Counseling/Guidance Office » Freshman - What is ahead?

Freshman - What is ahead?

Parent Action Plan: 9th Grade


The beginning of high school is an exciting time. Your child may be adjusting to a new school, making new friends and becoming more independent. But your child still needs your help and involvement. Here are some things you can do together to succeed this year.

Summer Before High School
  • Visit a college campus together. It’s a great way to get your child excited about college. Learn more about how you and your child can prepare for a campus visit.
  • Get the facts about what college costs. You may be surprised at how affordable higher education can be. Start by reading Understanding College Costs.
  • Show your child how to explore career ideas. He or she can make a list of interests, talents and favorite activities and start matching them with occupations. Learn more about how your child can complete a career worksheet.
  • Come up with fun reading ideas. Look for magazines or newspapers your child may like and talk about the books you loved reading when you were your child’s age. If your family makes reading enjoyable, it can become a daily habit.
  • Make sure your child meets with the school counselor. Your child should schedule a meeting to talk about college and career options and to choose the most-appropriate classes. Learn more about the high school counselor's role.
  • Help your child set goals for the school year. Working toward specific goals helps your child stay motivated and focused.
  • Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child's tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team. Get homework tips for your child.
  • Talk about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school. Read more about the benefits of extracurriculars.
  • Help your child start a college list. Visit College Search Step-by-Step together to get tips on starting a college search and figuring out what matters most to your child when choosing a college.
  • See how much you need to save for college. Use the College Savings Calculator  to get an idea of where you are compared with your savings goal.
  • Help your child make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills — and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. Find out ways your child can stay motivated this summer.
Taken from College Board.

Financial Aid Checklist

Freshman/Sophomore Year
  • Find out how financial aid can help you afford college. You might be surprised by how affordable a college education can be. Check out 7 Things You Need to Know About Financial Aid.
  • Learn the basics of college costs. Besides tuition, what expenses do college students have to cover? Find out by reading Quick Guide: College Costs.
  • Get an idea of what college might really cost you. Check out 9 Things You Need to Know About Net Price to learn why you may not have to pay the full published price of a college. Then pick a college you’re interested in and go to College Search to find its profile. Click the Calculate Your Net Price button to see that college’s estimated net price for you — the cost of attending a college minus grants and scholarships you might receive. Save the data you enter, when possible, so you can recompute the net price as college gets closer.
  • Talk to your family about ways to pay for college. Discuss the options and share ideas about how your family might pay for it.
  • Save money for college. Bank part of your birthday money, your allowance or your earnings from chores or an after-school job for future college expenses. Even a small amount can be a big help when you’re buying textbooks and school supplies later on.
  • Challenge yourself inside the classroom. Good grades not only expand your college opportunities but also can help you pay for college. Some grants and scholarships — money you don’t have to pay back — are awarded based on academic performance.
  • Get involved in ac