High School Planning Timeline

9th Grade

All 9th grade planning steps are shown.
High School Planning steps are highlighted.
Now that you're in 9th grade, it's time to get serious about your college plans. By starting early, you'll be better prepared.
Don't neglect your study habits!
Keep up the good work, and continue to improve your study skills.
If you don't have one, sign up for a college savings account.
If you have an existing account, be sure to add to your savings regularly.
Talk to your guidance counselors, teachers, family members or trusted adults about your plans for college.
If you're not sure if college is the best option for you, talk to your counselor.
Use Your Plan of Study to keep track of your courses and grades.
Invite your counselor to view Your Plan of Study
Find out about college entrance requirements for the schools you're interested in.
Create a file of the following documents and notes:
report cards, lists of awards and honors, school and community activities, and volunteer work.
Start thinking about the colleges you want to attend.
(Hint: Use our Explore Schools section to help look for schools.)
Find out about AP and other honors-level courses.
Continue to get involved in campus and community activities.
If you didn't take it last year, take the ACT Aspire test to evaluate your skills in English, math, reading and science reasoning.
It's good practice and your scores won't count towards your college application.
How are you spending your summer?
Volunteering and educational programs can help give you a better idea about what kind of training or career would be right for you.
College life can be a big change - you're on your own!
Try taking some small steps towards independence this year, perhaps with more responsibility around your house.