Current Students


Participant Information

Be sure to stay is on track by attending TRIO events and following the checklist below (see the Planning Your Future PDF here).

9th & 10th Grades: Start Your Engines

  • Tell your teachers & counselor that you plan on going to college.
  • Transform what you believe is possible for yourself because you are getting ready to change the world.
  • Get to know your teachers and school counselors – these relationships can lead to future recommendation letters.
    Develop strong study habits – pay attention in class, complete your homework on time, and ask for extra help from your teachers when you don’t understand something.
  • Set short and long term personal goals and academic objectives.
  • Get involved in activities after school such as joining clubs, being involved in sports, or getting a job.
    You can also volunteer in your community. These opportunities can all help you determine areas of potential academic interest.
  • Be open to explore new possibilities. Here’s a great resource to start with:
  • Start to gather information about colleges – use college search tools or ask your guidance counselor for resources.
  • Work with your school counselor to register to take the PSAT and/or PLAN.
    Use your summer to read, attend pre-college camps, take enrichment classes, or seek employment – this is a great opportunity to better your verbal, writing, critical thinking and leadership skills. NC State has a listing of pre-college programs here:

11th Grades: Pedal to the Metal

  • Meet with your counselor at the beginning of the school year to make sure you are on track to meet the minimum course requirements needed for college admission.
  • Continue to take challenging courses.
  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT multiple times.
  • Narrow down your list of colleges based on where you will thrive best. Keep in consideration the school’s size, location, whether they have the major you’re interested in and extracurricular activities available. You can research schools on College Board:
  • Attend college fairs in your area to speak with admissions reps from schools you are interested in.
  • Make a list of teachers, coaches, and community members that you may be able to ask for recommendation letters when you apply to college.
  • Maintain involvement outside the classroom & explore leadership opportunities.
  • Try to find an internship or volunteer opportunity in the field you plan to study.
  • Utilize breaks you have from school, such as spring break and summer break to visit colleges.
  • Research scholarship deadlines and requirements for your senior year.

12th Grade: Home Stretch


  • Select 3-5 colleges – a dream school, safety school and others in between.
  • Visit to get an FSA ID number to e-sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Plan your application process by writing down deadlines on your calendar.
  • Meet with your school counselor to go over your academic record.
  • Take the SAT and/or ACT again prior to college application deadlines.
  • Keep up your good grades.
  • Ask your TRIO coordinator for a fee waiver!
  • Remind parents/guardians to prepare tax information for your financial aid application, which opens after October 1.
  • Reach out to your teachers, coaches and community members for any needed letters of recommendation.
  • Think back on your life and make a list of moments that could potentially become a part of your personal essay.
  • Visit colleges you plan to apply to.
  • Aim to apply by early application deadlines.


  • Focus on finishing your high school career strong.
  • Compare admissions decisions and financial aid packages.
  • Take AP/IB exams and send results to your future college.
  • May 1 is the national deadline to confirm your enrollment – decide which institution you wish to attend.
  • Join admitted student groups to connect with future classmates.
  • Send an official final transcript to your future college.
  • Figure out housing arrangements, orientation dates, and placement testing requirements.
  • Apply for education loans, if needed.
  • Check out the Transition to College Checklist from
  • Celebrate!