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A 10th Grader’s Checklist for College Planning

If your child is in a college prep school, then you know college planning is no longer relegated to senior year. In fact, students start planning for college as early as 10th grade to ensure that they are on the right track to get into the school of their choice. What should your 10th grader be doing to get ready for college? Be sure to check these items off your list during sophomore year.

Visit College Campuses
It’s not too early to start visiting college campuses when your child is in the 10th grade. In fact, visiting a few colleges is a great way to help your child decide what kind of school is most appealing and to get inspired to pursue his or her college goals. You can arrange for official campus tours, or simply visit a few schools on your own to stroll the campus and check out the surrounding area on your own time.

Prepare for the SAT
In 10th grade, most students take the PSAT 10 or the PSAT/NMSQT. It doesn’t matter which of these tests your child takes, as the tests are the same but simply offered at different times of the year. Orinda Academy students in Grades 10 and 11 will take the PSAT on October 11. The PSAT will help your child prepare for taking the SAT. When the scores come in, go over them together and decide what kind of SAT prep classes could help him or her get ready to take that test in 11th grade.

Talk to a College Counselor
Encourage your student to set up a meeting with Melissa and Norm. They can help students make a short list of college choices and understand the admissions requirements for those schools. Melissa, Norm and Roger can also help students choose the right courses to create a competitive college application.

You can contact Orinda Academy's college counselor Melissa Masland at melissa@

At Orinda Academy, smaller class sizes mean that every student gets the support they need for academic success. For more information about our college prep curriculum in Orinda, please call (925) 478-4504.