- Take the right courses. While all students entering the ninth grade at a Texas public high school are automatically enrolled in the Recommended High School Program, some students may choose to follow the Distinguished Achievement Program. Talk to your counselor or adviser to make sure you are taking the right courses for your desired college plan.
Helpful websites: Class Schedule: Your High School Courses, College for All Texans, GenTX Rock Your Future
- Challenge yourself. Colleges look at the rigor of your courses in addition to your grades, so sign up for tough classes. More rigorous courses will also better prepare you for the SAT/ACT and college coursework.
Helpful websites: How to Take Your High School Classes to the Next Level, GenTX Rock Your Future
- Get off to a strong start. All your freshman courses and grades will be on your transcript that you send to colleges, so do your best to get off to a good start academically.
- Explore career options. Continue thinking about your interests and what career fields might match up with them. What kind of postsecondary education is required? Will you need two years, four years, or college plus a graduate degree?
Helpful websites: Explore Sample Career Degrees, GenTX Learn More, Earn More
- Research colleges. Start looking for information about colleges that fit with your career interests. Talk with your mentor and check out college websites and catalogs in your school’s college or career center. Your options for college include two-year schools, technical schools, certificate programs, and universities. Make the choice that’s right for you.
Helpful websites: College Matchmaker, College Portrait, College Atlas, GenTX Rock Your Future
- Create a college admissions plan. Talk to your teachers, counselors, parents, and/or college advisers about creating a college admissions plan. Use their advice to set goals for yourself every semester throughout high school.
Helpful websites: KnowHow2Go, College for All Texans
- Get involved. Participate in activities you care about, whether it’s sports, clubs, community service, church, etc. Colleges look for well-rounded students, so it is important to show you are involved in activities outside of the classroom.
Helpful websites: GenTX Rock Your Future
- Start a brag sheet. Include a list of your activities, community service projects, accomplishments, and awards so you can refer to it when you fill out college applications.
Helpful websites: Create a Brag Sheet, GenTX Rock Your Future