Middle School Students
Plan Now, Benefit Later
Start planning for college while you’re in Middle School. The earlier you start, the more likely you will succeed – in college and in the workplace after you graduate.
It's time to Step It Up!
Get a head start on your future by taking classes for high school and college credit (dual credit) at the same time!
• It's FREE ... your high school pays the tuition, fees (there may be some additional cost for materials depending on the specific program and high school in which you're enrolled
• Dual credit can ease the transition to college
• You'll enjoy the challenge of college-level coursework
• It's a great way to learn more about potential careers
• With dual credit, you'll graduate from college sooner
Are dual credits part of your four-year plan? Students who start planning early in high school will have more options later. Start talking with your high school counselor now!
Year 1– 9th Grade
• Work hard, attend class, and build good study habits. Your GPA and test-taking skills DO matter.
• Get involved in extra-curricular activities. Your involvement in a variety of school activities or community service projects will give you a competitive edge when applying for scholarships and colleges.
• Start thinking about what you want to be or do for a living. Ask people you admire how they became successful and research careers on-line.
Year 2 – 10th Grade
• Ask your parents and the school guidance counselor to help you form a plan for college and take the more challenging courses to prepare you for college classes!
• Take the dual-credit or Advanced Placement courses that earn you “free” college credits while in high school. Challenge yourself.
• Take the PLAN, PSAT, or COMPASS tests at school.
• Stay involved in school and community activities. Finding out what you like and what you’re good at will help define your values and goals, as well influence the type of job or lifestyle you seek.
Year 3 – 11th Grade
• Take the ACT, SAT, or COMPASS tests.
• Enroll in the classes that will give you a head start in college.
• Attend career fairs.
• Research colleges on-line and visit some college campuses.
• Research scholarships for which you are eligible.
• Make sure you understand college admission requirements.
Year 4 – 12th Grade
• Re-take the ACT, SAT or COMPASS tests, as needed, to improve your score.
• Take advantage of your more-flexible senior year schedule to earn as much college credit as you can.
• Talk to your parents about completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The earlier the better, depending on your school of choice.
• Apply for scholarships.
• Schedule a campus tour or attend an orientation session, then complete the housing and admission application for the college of your choice.
I Have A Plan Iowa (IHAPI)
I Have a Plan Iowa includes great college planning resources for elementary students, middle school students, high schoolers, adult students and parents. Check out the site at https://secure.ihaveaplaniowa.gov/default.aspx.