Attention 9th graders, college may feel like a long way away. In some ways, it is. But, in more ways than one, it’s really not. College-bound 9th graders are part of the college admissions process, whether they know it or not. In fact, our firm starts working with many teens in their freshman year of high school.

Long before students start receiving college mailings, they can get prepared. 9th graders can take these three steps to get into the best college for them:

  • Get to know yourself – At the same time that 9th grade may be an exciting time socially with making new friends at school, it’s also a great time for freshmen to explore and find new things that they like and enjoy doing. This may mean checking out a new club at school, starting a hobby, or trying out a summer program in a new subject area. Self-awareness is key in knowing what you want for college!
  • Plan your courses for all four years of high school – Setting your schedule ahead of high school graduation is a great way to build a strong foundation of coursework. It will also help you see where there may be courses missing. In those cases, perhaps you could consider an online or summer course. If your high school offers an Honors graduation, the four-year planning will help with determining if that’s a path you want to pursue.
  • Develop good study and organization skills – It’s not too early to find ways to improve your study and organization skills. The coursework in 9th grade is typically more rigorous than 8th grade, so consider how you manage your time after school or how you take notes during class. There are note-taking systems, time management tools, and organizing techniques to try that can help you develop habits that will serve you well throughout high school and beyond.

Ninth grade can be a great year to jumpstart success in high school and getting into the best college. The journey begins with the student!

What other suggestions do you have for 9th grade? Please post comments and questions below

Author: Pamela E

Dr. Pamela has helped thousands of teens attend the college of their choice. She brings her 25 years experience in education to assist families, schools, and employers with college selection, admissions, financial aid, and more. Dr. Pamela holds a PhD from Stanford School of Education, and an MBA from Dartmouth.

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