9th grade is a transitional year for students. Freshman year grades do appear on college transcripts, so it is important that students put forth a consistent effort in their classes from the very beginning. It is important for students to develop a balanced schedule both within the school day and after school. Students are encouraged to take challenging courses as appropriate based on teacher recommendations and their own specific strengths and interests. This is the time to develop or reiterate strong work habits!
9th grade is a time to be open-minded and explore the many extracurricular opportunities available to them. Colleges are interested in seeing the extent of a student’s participation and contribution to their areas of interest, so starting activities in 9th grade will allow students to eventually take on leadership positions in their activities of choice.
In order to start high school on the best track academically, emotionally, and socially, 9th graders will participate in Peer Leadership groups in the beginning of the school year.
10th grade students should continue to advance within their academics and extracurricular activities. Some students may be able to take on one or more Advanced Placement courses in their sophomore year. In addition, students at this stage may want to begin exploring the various career paths available to them. Sophomores will be introduced to Naviance, a computer-based program that helps students identify career and college goals.
In October, all sophomores will take the PSAT/NMSQT to practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. Any student taking an AP test in May could also consider taking a related SAT Subject Test.
It is important that students participate in extracurricular activities this year -- it is never too late to join new activities, and students can begin to emerge as leaders in activities they are continuing from previous years.Although the college search process will begin in earnest in junior year, it is always a good idea for 10th grade students to visit a few colleges as it will get them thinking about the admissions process. Typically college visits serve to motivate students because they can provide GPA and SAT/ACT goals to work towards.
For most students, the college search begins in earnest in 11th grade. It is critical that juniors remain academically motivated throughout the year!
College representatives (50+ per year) visit NHS. Students sign up on Naviance to attend an information session with schools of interest.
Juniors are given the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October, which is used to determine whether students qualify for the National Merit Scholarship program and also serves as practice for the SAT
Junior College Night to help parents and students prepare for the college search
Counselors have an initial college meeting with each junior individually to help them narrow down their parameters and begin developing their college list.
Students should consider taking the SAT (test dates also available in March, May, and June).
If not already done, plan campus visits (make appointments for interviews and tours)
Complete Junior Self-Assessment on Naviance to help the counselor write a rich letter of recommendation
Any juniors who plan to participate in Division I or Division II athletics in college must register with NCAA in the spring.
If planning to apply to a military academy, establish contacts with senators and representatives as needed.
Senior College Night to reiterate the college application process and provide instructions on how to use Naviance for the process
Small group meetings for seniors to go over the logistics of applying to college as well as how to use Naviance for that purpose
50+ college admissions representatives visit the high school; seniors are encouraged to attend
Ask 2 teachers for letters of recommendation; give them 2-3 weeks notice
Request transcripts for any colleges to which you are applying
Financial Aid evening program
Parents complete the FAFSA for financial aid
Some Early Decision and Early Action deadlines for colleges
Community Scholarship application is posted; all seniors are encouraged to apply
- May 1st = National Decision Day!