9th Grade College Planning Timeline

Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10143

OK, you just want to get through high school, but it makes sense to prepare now for all those college applications you are going to send out! Follow these early steps for application success!


Preparing for College

College and Career
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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As a 9th grade student, sometimes the biggest focus is simply on graduating high school! Considering an education beyond high school may also be in your sights. If so, read on to find out what you can do now to better your chances of getting accepted to the college of your choice!

Before you start these steps, print the 9th Grade College Planning Timeline Checklist from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

Course selection

Enroll in challenging classes. Most colleges require at least four years of English, three years of social studies, three years of math, and three years of science, and most require at least two years of a foreign language. Schools begin tracking these classes in ninth grade.

You will also have to enroll in some electives. Try an elective that you are interested in. This is a great way to learn more about a topic that you could potentially see yourself studying in college. It’s important to take a challenging course load, but make sure it’s something that you can handle. If you think you can take on an honors class or A.P. class, let your advisor or counselor know. These classes also look great on your transcript.

Extra-curricular activities

Academics are important, but they aren’t everything! Getting involved in extracurricular activities can be fun and can make you a well-rounded student. Most college applications ask about your activities. They want to know what you do in your free time. Your activities show a lot about you and what you are passionate about. Look into sports, groups, and clubs that interest you. They can either be school or non-school-sponsored organizations.


Every high school student should have a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your accomplishments, skills, experiences, and attributes. A portfolio can include many things, such as your best work from high school, certificates, achievements, and awards. Your portfolio is a tool to market yourself to potential employers and colleges. A portfolio does not take the place of a resume, but can include your resume.

Create a four-year high school plan

A four-year high school plan will help you begin thinking about what you want to accomplish after high school. There are so many choices in high school, and a four-year plan will help to ensure that you are taking the courses required by your college and ensure that you graduate on time. A four-year plan can help you personalize your high school experience and take classes that lead to your future college major and career. It’s important to review your high school plan every semester.

Winter is coming, so move on to the Winter section for the next steps!

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