1. Choose your classes carefully.
When you begin applying to colleges, schools will examine your high school transcript. Because colleges want to make sure that applicants can handle rigorous academic classes, it is imperative that your transcript lists many academic classes with good grades. If you have selected to take extra academic classes in high school instead of taking electives, this tells the college that you are interested in learning. If you have taken only the basic requirements and have filled your transcript with extra elective classes, minimum day, or mentorship, this may tell the college that you probably are not academically prepared for college. Selective colleges also want to see that you have taken honors, academic alliance, and AP courses when appropriate. Although you have little control over what level of class you take in 9th grade, you will definitely want to pay attention to the level of courses you take in the future.
Push yourself to learn all you can in each class you take and you will be prepared for college-entrance tests, and you will know the material you need to excel in college. When colleges look at your transcript, they will determine your GPA (grade-point average). The GPA is based on all of the courses you take while in high school. The higher your GPA, the greater your chances are to be accepted into the college you desire. Study hard, complete all of your work on time, ask the teacher for extra help when needed. Do everything you can to make A's in all of your classes. If an "A" is absolutely impossible for you, strive to make B's. Maintain high grades in all classes. Colleges may also look at your grades in two other ways: (1) the trend of your grades and (2) academic grades only. When schools look at the trend of your grades, they will see how your present grades compare to your previous grades. In other words, are your grades improving, or are your grades slipping? Additionally, when computing the GPA, some schools will compute only academic classes.
When colleges look at your transcript, most will re-compute your GPA using CORE/ACADEMIC courses only. It is important for you to research Freshman Admissions at the colleges of your choice to review admissions requirements.
Later on when you apply to colleges, schools will want to know your Class Rank. Your Class Rank will be printed on your transcript and report card. The student or students in the entire Junior class who have the highest GPA will be ranked #1. The higher your class rank, the better your chances are that you will be admitted into college.
This test will allow you to see how you compare to other students throughout the nation. Make sure that you prepare for the test (See below for ideas), and do your absolute best on the test. When you take the test, you will also have the opportunity to check YES for the college search service. This will give colleges and universities the opportunity to contact you about their school. The PSAT for Juniors is also the test, which is used to determine National Merit Scholars. (See information below.)
See College Board for more information about the PSAT.
Students who have excellent attendance generally make higher grades, learn more, and enjoy school more. What is good attendance? Here's a guide:
Perfect Attendance - You never miss a day during the entire year.
Excellent Attendance - You miss no more than 2 days for the year.
Good Attendance - You miss 3-4 days during the year.
Acceptable Attendance - You miss 5-6 days during the year.
If you miss more than six days during the year, you will not learn as much. A serous illness may impact attendance. Additionally, if you miss more than 6 days for the year, teachers may not view you as a diligent worker who wants to do his or her best work at all times.
Your teachers will help prepare you for college and future plans. Show them that you are serious about learning and that you are a hard worker. If you are absent frequently, misbehave, or fail to complete your assignments on time, teachers will not view you as a serious student who wants to excel. Not only will this behavior prevent you from learning as much as you can, but it may hurt you in the future.
By the end of the school year, talk to one or two teachers and ask them if they will be willing to write recommendations for you next year when you begin applying to college.
This fair has approximately 100 representatives from public and private technical and four year colleges and military. Out of state institutions also are represented.
E-mail your Guidance Counselor and make an appointment to discuss your current performance and your goals for the future. Counselors are extremely busy at the beginning and ending of each semester and during times when school-wide testing is going on. Choose a time to meet, which is not so busy.
When you apply to colleges, you will be asked to list the school and community activities in which you have participated. Colleges select intelligent students who have good grades, but they also want to make sure that the students they accept will have positive impacts on their colleges. Find clubs and sports that interest you and get involved. Don't try to join every club. Instead, select 2-4 sports, clubs, and activities that really appeal to you, and then get involved. By becoming involved in these activities, you will enjoy school more and meet new friends. In the future, you should find organizations that you really enjoy and assume leadership roles.
Most colleges will ask you to list extracurricular activities and leadership roles. Competitive schools want to see that you were not just a member of numerous clubs but that you held an important leadership position in a significant organization.
Colleges also want students who get involved in Community Service projects. Get involved in organizations outside of school such as working with Habitat for Humanity, raising funds for the Cancer Society, working as a volunteer at a nursing home or hospital. If you would like to get involved in Community Service but don't know how, please see your counselor, for a list of organizations that need help.
All colleges and universities require students to take tests in order to determine if students are qualified to attend their schools. Most students will take the ACT in their Junior year of high school.
* Pay attention in class and do your best work
* READ - Don't just read what is assigned in class.
Choose books and magazines that appeal to you and establish a ritual of reading for at least 20 minutes each day.
* Complete the DAILY Practice assignments on this website each day. Bookmark this site.
* Utilize free ACT tutorials
During your senior year you will have to make the decision of where you will attend college. In order to make this decision, you need to investigate possible colleges thoroughly. Also, during your senior year you will have the opportunity to make two college visits. However, your decision will be much easier later if you begin making college visits during the summer and vacations during your junior year.
The Youth Options program allows public high school juniors and seniors who meet certain requirements to take postsecondary courses at a Wisconsin Technical College or other institute of higher education, such as UW-Richland Students MUST work through their counselor to be a part of this program. Please see the Youth Options link, which has frequently asked questions.