Step-By-Step Checklist: High School to College

When you are the parent of a:

High School Freshman (9th Grade) & Sophomore (10th Grade)

  • Be involved with your student's goals for the future, including college plans.
  • Talk with the school guidance counselor to understand how important grades are to the college admission process.
  • Research—with your student—colleges and universities based on majors and career interests.
  • Encourage your student to use an academic planner to remember important deadlines and assignments.
  • Encourage preliminary testing, such as the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test).
  • Arrange campus visits to TCC to learn about Dual Credit opportunities, which allow your student to earn college credits during high school.
  • Help your student start developing a list of high school and community accomplishments, including awards, honors, paid and volunteer work and extracurricular activities.
  • Make summers count: Help your student find a job or activity that builds on his/her favorite subjects and interests.
  • Start talking about the family budget, a college savings plan and paying for college.

High School Junior (11th grade)

  • Accompany your student to college nights, college preparation presentations and financial aid nights.
  • Encourage your student to request material from colleges of interest.
  • Make sure your student has registered for necessary testing for college admission.
  • Encourage your student to explore careers and help him/her research the type of education needed for the careers that interest him/her.
  • Touch base with your student to see if he/she needs extra help in any subject areas; junior year grades are very important on college applications.
  • Discuss financial aid plans with your student and encourage him/her to research scholarships and other resources to help in paying for college.
  • Sign up for the SAT/ACT college admissions examinations if your student is interested in 4-year colleges.

High School Senior (12th grade)

  • Make sure your student is completing high school graduation requirements.
  • Encourage your student to keep up his/her grades and to stay involved in his/her extra-curricular activities.
  • Arrange campus visits to schools that interest your student.
  • File your taxes early as the primary deadline for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is April 1 of each year.
  • Work with your student to submit the FAFSA.
  • Learn about TCC's Student Recruitment and Outreach program that is offered at Tarrant County high schools. The program guides you and your student as you:
    • Apply to TCC
    • Complete Pre-Assessment Activity and take the TSI Assessment
    • Get career advising
    • Complete both the FAFSA and TASFA (Texas Application for Student Financial Aid)
  • Help your student complete the TCC Foundation Scholarship Application

After Graduation (Requirements for TCC)

  • Have your student submit an official high school transcript with his/her graduation date.
  • Get your student immunized against meningococcal meningitis.
  • Encourage your student to complete the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) and then take the TSI Assessment (if not done already).
  • Make sure your student attends a New Student Group Advisement (NSGA) session and New Student Orientation (NSO). Both are required.
  • Encourage your student to visit a TCC Success Coach for FTIC (First-Time-in-College) student advising.
  • Encourage your student to visit a TCC Advising and Counseling Center and see a career advisor.

Updated January 20, 2023