College Planning

9TH GRADECongratulations! You're in high school now.

  • Remember, from now on, every grade you get counts toward your grade point average (GPA), which determines your rank in class. This is important for college admission and scholarships.
  • Now's the time to explore out-of-class activities. Get involved in organizations.
  • Think about the kind of things you like to do and how they might develop into a college major or career. Learn as much as you can about different kinds of jobs. Take advantage of career day opportunities. Participate in the Internship Program at your school.
  • Talk with your favorite teacher or counselor about what you would like to do and get their advice.
  • Obtain a copy of the Students Academic Planning Chart from your counselor. This can be found in the College Planning Guide. Plan all four years of classes.
  • Continue your savings plan for college. Have you met your savings goals? Can you increase your goal?
  • When you register for your sophomore classes, continue taking your college prep courses. Talk with your counselor for specifics.
  • Participate in summer enrichment activities, such as college tours.
  • Pass the Ohio Ninth Grade Proficiency Test
  • Keep reading. Not only books, but newspapers and magazines as well. Learn about current affairs.
  • Get involved in activities, both in and out of school. Don't be afraid to be different or to try something new.
  • Participate in the practice program for the PSAT.
  • Take the PSAT to get the experience.
  • Take the PLAN (pre-ACT) to help prepare you for the ACT next year.
  • Keep your grades up so you can have the highest GPA and class rank possible. Remember, it's going to count later on. This is very important for college admission and scholarships.
  • Visit college campuses near you or stop at campuses as you travel. If you see one you like, write to them for more information. Explore college on the Internet.
  • If you are interested in going to college at a military academy, now is the time to start planning and getting information.
  • Keep putting money away for college. Try to get a summer job. Set aside half of what you earn for college.
  • Continue to enroll in college prep courses. Consult your Student Academic Planning chart.
  • Update your Individual Career Plan (ICP).


  • It's never too late to improve your grades. Colleges look for an upward trend. Your GPA and class rank are important for college admission and scholarships.
  • Specialize your involvement in activities. Concentrate on your special talents, abilities, and interests. Colleges look for consistency and depth in activities as well as variety.
  • If you are interested in one of the military academies, start the application process now.
  • See your guidance counselor.
  • Sign up to meet with college representatives who visit your high school.
  • Attend local college fairs in the area. See your counselor for dates and times.
  • Develop leadership skills by accepting responsibility.
  • Participate in the practice program for the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).
  • Prepare for and take the PSAT/NMSQT. Discuss your scores with your counselor.
  • Take the EMPT (Early Math Placement Test) if available to determine how strong your math skills are.
  • Think about where you would like to go to college. Size, costs, location, and academic programs are some of the things to consider. Explore the Internet.
  • Write for college catalogs. Consult college guidebooks. Talk to your counselor.
  • Continue to research information about scholarships and other kinds of financial aid.
  • Attend your school's financial aid night. Take a parent or guardian if possible.
  • Study for the ACT and SAT tests. Study guides, prep course, and computer tutorials are available in each high school.
  • Register for the early spring ACT and/or SAT tests.
  • If you are planning to apply to a highly selective college, the SAT II subject test may be required. See your guidance counselor.
  • Take the ACT and/or SAT tests.
  • Continue to take a full course load of college prep courses in your senior year. It will pay off later.
  • Discuss post-secondary enrollment options with your guidance counselor.
  • Discuss ACT/SAT scores with your guidance counselor. If necessary, develop a plan to increase your scores when you take the tests again in your senior year.
  • Apply for a summer job. It's important to save most of your earnings for college. Be prepared to pay for college application, financial aid, and testing fees in the fall.
  • Visit as many college campuses as you can.
  • Talk with students currently enrolled at the colleges and/or alumni who live in the Columbus area.
  • Read, read, read.
  • Become involved in the community by volunteering.
  • Participate in summer academic enrichment activities


  • All male students must register for selective service on their 18th birthday to be eligible for federal and state financial aid.
  • Read thoroughly all mail you receive from colleges.
  • Continue to work on your grades.
  • Don't just take the easy courses. The more you are challenged, the better prepared you are for the first year of college.
  • Continue your specialized activities demonstrating initiative, creativity, commitment, and leadership. Consider a more active role. (Get involved in student government or a project.)
  • Narrow your college choices to four.
  • Attend local college fairs.
  • Make sure you are enrolled in the college prep courses needed for college admission.
  • If you haven't taken the ACT or SAT, register now.
  • Sign up to meet with college representatives who visit your high school.
  • Make more college visits, if necessary, to narrow your choice.
  • Apply for scholarship and talent grants. See your guidance counselor or college representative for more information. You can also call our staff for assistance.    Search for scholarships on the Internet.
  • Obtain letters of recommendation (teachers, employers, counselors, volunteer organizations, etc.)
  • Meet college application deadlines. Apply early. Make sure you have applied to at least one college you know you can afford, and where you will be accepted.
  • Order the CSS Profile if required by your university.
  • Keep copies of everything you send.
  • Finish completing your college admission and financial aid applications. All applications should be sent prior to winter break. Keep a copy of everything

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