- Work with your high school/college-career counselor to create a four-year plan outlining the required and elective courses you will take each year in high school. Take a rigorous course curriculum that includes courses required for college admission as well as courses beyond those minimum requirements. Take difficult courses to impress college admission officers and to demonstrate you are ready for the competitive college scene.
- Meet with your high school/college-career counselor and begin talking about college majors and possible careers. Develop a relationship with your counselor during the freshman year so he/she can get to know you and your interests.
- Study hard and earn top grades. Freshman grades will be included in your final high school GPA and class rank; freshman grades do count toward college admission and scholarships.
- Get involved with school activities (student organizations and clubs) and extracurricular activities outside of school (community volunteering or working a job or internship). The quality of your activities will be closely analyzed by admission officers when you apply for college admission. Also, many scholarships are awarded based solely on the quality of community service.
- Start a list of your activities, accomplishments, awards, community service, and other unique experiences. Use this list to create your student résumé.
- Develop teacher and upperclassmen relationships. Plan to use teachers and older high school students as mentors. Learn from college-bound students going through the college admission process so you will be better prepared when you begin the process in spring of your junior year.