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9th Grade To-Do List

To give yourself an edge in the college application process, here are some things you should do throughout your freshman year. This list provides quick and efficient ways to get you organized. Feel free to personalize this list in order to suit your own needs and application checklist 9th grade freshmen

Check out the other lists for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade to plan ahead.

  • Extracurricular Activities: Participate in activities you enjoy; mark your calendar with auditions, tryouts and sign-up dates that apply to you.
  • Community Service: Volunteer at a worthwhile organization through school or on your own. Try to find a cause/service that speaks to you or your interests.
  • Foreign Language: Take a foreign language for four years. If you find you have a talent for language, take a second one if your schedule allows. Colleges love this.
  • Advanced Classes: Get a list of Advanced Placement (AP), Honors, or International Baccalaureate (IP) classes your school offers and the prerequisites needed in order to take them.
  • Study Skills:

    • Work on ways to be more efficient with your time. Use a daily planner.
    • Review class notes regularly, do homework on time, prepare for class tests, and if you work better with others, organize a small study group with other college bound classmates.
    • Ask for help from a teacher or tutor if needed.

School Counselor: Plan the most challenging 10th grade schedule you can handle. For subjects at which you excel, seek out AP or honors classes when available.

Summer Opportunities:

  • Plan your summer activites in the Spring.
  • Attend summer school if you need to improve your performance in a solid subject or want to get ahead next semester.
  • Explore college enrichment programs for high school students.
  • Find a job, internship or volunteer work in a field that interests you.
  • Become a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) at a summer camp.

Ready, Aim, Fire!

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It's time to start your college search. But not so fast. Do a little research first. Check out informative college websites, take an online tour, read reliable college guide books and get feedback from friends who are already in college. Deciding where you will fit in and thrive for four years to come is a journey with many detours. So don't rush it. Give yourself plenty of time to get lost, change directions or stop and refuel.


Try It On First

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How do you know where you want to go to college? What do you do to find out? The answer is found through personal experience. Visit a variety of local colleges and universities. You need to hang out at a sprawling state university, sit in on a seminar at a small liberal arts college, check out an 8'x10' dorm room, and eavesdrop on students in the dining hall. After doing this personal research, you'll be surprised at what fits, and what doesn't.


Highlight Your Passion

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Colleges want a renaissance class made up of all types of students. What is your special talent? What sets you apart? Everyone has something they are passionate about, whether it’s quirky, off-the-beaten-path or more mainstream. Your individual passion is the thing that sets you apart from other college applicants and will ultimately round out a diverse class. Susan's specialty is to draw out your uniqueness and show you how to successfully communicate “who you are.”


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