• 9th Grade: College Planning Timeline

  • Freshman year, you are laying the foundation for your high school career. This is a time to establish your academic and extracurricular credentials. You should also begin to explore options for your career or further education. Students, please use the information below as a guide. 



    • Meet your counselor
      • Your counselor is ready and willing to help you make sense of your college and career options. We meet with all ninth graders in the fall semester to make sure you know who we are and how to find us. We also help all ninth graders create a 4-year plan in Naviance to get students to start thinking about what is to come. Students are always encouraged to make an appointment and talk with their counselor if they have further questions.
    • Get involved
      • Extracurricular activities (both school and non-school sponsored) are an important part of high school. Make the effort to get involved with groups, clubs, or teams that interest you. These activities are fun and make you a well-rounded student. Click Here to see a list of available clubs at CHS. 
    • Pick the right mix of classes
      • Make sure you are enrolled in the appropriate college-prep or tech-prep classes and that you are taking key core requirements, such as English, math, science, history, and a foreign language. Also, keep balance in mind when it comes to your schedule. You want to make sure you still have time outside of academics to get involved.


    • Make the grade
      • Get off to a good start with your grades because they will impact your GPA. Although college seems like a long way off right now, grades really do count toward college admission and scholarships.
    • Explore careers, as well as your interests
      • Discuss your skills and interests with your counselor 
    • Consider a college savings plan
      • Talk to your parents about planning for college expenses. If your family already has a savings plan, continue to add to it. If not, now is a wonderful time to start saving for college. Your parents can use a financial planning calculator to help them assess their current savings situation and plan.


    • Build your credentials
      • Keep track of academic and extracurricular awards, community service achievements, and anything else you participate in, so it will be easier to remember later. It will come in handy when you want to highlight your accomplishments, such as when you are filling out college applications or creating a resume.
    •  Start learning about college
      • Look at the college information available in the College & Career Center. Use the internet to check out college websites. Use Naviance for a college search (we recommend SuperMatch) and to view college profiles. You may even want to start a list of colleges in your Naviance account under “Colleges I’m Thinking About.”
    • Begin to get a feel for college life
      • Visiting relatives or friends who live on or near a college campus is a fantastic way to get a sense of what college is like. Check out the dorms, go to the library and student center, and walk around campus. Do not worry yet about where you want to go, just get a feel for college, in general.
    • Make summer count
      • There are plenty of ways to have fun and build your credentials during the summer, such as volunteering, getting a job, or signing up for an enrichment program. Please see the College and Career website for a list of opportunities.


    Parents, Click Here to learn more about how you can help your 9th grader prepare for their future. 

    Source: Peterson's College Planning Timelines