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9th Grade

Congratulations! You have made it to high school. You have a lot more choices about classes and how you spend your free time, which can have a big impact on your college and career options. Here are some steps to help you stay on track to graduate from high school on time and ready for college:

Work hard in school.

  • Do your best every day in your classes and try to get good grades.
  • Review and, if necessary, revise your course plan for high school. Talk to your school counselor to make sure the courses you choose keep you on track for graduation and prepare you for college. Use your electives to explore your interests. (DCPS students)
  • Find out about advanced classes you might be able to take, such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual credit, which can help you get started early on college credit. Make sure you know what courses you have to take ahead of time to enroll in these advanced classes.
  • If you haven’t already, take a learning style assessment to find out how you learn new information best. (DCPS students | other students)

Prepare for college.

  • Attend the Greater Washington National College Fair on Oct. 12, 2010, to find out more about college options.
  • Explore colleges online or visit colleges in person, if you can. Keep a list of schools that interest you. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Keep a list of at least one teacher or another adult whom you would ask for a recommendation letter. (DCPS students)
  • Save an example of good work that you did in class this year. (DCPS students)
  • Try to save some money for college. If you can, attend programs about how to pay for college (your school counselor or college access provider can hook you up).
  • If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can request one online. You will need it for financial aid and job applications.

Explore careers.

  • Think about what you like to do and find out what areas of work — as well as specific careers within those areas — suit your interests. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Identify what basic skills you have and find out more about careers that match those skills. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Start writing your resume so you can apply for jobs. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Try job shadowing or an internship to find out more about different careers and what the workplace is like. (See your school counselor or college access provider for more information.)

Get involved.

  • Volunteer in your community, play sports, or join clubs. Getting involved will help you explore your interests and get you started on meeting the community service graduation requirement. Plus, many scholarships require students to demonstrate a history of community service. (DCPS students)
  • Keep a list of your extracurricular activities as well as any awards or recognition you receive — you will need this information for college applications and for many financial aid opportunities.
  • Talk to your family, teachers, and other adults about your plans so they can help you stay on track!

( 6 Votes )



Dontrell, a Wilson alum, attends Howard and wants to be an FBI agent ... view video (1:15)


Colleges like it when high school freshmen visit campus or go to the college fair.