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Welcome Back to School From SWENext!

High school students can use these tips from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to stay on track with your future college goals.
Welcome Back to School from SWENext!

Happy start of the school year! Hope your summer was fun and your school year is just as rewarding.

We’d like to provide some reminders and guidance as you get back into the swing of things. Continue volunteering when you can. If available in your area, Key Club provides great volunteer opportunities. Start looking for scholarships early and often ― every little bit helps. And remember to apply for a SWENext award. 

If you ever find yourself unsure of what steps you could be taking to make sure you’re on track to your dream STEM career, make sure to check out SWENext’s Milestones to College! For the fall semester, here are some other helpful tips for your class year:


  • Find a study buddy to make learning easier and more fun.
  • Get involved with a SWENext Club or school activities that interest you. As part of a SWENext Club, you can gain leadership experience, meet with your peers who are interested in STEM, and connect with a wide network of SWE Members locally and around the globe. (Can’t find a SWENext Club at your school? Check out this article for information on how to start one yourself!)


  • Sign up for the PSAT – taking the test during your sophomore year is a great practice run before your junior year scores are used for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.  Learn more here!


  • Sign up for and take the PSAT.  These scores are used to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
  • Talk to your guidance counselor about the college application process.
  • Interested in internships? Check out the SWENext Internship Resource guide.
  • Develop a list of schools you want to apply to. Not sure where to start? Watch our SWENextTV episode on college considerations to learn more! SWENext also has a video archive created for SWENexters by collegiate SWEsters to let you know what they can offer you at their schools. Also, check out the SWE STEM Pathways courses for more information on different engineering majors.


  • Sign up for the SAT/ACT if still needed. Remember, you can retake them if you want to improve your scores.
  • Take the SAT Subject Tests if required.
  •  College Applications:
    • Recommendation Letters – ask two teachers you are close to or whose classes you did well in.
    • Essay – send first drafts to teachers/counselors.
    • Send official high school transcripts.
    • Send SAT/SAT Subject Test/ACT scores.
  • Start the application process for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAwhen it opens on October 1. Colleges use the FAFSA to determine financial aid awards. Confused and not sure how to start? Watch our SWENextTV episodes on financial aid.
  • Apply for SWE scholarships when the application cycle opens in February.
  • Visit any schools you want to apply to but didn’t have time to see over the summer.

This post was assembled by the FY24 SWENext Programs Transitions Workgroup.


  • SWE Blog

    SWE Blog provides up-to-date information and news about the Society and how our members are making a difference every day. You’ll find stories about SWE members, engineering, technology, and other STEM-related topics.