College Readiness: The Vault Guide for High School Freshmen and Sophomores

It’s never too soon to think about college. As tuition costs rise and admissions become more competitive, students must take smart, concrete steps along their entire high school career to help them get into the college that best matches their needs and goals. 

Freshmen and sophomores might not participate directly in the college application process, but they must keep good grades, engage with extra-curricular activities and volunteer opportunities, and begin identifying their long-term career goals and interests. This is the time for students to lay the foundation for their path to higher education.

The information in this guide prompts students to ask the right questions and direct them to resources and information that can help them understand how to build a well-rounded high school record. It offers clear-cut steps for understanding college costs and financial aid options andplanning to pay for college–and it emphasizes the most important aspect for choosing a school: finding the one that is right for you.  

Chapters include:

  • College Planning Timeline: What to Do During Your Freshman and Sophomore Years
  • Key Pre-College Activities
  • What Type of College Is Right for You?
  • Choosing a College
  • Choosing a College Major
  • College Financial Planning Timeline for High School Freshman and Sophomores
  • How Much Should You Spend on College?
  • Getting the Most out of College Savings Plans


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