Make It Happen » Freshman Prep Checklist

Freshman Prep Checklist

Whether you choose a four-year university, a community college, or a career college, you’ll have to do some legwork to make your goal a reality. You don’t have to figure it out all alone though. We’ve gathered all the best resources into one handy checklist to help you navigate the process and prepare yourself for college and career. Print a pdf version of the checklist and mark the boxes off as you go to stay organized and make sure that you are on track to meet your college and career goals.

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Steps To Prep

  • 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 CoursesCollege for All TexansGenTX 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 LevelGenTX 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 DegreesGenTX 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 MatchmakerCollege PortraitCollege AtlasGenTX 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: KnowHow2GoCollege 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 SheetGenTX Rock Your Future