What to do this year
Stay involved and continue to explore your interests.
Getting involved in a variety of activities will make you a stronger candidate for scholarships and top colleges.
- Continue to be involved in school clubs, after school programs, and volunteering. Track your volunteer hours using a spreadsheet.
- Sign up for the monthly StepUp newsletter to get college preparation tips and monthly scholarships.
- What careers best fit your personality? Use the results of your Interest Profiler quiz from UtahFutures.org to see what college majors you might be interested in.
Look into support and mentoring programs.
Take advantage of any additional support you might be eligible for.
- Look through the Access Network Search to see what support you might be eligible for in your area, like AVID, TRiO, or GearUP programs.
Think about what certificate or degree you will need.
What certificate or degree will you need to realize your dreams? Different careers have different requirements: for example, a lawyer must have a bachelor’s degree and go to law school (7 years total), while a welder usually needs a one-year certificate.
- Read about the differences between a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, and other advanced degrees.
- Discover what certificates and degrees Utah colleges offer by exploring UtahMajors.org.
Take the right classes.
Continue taking the right classes throughout high school to be ready for college.
- Meet with your school counselor to make sure you’re on track. Some things to discuss at your meeting:
- Complete Math III no later than the end of 11th
- Taking college classes in high school can save you time and money in college. It’s best to take classes that fulfill general education requirements. Learn about Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Concurrent Enrollment (CE). Ask your counselor what classes you need to take ahead of time to be able to enroll in AP, IB or CE courses your junior and senior years.
- What are the admissions requirements of some of the colleges you’re interested in attending? Call or explore the Utah College Directory to find out, and start planning to make sure you meet them.
Start preparing for the ACT.
Prepare now for the ACT, which you will take during 11th grade.
Research and apply for scholarships (yes, even in 10th grade!).
Scholarships are free money for college based on academic merit, athletics, volunteerism, and other merit-based achievements, or can be awarded based on your financial need.
- Contact a scholarship representative to make sure you’re on track for the Regents’ Scholarship. If possible, schedule a meeting to go over your classes for the next school year.
- Look for scholarships and apply to at least one this year.
- See if your high school has a scholarship coordinator to help you find scholarships to apply for, but don’t forget to also look in your community and search online.
- Remember, scholarships open every year, so save your essays. That way you don’t have to start from scratch every year. The StepUp scholarship toolkit will help you figure out how to start looking and applying for scholarships.
- Keep your scholarship resume updated. Use this template to help get you started.
Learn how much college costs.
College can be expensive. It’s good to understand the costs of college before you go, and the various ways to pay.
- Use the net price in the Utah College Directory calculator to estimate college costs.