Work hard! Most colleges will be reviewing your grades in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades when making an admission decision. Develop good study habits. As a 9th grader, you should aim for at least an hour of study each weeknight. As a 10th grader, you should aim for two hours of study each weeknight.
Start compiling a notebook as you research colleges. Keep track of what you like, what you don’t like, and what information you still need.
Visit colleges that most interest you. Talk to current students or alumni to get a real idea of what college is all about.
In the fall, plan to take the PSAT. Register in the Guidance Office. Test is being offered in mid October at the high school. $18 fee will apply. The PSAT will also be offered to all freshmen and sophomores in the spring. The fall PSAT is for eligibility to the Merit Scholarship. The spring PSAT is for practice for the SAT.
During the summer months, participate in meaningful activities- such as workshops, community programs and enrichment programs– both for personal fulfillment and for achievement you can include on college applications. Volunteer your time as well.
Maintain your good grades. This year is especially important. Take a majority of academic courses such as English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and a World Language.
In the fall, plan to take the PSAT and in April you will take the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) which includes the SAT. If you aren’t satisfied with your SAT score, you can test again in the fall. Or try taking the ACT. Suttons Bay High School will register you for the April test (MME).
Narrow down your potential college list to three to five options. Start a comparison worksheet and visit as many on your list as you can. It’s difficult to judge “the feel” of an institution unless you’ve been on its campus.
Consider establishing an e-mail account that you only use for college and scholarship searching. You will get a lot of mail!
Keep your grades up! Many schools review final grades and may rescind an offer of admission if senior year grades slip.
Take a minimum of four academic courses such as English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and a World Language, per semester.
Retake the SAT or ACT if you are still unsatisfied with your score.
Apply for admission to the three to five colleges or universities that interest you by the end of OCTOBER of your senior year. Check college websites and brochures for specific application deadlines.
Complete the FAFSA online as soon after October 1st as possible to apply for need-based financial aid for the following academic year.