Parent/Family Plan: 10th Grade

As your child settles into high school, it’s a great time for them to take on new challenges.

It’s also not too early to explore colleges, college majors and career goals. Use this list to help make 10th grade count.


  • Look at college websites and/or visit a college campus together. It’s a great way to get your 10th-grader excited about college. Learn more about how you and your child can prepare for a campus visit.
  • Get the facts about what college costs. You may be surprised by how affordable higher education can be. Start by reading Understanding College Costs.
  • Help your sophomore explore career ideas. They can make a list of interests, skills, and favorite activities and start matching them with occupations. Learn how to use exercises like these to make a career worksheet.


  • Ensure your child meets with their school counselor. Your sophomore should schedule a meeting to talk about college and career options and to make sure they are taking the most appropriate classes, especially "a-g" classes.
  • Attend college fairs such as North Coast College and Career Expo, September 10th, 2019 at Bayshore Mall.
  • Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child's tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team.
  • Talk about extracurricular activities. Being involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school. Read more about the benefits of extracurriculars.
  • Help your 10th-grader learn about college exams and get ready to take the PSAT/NMSQT (Fall) or PSAT 10 (March), if their school offers it to sophomores. Taking the test this fall can help your child prepare for the SAT. Sophomores can also use their score reports to figure out which academic areas they need to work on. Learn more about thePSAT/NMSQT Exam.


  • Review PSAT 10 or PSAT/NMSQT results together. Log in to the student score reporting portal with your child to learn what she or he is doing well and which skills your child should work on to get ready for college. It will also connect your child to free, personalized SAT study tools, AP courses, and college and career planning resources.
  • Discuss next year’s classes. Make sure your child will be challenging themselves and taking the courses expected by college admission officers. Learn more about the high school A-G classes that colleges look for.


  • Make a college wish list together. Talk with your 10th-grader about qualities they may want in a college in terms of location, size, majors offered and so on. Check out How to Find a College That Fits You to learn more about deciding on college must-haves.
  • If you have the opportunity to save for college as a family, use the College Savings Calculator to get an idea of where you are in terms of your savings goal.
  • Help your child make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills. Don't forget, colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. Find out five ways your high schooler can stay motivated this summer.