Students: 9th Grade Checklist
Freshman year counts! Start high school strong and explore what you can do to get ready for college now.
☑ Do well in school.► Set academic and personal goals for the year.
● Know that any setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.
► Do your best to earn good grades - they matter for college and scholarships.
► Go to all of your classes. Attendance counts!
► Discover how you learn best and adopt strategies to support your learning style.
► Build good habits to succeed in high school.
● Learn how to take notes, make outlines, and do research.
● Doing well in school is like getting good at a sport – you need to practice in order to improve.
► Ask for help from your teachers, parents, counselors, tutors, or friends or use online resources.
► Turn in all assignments.
● Reading improves your focus, concentration, imagination and knowledge – in short, it makes you smarter!
☑ Take the right classes.► Challenge yourself with honors or advanced classes, if available at your school.
● Colleges care about which courses you’re taking in high school. Colleges will be more impressed by respectable grades in challenging courses than by outstanding grades in easy classes.
► Explore opportunities to take college credit while you're still in high school.
► Plan to take math all four years in high school.
► Take a foreign/world language if offered.
● Four-year public universities in Oregon require at least two years of the same language while more selective colleges might require more.
► Explore career and technical education (CTE) career pathways at your school and local community college.
☑ Get organized.► Use a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of assignments and deadlines.
► Find a system that works for you to keep notes and papers organized like a binder or folders.
► Determine the place that you study best (at home or at the library, for example).
● Practice good study habits like turning off unnecessary technology. Use class and advisory time wisely and attend after school study programs.
► Create a file of important documents and a list of activities.
● Include copies of report cards and lists of awards and honors. These will be useful for college and scholarship applications.
☑ Get involved.
☑ Spend time with good people.► Choose to hang out with friends that share positive goals and interests.
► Find a mentor – a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, other trusted adult, or older student that you can talk to.
☑ Make good choices.► Be safe online and on your phone.
● Choose appropriate privacy settings on social media.
● Only share information with people you know and trust.
● Always ask yourself: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?
● Remember that whatever you post or share can live forever online.
► Avoid risky behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.
► Be kind; treat others with respect.
☑ Explore college and career options.► Continue exploring different occupations that match your interests.
● Consider volunteering or a job shadow to learn more.
● Talk about your future dreams and plans with your family, friends and other adults and set goals.
● Ask others about their careers and the education/training necessary.
► Think about what is most important to you in a college.
► Explore different types of colleges and make a list of colleges and universities that interest you.
● Think broadly: include two-year and four-year options as well as in-state and out-of-state choices.
● Research admission requirements for each college to make sure you’re on track.
► Get to know colleges.
● Visit a college campus on a field trip with your school or your family.
● Explore colleges online with virtual tours or on their websites and social media.
☑ Learn about paying for college.► You can afford college. Learn about financial aid and ways to pay for college.
● Attend financial planning or how to pay for college programs with your family.
► Set up and regularly contribute to a college savings account.
● Set aside money from your summer or after-school job.
● Look into matched savings accounts that provide extra money for college.
► Make a list of scholarships and apply for any available to you now.