All grades

  • Academic success.

  • Be engaged. Be doing.

  • Research and visit colleges.

  • Evaluate your personal 4-year plan.

Top grades & a challenging curriculum come 1st but isn’t enough by itself for select schools.

9th grade

  • Make a personal 4-year Plan.

  • Engage in multiple interests. (find a passion).

  • Develop relationships with adults

  • Summer program

10th grade

  • Choose SAT v ACT. Take diagnostics.

  • Develop your theme/story.

  • Engage further in a couple of interests.

  • Find a mentor or mentorship program

See a sample plan here. Update your plan each semester / year. Pick activities you like, not what you think colleges want. 


Register for SAT/ACT prep (if any) during the sophomore/junior summer. National Merit awards are based on 11th grade PSATs. Make Sophomore / Junior summer significant.

11th grade

  • Complete standardized testing.

  • Request Letters of Recommendation.

  • Demonstrate excellence in interests.

  • Compile an initial college list.

Standardized tests include: SAT/ACT, SAT II's, TOFEL (if required). Letters of Rec are strong only if you know your teachers well. Get to know them.

12th grade

  • Submit applications 2 weeks before they are due.

  • Choose your school among your acceptances!

That’s essays, activity and honor lists, ED and EA decisions, financial aid, finish scholarship applications… the list goes on.