12th Grade

Senior Year

Your mentee will take their tests, apply to their selected colleges, receive acceptance, and choose where they will enroll after high school. All these things can seem overwhelming and confusing as your mentee finishes up their last year of high school. There's a lot of change happening, but all it is manageable with the help of our curriculum, the schools guidance counselor, and online resources. No one is alone in this process, there's always somone or somwhere to look to help.

This checklist helps break down this process into bite-sized chunks.

Other Resources

I'm First

An online community celebrating first-generation college students and supporting those who will be.


The College Board

Get connected to your college. Find official college planning and preparation tools to help you succeed. Visit the College Board website - your inside source.