Capstone College TourIt’s difficult to look at last year’s 8th grader and imagine college to be right around the corner.  But in this day and age where colleges are becoming more and more competitive, getting prepared can never begin too early.  Ninth grade counts — and more so now than ever!  Here are a few strategic steps parents can take in the process of college planning that will make all the difference.

Attention to Academics
Remember, ninth grade counts as much as the other three years of high school.  Paying very close attention to the academic rigor of your freshman’s schedule could weigh strongly on upcoming grade reports and future grade point averages.  It’s important to keep a challenging academic schedule and to avoid loading it up with “easy A’s.”  If they experience moments of difficulty, be certain they are asking for that extra help.  The earlier these problem areas are identified the less likely they will become overwhelmed when the weight is on.

Encourage Interests
Come along side of your student’s interests and encourage activities and programs that bring depth to those areas.  Even if their interests do not fit into your vision of their future, explore them . . . it’s possible your student’s skills and abilities are uniquely suited.  Keep a close watch out for opportunities that offer experiences in related careers through volunteering or shadowing.

Don’t Over Do It
Keep the schedule simple.  In other words, be certain your student isn’t spread too thin doing all those things he enjoys doing.  Focus on simply a few.  Overloading the schedule with extra-curricular activities, athletics and academics could spell disaster in the end.

Get Jr. A Notebook
This could be the best gift you could ever give your student.  If used correctly, this notebook will store the keys to unlocking the creation of those dreaded college essays.  Keeping a notebook filled with the memories and reflections of life-changing events, unique experiences, unusual situations and mind-blowing moments beginning in their freshman year and throughout high school will provide a plethora of material to write stunning essays when the time is right!

Planning ahead is critical in eliminating the stress of completing applications.  By beginning as early as the 9th grade, the entire admissions process gets streamlined.  To learn more tips for both students and parents, contact us for your free consultation.

by: Mark Cruver

 

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