Now that you’re in high school, you’re probably starting to think about the future…what you want to be, where you’ll go to college, the kind of lifestyle you would enjoy. But how will you get there?

Pursuing a college education is your key to future success. But first…what do we mean by college? It can include a career school, community college, or a college or university.

There are steps you can take now to build the future you want. We’ll help you get started.

1. Ask for help.

Ask an adult to help you stay on track to college. This might be your parent, school counselor, mentor, coach, youth group leader, or someone else who knows you well. This person can help you:

  • Explore careers and colleges that fit your interests
  • Get involved in activities that could lead to scholarship opportunities
  • Go on campus visits
  • Find ways to save and pay for college
  • Apply for college and financial aid when you’re a senior

It’s especially important that you get to know your school counselor! Nobody knows better what you need to do to make college a reality.

2. Create a 4-year coursework plan.

Work with your school counselor to map out classes you should take during high school to ensure admission to college. Ask about the availability of Dual-Credit and Advanced Placement courses through which you can earn college credit.

3. Improve your study skills.

The grades you get in 9th and 10th grade will count toward your high school GPA (grade point average). Colleges will review your GPA when you apply for admission as a senior, which is why it’s important to get the best grades possible starting now! Here’s how:

  • Use a planner or homework app to record assignments.
  • Take notes and review them often.
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand the subject.
  • Find a place to study where there are no distractions.
  • Ask your teacher how you can improve your grades.

4. Create an Activities Resume.

By joining clubs and activities – and doing volunteer work – you can explore career interests and increase your chances for scholarships and college admission.

To track your involvement, create an Activities Resume and update it throughout high school. Then the information is available when it’s time to apply for scholarships, college admission, and jobs.

5. Learn how to budget.

You might have a part-time job to help cover expenses like your phone, eating out, movies, video games, and car expenses.

By setting up a budget, you’ll learn how to manage your money to cover expenses with some left over for savings (especially for college). Use a budgeting tool such as