A Planning List for Parents and Ninth Graders
It may seem early to start thinking about getting your child ready for college, but it really isn’t- important groundwork should take place in ninth and tenth grade. Here’s a list to help you make sure our child is on the right track:
____ 1. Create a four-year high school plan. Once your child is settled into ninth grade, introduce the idea of preparing an overall plan for high school that relates to his or her goals.
· Make sure you and your child know what high school courses are required by colleges, and that your child’s ninth grade courses are on the right track.
· Map out when these courses should be taken
· Familiarize yourself with the various levels of courses offered by your child’s school.
____ 2. Start your child thinking about careers. Encourage your child to develop a tentative career goal. Of course it will change-often- but it’s the thought process that counts.
· Help your child identify interest-likes and dislikes- not just in academics, but in all areas. This will help your child focus on goals.
· Encourage your child to discuss career options with others, such as the school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working, professionals in the community, etc.
____ 3. Suggest Extracurricular Activities-Encourage your child to actively take part in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity.
· Remember that colleges would rather wee real involvement in one activity than a loose connection to several activities.
· If your child may want to play sports in college, research the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find specifics at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.
___ 4. Meet with the school counselor: The school counselor knows how to help your child get the most out of high school. Make sure your child has an opportunity during the school year to discuss post-high school plans with the school counselor.
___ 5. Save for College. It’s still not too late to start a college savings plan, if you haven’t already. Every little bit helps!
· Investigate state financial aid programs and 529 plans.
___ 6. Obtain a social security number for your child if you don’t already have one.
This is often required for applications, testing, scholarships, and other opportunities.