Roadmap for College

The Most Exciting, Challenging and Rewarding Four Years (Until College, That Is)

Football games, school dances, hanging out with friends. High school is a lot of fun. But you also want to keep your eyes on the ultimate goal: getting into a great college and gaining the tools you’ll need for a successful career. Whatever direction you choose, it’s important to plan ahead. To help you along the way, here are some important things to consider each school year.

Freshman Year
Welcome to the big time! As you’re navigating the halls of your new school, be sure to track down the guidance counselor’s office. They’re a great college prep resource to tap into. Chat them up about what classes you’re taking. They can tell you if you’ve got the right balance of college-friendly subjects on your plate and can help you find scholarships in a couple of years. You’ll also want to check out—it’s a really helpful website for all things college prep.

Sophomore Year
Ah, sophomore year. Traditionally known as ‘The year I can finally drive places.’ After you’ve motored over to the mall or your friend’s house, why not check out some colleges? Students often wait until senior year, but it’s never too early to visit. And you can even visit schools from your living room these days with cool virtual college fairs like CollegeWeekLive. So what are you waiting for?

Junior Year
Get ready, because as far as what colleges look at, junior year is ‘The Big Kahuna.’ Study hard to keep those good grades coming. But don’t become such a bookworm that you ignore extracurriculars. Colleges love well-rounded students. Sports, yearbook staff, marching band, all that good stuff looks great on college applications. Also, now is a good time to take an accounting course (not that we’re biased or anything).

Senior Year
Congrats, you made it! But before you start daydreaming about donning that cap and gown, you’ve got some important stuff to do:

  • Take the SAT or ACT
  • Whittle your list of colleges down to your top picks
  • Turn in your FAFSA form promptly
  • Learn more about choosing the right college in Start Here Magazine

That’s high school in a nutshell, but there’s tons more to learn. You’ll find more helpful info on sites like To dive in to the details of paying for college – 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy is also a great resource.

So good luck, work hard and have fun. High school is a wonderful experience that prepares you for the even cooler experience of college—and beyond.

Real-Life Accounting Student

Teresa Tran
Junior | University of Texas at Dallas
Accounting & Finance (Double Major)
Well, accounting may not be for everyone, but you’ll be surprised how much accounting is a factor in everything we do.

How do I explain accounting? Well, accounting may not be for everyone, but you’ll be surprised how much accounting is a factor in everything we do. It’s not only the language of business, but almost all professional fields. So even if you decide accounting isn’t right for you, at least think about taking a class just so you have some understanding of it.

I took accounting in high school. It was toward the end of my junior year and we were picking our classes for next year. I had the option of choosing an accounting class or just like a general business class and I thought “Well, I don’ t know that much about accounting but I’m going to try it and just see if I like it. If I don’t like it, I’ll know now and then I can focus on something else when I get into college.”

The thing is, I loved it and from that point on I knew I was set on accounting. That accounting class I took in high school really was my greatest prep for college. I struggled, but I also didn’t struggle because I had the time and the teacher there to help me get through it. And once you get it down, it’s solid.

When you start looking at colleges, it’s really important to think about what you want to major in and then think about the schools that offer that coursework. I mean, I’m not going to go to a liberal arts school and try to get a business degree. That doesn’t work. So you should really try to figure out what your priorities are and what you want to get out of the university. That will help you save a lot of time (and money) in the long run.

High school is the perfect time to help you start planning for your future so you can reach your long term goals.


Favorite Movie: 

I love Disney movies! The Little Mermaid is my favorite.

Favorite Class in High School: 

My accounting class of course.

Favorite Sport:

Coordination is not one of my strong points, so I don’t play sports. But my favorite sport to watch is basketball.

More About Me

Famous Person I Would Love to Meet (Living or Dead) and Why: 

Mother Teresa. Her humility was incredible. I would love the opportunity to work alongside her for a day.

My Dream Vacation Would Be: 

Traveling with my parents, sister and cousins to Germany for three weeks. I absolutely love German food – YUM! 

Best Advice Ever Received: 

A day without laughter is a day wasted.