College Admissions Guidance

Blog posts about college admissions topics such as essays, extracurriculars,  planning, mental health, etc.

9th, 10th graders... don't slack off... what could you do to get college ready?

career options demonstrated interest extracurricular activities financial planning freshman year future planning networking sophomore year Sep 22, 2021
Why is 9th grade so important?
After decades of research with Chicago Public Schools, the University of Chicago's Consortium on School Research found that staying On-Track during ninth grade means a student is four times more likely to graduate high school, regardless of their race, income or background. ... how ninth-grade success teams help kids
.What should I be doing as a freshman in high school? 
Here is a great bucket list of things to do your freshman year!
  • 1) Get organized. ...
  • 2) Participate in the club community. ...
  • 3) Take challenging classes. ...
  • 4) Look into AP and SAT subject tests. ...
  • 5) Find your niche! ...
  • 6) Befriend upperclassmen. ...
  • 7) Attend school events. ...
  • 8) Meet new people.
Is freshman year hard in high school?
Although some people might find that freshman year of high school is challenging, the junior year would typically be the most difficult, busy, and important year because of everything you have to juggle from academics, extracurricular activities, and college preparation to still keeping a social life.
  • Take challenging courses in high school (e.g., honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), HS/college dual enrollment), focusing on the core academics: English, math, science, history, and world languages. Rigorous courses that go beyond the minimum graduation requirements will make you a more impressive applicant and can even earn you college credit while in high school!
  • Your high school transcript is considered one of the most important parts of your college application, and good grades will distinguish you from many other applicants.
  • Freshman year is a great time to try several different extracurricular activities to see which ones are most interesting to you. Once you decide what you like, dedicate more time to fewer activities in order to become deeply involved.
  • Summer is a great time to earn extra money for college while exploring different career fields.
  • Getting to know your guidance counselor early in your high school career makes it easier to talk about your plans for high school, college, and career.
  • Start discussing ASAP, both in terms of why you want to go to college and how you're going to pay for it. That way, you and your family will be comfortable with the topic when it's crunch time in 11th and 12th grade.
  • Even if you can only put aside a few dollars each month, every little bit helps, and creating a college savings account makes the idea of going on to higher education much more real.
  • Though most scholarships are available only for seniors applying to college, there are some scholarships available regardless of where you are in your high school career.