What should 9th graders be doing to prepare for college?

Did you know that students shouldn’t wait until their junior or senior years to start prepping for college? That’s right! Younger students should be prepping, too. What should 9th graders be doing to prepare for college? If you’re just entering high school, you can focus on your interests, create a plan for your high school experience, and get involved.

Preping for College 9th Grade Checklist.

Think About Interests

One thing 9th graders can do to prepare for college is think about their interests. This will help you find direction for the next four years and possibly even college and their career. Make a running list of topics, studies, and activities you find interesting – even if you haven’t explored it yet! For example, have you been wanting to study Egyptian history but never have before? Add it to the list!

Would any of these interests be available as a class at school? Or a club? Could any of these interests be something you’re considering as a career?

Create a Plan for High School

With your interests in hand, you can start thinking about your high school plan. Talk to your guidance counselor about classes that match your interests and also courses you can take that will look great to colleges. Your school may offer courses that aren’t well known, but available to you as electives.

Over the next four years you should think about taking or take:

  • Language courses
  • Electives that line up with college majors you’re considering
  • Classes that seem interesting to you
  • Classes that challenge you
  • AP courses
  • College courses

During this time, you should also get to know your guidance counselor. They will be there to advise you on classes, but also will be a key ally in your college prep.

Get Involved

Even though you probably can’t get started on AP or college courses as a 9th grader and you can only create a plan for the future for your classes, there is plenty you can do right now.

Getting involved in your school and community is a great way to build up a resume that will impress colleges when it’s time to apply. You could

  • Join (or even create) a school club that aligns with your interests
  • Participate in school or local sports teams
  • Volunteer within your community

You don’t have to join every club, extracurricular activity, or volunteer opportunity that comes your way – and you shouldn’t. Instead, you should think about what you have time for, review your interests, and attend things that are important to you. It’s essential that you can be relied upon. If you’re too overwhelmed and failing to show up for meets or volunteer hours, you may lose your spot.

Do you want to be sure you’re preparing for college correctly every step of the way in high school? Our free downloadable checklists could be exactly what you need to make it easier than ever to track your progress.


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