Sophomore Year College Planning
ACADEMICS - You want to be in classes that challenge you but don't overwhelm you. If you are a high-achieving student and are taking any AP classes as a sophomore, stay on top of the reading as they require a lot and students can easily fall behind . And if you've developed a strong interest in a certain area, be sure you are taking advantage of courses offered at LJHS, while understanding that schedule changes may not be possible.
EXTRA CURRICULARS - This is a good time to focus on three or four extracurricular activities that you really enjoy. Stay involved and keep track of everything you do on your Activities Resume. Look for ways to make a difference, become an officer, editor, captain, or leader, going beyond just being a member of the activity. Colleges want students who are involved in their schools and communities.
TAKE THE PSAT/NMSQT IF OFFERED - Last fall (2020), being the strangest on record, the PSAT was not offered, as schools were closed. It was hoped that it could be offered in January 2021, but was cancelled due to bad weather (and school was still closed). It is a great practice to the SAT college entrance test, and it is usually offered to sophomores and juniors in October, but due to the pandemic, many colleges are adopting test-optional policies in recognition of the fact that students are unable to take standardized tests - SAT or ACT. Stay tuned for college testing information from your counselor, and look on the National Center for Fair and Open Testing for colleges that are test-optional: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest.
SERVICE ACADEMIES - Applying to a service academy is involved and students must start the process early. If you are interested in attending a Service Academy check out the details and requirements on the individual school's websites. Application process begins in junior year, so as a sophomore, you need to begin your research and possibly apply to attend special programs during the summer between sophomore and junior year. For more information:
US Military Academy (Army) - https://www.westpoint.edu/admissions;
US Air Force Academy - https://www.academyadmissions.com/,
US Coast Guard Academy https://www.uscga.edu/admissions/, or
US Merchant Marine Academy - https://www.usmma.edu/admissions.
COLLEGE RESEARCH - Tour a local college to get familiar with what to look for in a college. We are fortunate to have four different colleges in our back yard and touring students can get a feel for different types of colleges from small religious to large public. Check out San Diego State, UC San Diego, University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene. Discuss college selection and financing with parents.
KEEP YOUR GRADES UP! - Identify any subjects you may be struggling with and get the help you need. Grades are the most important determinant of where you can go to college and good grades allow maximum college options.