* Don't slack off! Take challenging courses and keep studying hard this semester, as these classes will better prepare you to succeed in college.
* Keep track of important scholarship and financial aid opportunities and deadlines.
* Begin working on the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. Pick up a copy at your guidance counselor's office or apply online in January at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
* Begin scheduling visits to colleges you are considering attending.
* Plan to take the ACT.
* Begin investigating college scholarship and financial aid opportunities.
Sophomores and Freshmen:
* Begin gathering information about colleges that you might consider attending.
* Meet with your high school counselor to discuss your career/future interests.
* Plan to take the most challenging high school courses you can.
* Emphasize to your child the importance of taking challenging courses in high school.
* Talk to high school staff to make sure you understand college preparation needs.
* Learn about financial aid and college funding. A good resource is http://