Four Year Academic Plan
Get Ready!…Get Ready!…Get Ready!
Yes, that is the mantra that parents and students in middle school should be repeating over and over again so that the mind
begans to grasp that there is a process for successfully applying and gaining admittance to a college or university.
Some school counselors and some college administrators suggest that the time for a student to began a movement towards
getting admitted to college is at the ninth grade level. Others argue that the end of grade school is an appropriate time for
parents and teachers to began discussing with their children and students the significance of going to college.
Getting ready for college means taking a specific number of courses in middle school and high school that will get you
admitted to the college or university of your choice.
It is recommended that starting with the ninth grade, a student planning to attend college should complete the following
outline of courses and the incumbent years associated with those courses:
English: 4 years Laboratory Science: 3 years:
Math: 3-4 years Second Language Study: 2-3 years
Social Studies: 4 years Visual and Performing Arts: 1-2 years
Additionally, students in middle school should take honors classes. Taking honors classes in middle school will prepare a
student to take Advanced Placement classes in senior high school.
Taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school helps students prepare for the rigorous academic courses that they can
expect in college. It is strongly recommended that all students who are willing to accept the challenge should take AP courses.
Students who have engaged in community service during their middle and high school years will likely capture the immediate
attention of college admission officers. Admissions officers are looking for well-rounded students who have tried to make a
difference in their community. Volunteering allows students to give their time and talent without financial rewards, which
in turn helps build character and self-esteem.
The majority of college admission applications inquire about community service.
Students who are searching for volunteer opportunities in their area can register and logon to TheHandsOnNetwork
(www.handsonnetwork.org). Enter your zip code and a listing of opportunities will be available to review.
Going to college is first and foremost all about submitting a complete admissions application.
Secondly, admissions applications for your top five college choices should be submitted not later than December 31st of
your senior year.
For many, particularly those who feel strongly about their college choice, an application submitted as early as October of their
senior year would be acceptable.
College application fee waivers are available for those who qualify. See high school college advisor or guidance counselor.
Each state has its own set of rules and requirements that high school students must meet in order to graduate.
A student entering high school should immediately retain information from the school’s guidance couselor(s) as to
what the requirements are for graduating.
Requirements are measured in credit hours. You must achieve a specific number of credit hours in order to graduate.
Students planning to enter college must take the SAT and/or ACT exams. These are the primary college admission tests.
A prospective college student should in their Junior year take the PSAT/NMSQT test. This is a practice test that will
give students an opportunity to see the types of questions they’ll encounter on the SAT.
The SAT and ACT tests are given several times during the high school academic year. However, it is strongly recommended
that a student take both tests early in the academic year. If a student wants to improve their test scores after taking the
first round of tests, there will be ample time to take the tests a second or third time.
For those who qualify, test registration fee waivers are available. See your high school guidance counselor for details.
Transcripts are a student’s academic history.
Transcripts should be sent to each college that are you submitting an admissions application.
A second or final transcript must be sent to all of the colleges you selected for prospective attendance. If you have received
an “acceptance letter” from a school and that school is your final choice, then you will only need to send a final transcript to
Please note that most colleges will only accept sealed transcripts mailed by a student. Others will only accept an electronically
transmitted transcript from your high school registrar or guidance counselor.