There are common myths that "freshman doesn't count for college" or "colleges only look at junior year." Not true! Courses, grades, and extracurricular activities from ALL years of high school factor into admissions decisions. Use the recommendations below to maximize your opportunities in these early years of high school to make yourself the strongest applicant possible in the future. 

For another version of this timeline with separate checklists for parents and students, see the Freshman and Sophomore Parent and Student College Checklist resource.


9th Grade:

  • Learn why college is important and why Summit's mission is to prepare you for college success

  • Prepare for PLP family meeting with mentor

  • Set grade goals for the year and discuss college/ career goals in PLP family meeting

  • Explore and sign up for clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities

  • Take the Explore (practice ACT) in October at school

  • Attend at least one parent education night on college

  • Attend at least one college representative visit to campus

  • Work toward earning the strongest possible grades in all classes

  • Visit colleges and talk to people about college

  • Make sure your mentor gets to know you

  • Attend teachers' office hours and practice asking for help

  • Look into summer programs

  • Look into volunteering opportunities in the community


10th Grade:

  • Prepare for PLP family meeting with mentor

  • Set grade goals for the year and discuss college/ career goals in PLP family meeting

  • Hone your extracurricular activities to fit your passions and interests

  • Take the PSAT in October at school

  • Attend College Case Study Night in the spring

  • Attend at least one college representative visit to campus

  • Work toward earning the strongest possible grades in all classes

  • Visit colleges and talk to people about college

  • Attend teachers' office hours and practice asking for help

  • Apply for summer programs that fit your passions and interests

  • Commit to doing regular volunteer work with one organization