January 2, 2024

New Year, New Goals. Creating 2024 College Planning Goals

It’s a New Year! We often associate the New Year with making resolutions and goals to make ourselves better in some way for the coming year. It can be fun, and challenging, to commit to a goal and follow through. This year, we thought it would be helpful to encourage setting goals around college planning. With so many steps to take throughout the year, why not commit now to making a goal that will help you achieve your future goals, whether that’s setting yourself up for senior year or just getting started on your college planning journey.

Setting College Planning Goals for 2024

Here are a few suggestions we recommend to students as they make their goals, no matter where they are in their college planning process:

  • Make a plan

Start your college planning with specific, measurable, and actionable goals. Oh, and don’t forget to write them down! If you have big goals for yourself, break them down into smaller steps and create a timeline. Once you have your plan, be sure to tell someone you trust like a parent or college advisor for accountability.

  • Follow through

This step may seem silly and obvious, but it is the most critical part of achieving your goals! Anyone can come up with a college planning goal, but it takes commitment and drive for students to make the time and effort to see their plans through.

  • Record your progress

Whatever goals you set for yourself, make sure to record your progress as you go. For example, if your goal is to research colleges and universities, make a list and keep track of what you learn, including making notes of important information like application deadlines or scholarships offered.

College Planning Goals by Grade Level 


Time is on your side and freshman year is a great time to set the foundation for success. We think this is the perfect year to establish a game plan for the next four years and learn how to become a competitive collegiate applicant. Ideas for freshmen year goals could be:

  • Set GPA goals and improve upon study skills
  • Create a preliminary 4-year course roadmap to help explore areas of interest
  • Begin involvement in high school clubs, extracurricular activities, or summer/career camps


Sophomore year is when many Class 101 students begin their college planning journey. We recommend starting no later than the 10th grade in order to maximize college and scholarship opportunities.  Sophomores could think about setting goals that include:

  • Completion of a college major assessment and research of potential majors
  • Explore local college campuses to identify desired factors
  • Begin test prep basics for the ACT/SAT/PSAT
  • Get involved by volunteering and finding community service opportunities
  • Start building a resume and track activities


If you are familiar with our Super Junior Program, you already know that we recommend specific goals for Junior Year. Class 101 students accomplish these goals in just three months under the guidance of experienced advisors who have taken thousands of students through this process before. The timeline sets our students up for a great application experience in their Senior Year. If you are navigating this on your own, there is still time to set these goals and begin working towards a successful application season.

  • Create a college admissions resume
  • Determine the right standardized test for you, get a baseline score, and document top trends
  • Document ideal college factors
  • Identify compatible colleges and perform in-depth research
  • Visit college campuses
  • Create summer/early Fall timeline to complete college applications


By January of senior year, most Seniors have submitted their college applications, received some admission decision, and are working to complete scholarship applications. Here are a few suggested goals for seniors:

  • Complete any last-minute admission applications
  • Finalize scholarship applications
  • Evaluate admission offers received
  • Attend Accepted Student Day for your top 1-3 colleges
  • Register early for new student orientation

What will your college planning goals be? 

Setting goals and laying out a game plan for your year will set you up for success and simplify the college application process when it’s go-time Senior Year. Here’s to making 2024 the best yet!

When you’re ready to let Class 101 partner with you on your college goals, reach out to our experienced Class 101 Monmouth County advisors.

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Start planning for college today!