Middle School Checklist

Junior high school or middle school is a great time for
students to take control of their college preparation.

Find out what students and parents can do to start building a strong academic record and a healthy savings account.


To Do:

  • Think about college as an important part of your future. Discuss your thoughts and ideas with your family and with people at school.
  • Start saving for college if you haven't already.
  • Take challenging and interesting classes to prepare for high school.
  • Ask your parent or guardian to help you research which high schools or special programs will most benefit your interests.
  • Develop strong study habits.
  • Do your best in school and on standardized tests. If you are having difficulty, don't give up—get help from a teacher, tutor, or mentor.
  • Become involved in school- or community-based activities that let you explore your interests and learn new things.
  • Speak with adults, such as your teacher, school counselor or librarian, relatives, or family friends, who you think have interesting jobs. Ask them, "What do you like about your job?" and "What education did you need for your job?"

To Explore:

Find out why you should prepare for college now.

Check out My Future, My Way: First Steps Toward College, a workbook for middle and junior high school students.

Learn about a wide variety of careers—both at NASA and elsewhere—from NASA's Career Information center.


To Do:

Use FAFSA4caster to find out how much federal student aid your child might receive. This information will help you plan ahead.

Continue saving for your child's college education. If you have not opened a savings account, learn about the tax advantages of saving and find a link to a clearinghouse of state college savings plans.

Talk to your child about his or her interests and help match those interests with a college major and career.

Help your child develop good study habits, such as studying at the same time and place every day and having the necessary materials to complete assignments.

Stay in contact with your child's teachers and counselor so that they can let you know about any changes in your child's behavior or schoolwork.

Keep an eye on your child's grades oon his or her tests and report cards, and help him or her find tutoring assistance, if necessary.

To Explore:

Get tips from the following documents:

Helping Your Child With Homework offers suggestions on assisting your child with successfully completing assignments.

Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence addresses issues that parents of 10- to 14-year-olds generally find most challenging.

Browse Parent Power for ideas to help you support your child as he or she transitions into high school.