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High School Planning Timeline

9th Grade
All 9th grade planning steps are shown.
High School Planning steps are highlighted.

Now that you're in 9th grade, it's time to get serious about your plans for after high school.
By starting early, you'll be better prepared.
If you are at least 13 years old,
sign up for the College Opportunity Fund. If you are eligible, the State of Colorado will pay part of your undergraduate college tuition.
Talk to your school counselor (or teachers, if you don't have access to a school counselor) about the following:
  • Attending a four-year college or university versus a community college, junior college or trade school
  • Making sure your high school course plan reflects the career area in which you are interested and meets requirements of the type of college you wish to attend. In general, your schedule should consist of at least four college preparatory classes per year. The college preparatory classes required for most colleges include:
    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of math (through Algebra II or Trigonometry)
    • 2 years of the same foreign language
    • 2 years of natural science
    • 2 years of history/social studies
    • 1 year of art
    • 1 year of electives from the above list
  • Review concurrent enrollment or other early access opportunities to get college credit while you are in high school
  • Using the Student Planner to keep track of your courses and grades
  • Enrolling in algebra or geometry classes and a foreign language for both semesters (most colleges have math and foreign language requirements)
  • If you are a student athlete and wish to play sports in college, be sure to check out the NCAA requirements
Don't neglect your study habits!
Keep up the good work, and continue to improve your study skills.
If you don't have one, sign up for a 529 college savings account.
If you have an existing account, be sure to add to your savings regularly.
Talk to your guidance counselors, teachers, family members or trusted adults about your plans for college.
If you're not sure which education option after high school is the best option for you, talk to your counselor.
Use Your Plan of Study to keep track of your courses and grades.
Invite your counselor to view Your Plan of Study
Find out about college entrance requirements for the schools you're interested in.
Create a file of the following documents and notes:
report cards, lists of awards and honors, school and community activities, and volunteer work.
Start thinking about the colleges you want to attend.
(Hint: Use our Explore Schools section to look at schools virtually.)
Ask your guidance counselor about AP and other honors-level courses.
Continue to get involved in campus and community activities.
You can take the PSAT 9 test at your own expense to evaluate your skills in English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning.
It's good practice and your scores won't count towards your college application.
How are you spending your summer?
Volunteering and educational programs can help give you a better idea about what kind of training or career would be right for you.
College life can be a big change - you're on your own!
Try taking some steps towards independence this year, perhaps with more responsibility around your house.
Start searching for scholarship opportunities.
Although you may not be able to apply right now, you can find out what the requirements will be and work toward them.