High School Students

Preparing you for college success.


High School Pathways Program

The American Indian College Fund’s college admissions coaches provide guidance and resources to high school students including:

  • on-site visits to high schools;
  • social media interaction;
  • one-on-one coaching;
  • workshops;
  • opportunities for campus visits and participation in college fairs; and
    help with the admissions process.

Transition To High School

This isn’t middle school anymore! As you progress through these four years, you’ll be given more responsibility for your own actions and decisions, such as greater independence and facing harsher consequences.
Remember to seek out the wisdom of your community and family. Elders have experienced transition on many levels and most would be happy to provide guidance and encouragement to you as well.

You will begin to decide your path beyond high school in the eleventh and twelfth grades. If you are planning to attend college, these are integral years of preparation and work to build that foundation for success. If you are not planning to attend college, these years are necessary to hone your interests and skills for professional development after graduation.

College Readiness

The College Fund now offers an Admissions Pathway program to eligible students in order to guide and assist in the college application process. Learn more about the program and eligibility requirements here.

Carefully read the eleventh and twelfth grade timelines and use this document as a road map for important dates that will help you prepare for college.

Academic Planning

Your high school grades can help or hurt you if you are planning to go to college. Create a plan and be strategic about the classes and electives you choose. Go through your plan with a parent, mentor, or counselor.

Campus Fit

Visiting college campuses is a great way to explore what they have to offer. Here is a quick to do list of things that will help you narrow your college search:

  • Talk to key staff members (professors, other students, etc.).
  • Contact the admissions office to set up a tour and inquire about the application process.
  • Visit the Native American or Multicultural Center. They may offer additional services or programs specific to your identity.
  • Use this detailed checklist to prepare for your upcoming college visits.
  • Scholarship Searching

Begin searching for scholarships in the fall of your twelfth grade year. Generally, most applications open the following January. This gives you time to do research and write your personal statement by the time the application period opens. Many applications ask where you will be attending college. It is best to put the name of your intended college. Keep the contact information for your scholarship contacts handy. Reach out to them if the information on your application changes. Once you’ve applied for our scholarships, visit our additional scholarship resources page for more opportunities!

Career Planning

Career planning may seem premature in eleventh or twelfth grade, but it’s not! It’s important to think about your skills and interests and how you want to develop them further after high school. Visit our Career Center for career assessment tools and tips about building your first resume and cover letter.


The year between your eleventh and twelfth grade year or the summer before college is a great time to pursue an internship opportunity. Internships allow you to gain hands-on experience in a field of your choice and help you decide what you want to do (or not do!).

  • Is there a local company in your community that could use a helping hand?
  • Are there any formal internship programs nearby that interest you?
  • Visit our internship program page for opportunities nationwide.

Time Management

In high school, you are likely balancing multiple classes with different assignment deadlines, community and tribe activities, and family obligations. This can easily become overwhelming. Try using an agenda or a calendar to track multiple activities and homework. Although your high school may still be very structured and you are able to organize your time effectively, these are the years to focus on your study style for both now and college. Determine:

  • Do you prefer to study in groups?
  • By yourself?
  • In a quiet space like the library?
  • In a noisier spot like a café?
  • What tools help (flashcards, rewriting notes?)

Sign-Up for the High School Pathways Program

The High School Admissions Pathway program helps high school students realize the importance and benefits of attending college. Students learn to approach the process of applying to attend college with an understanding of personal power, college readiness, campus fit, college applications, and commitment to academic pursuits to succeed.