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High School Year by Year

9th Grade–How to Guide and Advise Your Freshman

When a student becomes a freshman, everything starts to “count.” Freshman grades are used in determining a student’s GPA, and freshman courses, grades, and credits all become part of a student’s transcript. Freshman activities, honors, and awards can also be listed on college and scholarship applications.

  1. Monitor Academic Progress.  Sit down with your son or daughter at the beginning of each grading period and help him/her set realistic academic goals for that term.
  2. Encourage involvement in a wide variety of activities. Encourage your son or daughter to participate in activities outside of school and to also do some volunteer work. Most college and scholarship applications ask students to list their high school activities. Many applications also ask for evidence of leadership. Tip: During your child’s freshman year, have them start keeping a record of all his/her activities. This information will be very helpful later when your son or daughter is required to list activities and honors on college and scholarship applications.
  3. Help your child select appropriate 10th grade courses. In February of your student’s freshman year, review your child’s four-year high school plan, and make sure that your child selects the most appropriate courses for his/her sophomore year.
  4. Plan meaningful summer activities.
10th Grade–How to Guide and Advise Your Sophomore

In addition to working hard in school and being involved in a variety of activities, sophomores need to start identifying their abilities, aptitudes, and interests. Sophomores should also be looking for ways to further develop their talents and skills.

  1. Continue to monitor academic progress.
  2. Continue to encourage involvement in activities and the development of leadership skills.
  3. Select courses for the 11th grade. In February of your student’s sophomore year, review your child’s four-year high school plan, and make sure that your child selects the most appropriate courses for his/her junior year. Encourage your student to think about taking an Advanced Placement (AP) or Dual Credit course if they have not already done so.
  4. Explore and discuss college options. Gather information, go to college fairs, and make informal visits to colleges. Think about your child’s aptitudes, interests, and abilities, and help your child view his/her interests and abilities in terms of possible college majors.
  5. Plan summer activities.
  6. Have your student update their activities list.
11th Grade–How to Guide and Advise Your Junior

The junior year is when students should seriously begin examining their college options. Juniors should take college tests, make college visits, and start searching for scholarships.

  1. Continue to monitor academic progress.Since most college applications are completed in the fall of a student’s senior year, the last grades on a student’s transcript are usually his/her junior year grades. Junior year grades are, therefore, the most important grades in high school.
  2. Encourage involvement in activities and the development of leadership skills.
  3. Think about and explore college options. Naviance is a great tool to complete this task.
  4. Make sure your son or daughter registers for the ACT and/or the SAT early in the spring.
  5. Make college visits.
  6. Select courses for the 12th grade. In February of your student’s junior year, review your child’s four-year high school plan, and make sure that your child selects the most appropriate courses for his/her senior year. Encourage your student to think about taking an Advanced Placement (AP) or Dual Credit course if they have not already done so.
  7. Make sure your student is in attendance the days the school is offering the TSI test.
  8. Look for scholarships.
  9. Have your student update their activities list.
  10. Meet with the high school counselor to go over your child’s record and to discuss college planning.
  11. Help choose meaningful activities for the summer.
  12. Narrow the list of college choices.
  13. Have your son or daughter establish a professional email address for them to use when communicating with colleges.
12th Grade–How to Guide and Advise Your Senior

The senior year is when everything comes together, and students see the rewards of their hard work and planning.

  1. Continue to monitor academic progress.
  2. Continue to explore college options and set up a calendar for the year. Use this calendar to record test dates, application deadlines, college visitation days, etc.
  3. Have your son or daughter sign up for the ACT (September, October or December) or SAT (September, October, November) if necessary.
  4. Oversee completion of college applications.
  5. Complete financial aid and scholarship application forms.
  6. Don’t forget about the May 1 National Notification Deadline, which is the date students must notify the college they plan to attend in order to guarantee their spot.