College Prep - Checklist for 9th Graders
February 16, 2015 governmentgrants.info Staff
Key scheduling tips to consider alongside your college aspirations starts with the placement in challenging classes for core academic subjects. Keep in mind that most colleges require four years of English, a minimum of three years in Math, Science, and Social Studies; also, many now require two years of a foreign language. Ask your guidance counselor or teachers which 'Advanced Placement' courses are available, what the eligibility requirements are, and how to enroll. The rest of the schedule should reflect your creative interests (arts, computer science, etc.).
Another crucial part of the evaluation and application will focus on school and community involvement. Demonstrate high character and selflessness through teamwork on an athletic field, stage or as a model citizen in society. Working a part time job, volunteering, attending academic enrichment/leadership camps are all excellent ways to demonstrate accountability. It is important to remember that it is the quality, not the quantity of your 'good deeds' that is valued most. Do not hesitate to start a resume, keeping track of your individual awards and accolades, and be sure to update it throughout high school.
Be sure to plan ahead financially! There are scholarship opportunities for those who earn them, but work with your parents on establishing a savings plan. You can estimate financial aid figures using FAFSA4caster. Another helpful resource in the future will be "KnowHow2Go: The Four Steps to College". This text will answer questions about education opportunities beyond high school, offer money management guidance and general ways to begin preparing now for your higher education.
It is imperative to motivate and support your child in their educational endeavors, and college should be the assumed next step in conversations concerning the future. Monitor study habits and grades to help build a conducive learning environment at home. Advanced Placement classes absolutely give an edge on college applications, and should be considered if able/eligble. It is also necessary to instill and demonstrate strong money saving habits, as their personal financial independence is quickly approaching.
For additional resources to help address concerns about attending college, read "Parent Power" for access to ideas for staying involved in your child's academic progression.