College Planning for High School Freshmen and Sophomores

Dear current high school freshmen and sophomores,

How is high school going so far? It seems like it has just begun. Have you finally figured out where the least used bathrooms are? Can you open your locker on the first try? Have you decided which lunch specials are worth avoiding? Great!

Now you need to start thinking about college. It may seem far off but these years will go by fast and the sooner you start planning for college the easier the transition will be. 

In order to help with this, we've outlined what high school freshman and sophomores should be doing now to prepare for college in our College Planning Guide.

Did you know you could taking college classes in high school through a dual enrollment program? You can earn college credits that can transfer and will put you further ahead than your classmates. Dual enrollment programs are also less expensive than if you were to pay for the college credits when you are in college. Taking college classes in high school can save you a considerable amount of money. 

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9th Grade College Planning Schedule 

Fall: The start of your high school experience

Guidance Counselor. Get to know your counselor. Make an appointment and introduce yourself. Discuss your ideas for college, a career, and the subjects you are interested in. He or she can make sure you taking the right mix of classes including core requirements. You can also find out about AP classes, honors classes, testing out of classes, and dual enrollment opportunities. 

Activities. Both school-sponsored and things outside of school are important for you education. It will give you an opportunity to meet new people, experience new things, and make you are more well rounded student. Colleges like to admit students who do things outside of their general curriculum. 

Winter: Now you have the lay of the land

Concentrate on your grades. Now that you have a semester under your belt you have a better feel for what is expected of you academically. If you are struggling get help now. If you need to be more challenged, talk to you counselor about your options. Just be sure to stay on top of you grades and if you find yourself slipping, take corrective action immediately. The better grades you have in high school the more opportunities and choices you will have regarding college. 

Start thinking about a career. Even though you don't have decide quite yet on what career you want, it is a good idea to start getting some ideas. This will shape your schedule and classes for the next few years. It may also determine what colleges you start to look at and what activities you participate in. 

Paying for College. Now is also a good time to start to talking with your parents, guardians and counselor about options for paying for college. A college savings account, scholarships, loans and other sources of funds need to be considered. 

Spring and Summer: It's not JUST a vacation

Now that you have some ideas about what direction you may go for a career, make your spring and summer count toward that goal. Get a job, volunteer, and participate in enrichment programs. 

Portfolio. Start a portfolio or account of all of your accomplishments and activities. Don't forget to include jobs, awards, community service, team sports, and experiences. Keeping all of this information current and organized will make it a lot easier to fill out job and college applications. 

Research Colleges. Look into colleges and universities that offer the types of programs you are interested in. You can even start visiting some campuses, especially if there are any that are close to you. Even if you aren't interested in attending the ones that are nearby, go and visit anyway. Get a feel for college life and what will be expected of you. This will help you decide if you want to attend a big school or a small school.

RelatedThe Benefits of Small Christian Colleges

10th Grade College Planning Schedule 

Fall: The PSAT, Exploring Careers, and College Admissions

Practice the PSAT. This test cannot be avoided if you want to attend college. The more times you practice it the better you will do when you take it for real. Many middle and high schools require students to practice this test at least once a year. If your school doesn't offer this, ask your guidance counselor for information on where how you can practice. 

Review Your Courses. Schedule an appointment with your counselor to review your course plan. Make sure your classes are still on track to fulfill your requirements and support any careers or fields study you are interested in. Continue to explore possible careers and requirements. 

College Admissions. Start familiarizing yourself with the college admissions process. Research specific schools you are interested in and determine what will be required for their application. 

Winter: Try new things and build your skills

Activities. Continue to stay involved in activities in and out of school. See if you can increase your involvement or take on a new leadership role. 

Read and Write. The more you read the more you know. Books, industry and trade magazines, and current events. Stay up on world events and news that has to do with the industries you are interested in for your career. Continue to practice your writing skills too. 

Review your scores and plan. Meet with your counselor to go over your PSAT scores and your schedule. Ask about any possible Advancement Placement (AP) classes and dual enrollment programs to get you further ahead. 

Spring and Summer: Take some road trips

Visit colleges. Continue to research colleges and universities that interest you and visit a few. Schedule tours and meetings with the counseling office. Find out as much as you can.

Job or Internship. Get a job or internship to add experience to your ever-growing list of activities and accomplishments. 

If these schedules sound like a lot of work it's because there is a lot to think about when it comes to choosing a college. You and your future are worth it! 

Great Lakes Christian College has many opportunities including a dual enrollment program for high schools students, on-campus degrees, and online programs as well. 

Schedule an appointment to tour our campus and find out more about us. 

We can't wait to hear from you!

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By Great Lakes Christian College | January 14th, 2020 |