Your Sophomore College Checklist: A Positive Approach to 10th Grade College Planning

“College isn’t for another three years...but what do we need to be thinking about now?”

Parents of today’s sophomores and freshmen in high school are either working on a sophomore college checklist, thinking that it’s time for 10th grade college planning (but unsure where to start), or wondering whether it’s too much to expect to be preparing for college so soon.

As a caring parent, you face this dilemma:

On one hand, you don’t want the college planning conversation to put any more pressure on your kiddo than they’re already experiencing. They are balancing school, extracurricular activities, and daily life as a teenager. For those families with healthy (or sometimes just stable) parent-teen relationships, why rock the boat with 10th grade college planning expectations?

On the other, however, you want to make sure that your teenager has every opportunity available. You hear a lot of your parent friends and even some of your teenager’s friends already fretting about the looming college admissions process and looking to make progress on a sophomore college checklist.

The stakes feel high: what my student does now will directly impact which doors remain open later.

That statement is true. However, it’s important to put things in perspective. Experience shows us that attaining perspective to help you contain the college-prep process is your primary responsibility as a parent.

Once you’re informed about sophomore college planning and have an idea of what a 10th grade college checklist must look, you’ll be ready to initiate the college conversation with your teenager — ever so gently. The most important part of our approach here at Teen LAUNCH is to keep you in a positive state of mind.

So, first thing’s first: learn what happens when; develop an overall timeline for the college prep process as it spans the next couple of years so that you understand what it means to stay on track.

We have a programs that will help. Our monthly Members’ Circle keeps families up to date and informed on individual college planning topics like how to select courses, when to plan college tours, and what to do to prepare for the SAT or ACT. Your student can participate in this program completely virtually, from anywhere in the country.

If you’d like to come meet us in person and get a better feel for what we do, we’ll also be offering a free in-person presentation specifically for families of sophomores and freshmen later this month, called Travel Through High School with College in Mind.

We’ll be diving into the three main timelines parents should be aware of leading up to application season, and discuss best practices for opening the college conversation now for 9th and 10th grade college planning — keeping all doors open in the future! You will walk away with simple yet powerful steps for your sophomore college checklist.

We hope to see you soon, and we hope to hear from you even sooner! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.