Freshman Year

Sounds crazy to be thinking about college admissions and applications when you are only a freshman.  However, what you do freshman year lays the groundwork for Junior & Senior year. If you would like to attend a highly selective college or earn a merit scholarships, below are a few good pointers.

Study hard, take challenging classes, get good grades.  Every “A” you earn now, will help your overall GPA (grade point average). Starting off with solid grades, establishes yourself as a hardworking  student. Teachers recognize and reward good students. First impressions count! Getting “A”s in 9th grade are typically easier than getting “A”s in 11th grade.

For free, excellent academic help check out  www.khanacademy.org especially for the math and science.

Parents if your child is struggling in a subject do not wait to get academic help or tutoring. Getting good grades effect students emotionally as well as their GPA. Telling the student to work harder can be futile if the student does not grasp the concepts. One high school freshman had a terrible math teacher, everyone in the school knew the teacher was the worst. The parents paid for a private tutor for the full school year (1 time per week) to help her through the course. Her final grade was B+. Parents thought it was worth the money, since the student was an otherwise A student, the class was stressing the student out and math is such an important subject.

Try different activities or clubs & see what fits. Is it Music, Sports, Theater, or Debate? Now is the time to experiment, have fun and find out what you enjoy. Later trim away the non-favorite activities and guard yourself from over commitment. You do not want to load your resume with a million activities. Find one or two meaningful extracurricular activities.

If you  are involved in long term activities, such as Scouting or Karate, stay on track to achieve the pinnacle awards such as Eagle, Gold or Black Belt. These accomplishments do count in admissions process.

Read, read, read! And register for the SAT Question of the Day on www.collegeboard.com. The better reader you are, the better your SATs and ACTs scores. This will help you prepare for the junior year PSAT test which is used for qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship.

Register for challenging sophomore year classes.  Colleges like to see that you took the most challenging classes available. If you are capable of taking Honors and Advance Placement classes sophomore year, go for it! You may choose to take an Honors class in one subject but not another. Recognize your strengths and work to your ability. An “A” in a  regular class is better than a “C” in an Honors class. Taking Honors and AP classes and earning “A”s is the winning combination!

The Final Word 

Your GPA and courses are the most important factors for College Admissions when they evaluate your application.  The better your GPA, the better your chances are for acceptance and earning merit scholarships!