I am a freshman in high school.

How can I start preparing for college?

Follow these recommendations to guide you to college-ready success.

- Amanda Cantu 

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Take challenging classes in core academic subjects

  • Talk to your school counselor or teachers about Advanced Placement courses

  • Colleges want to see that you are interested in learning new things and will work hard to excel in the classroom

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Volunteer at school, church, or with local organizations

  • Colleges want to see that you care about your community and are willing to make it a better place

  • Examples of volunteering:

    • Helping at a hospital, pet shelter, library, or summer camp

    • Tutoring students through an official organization

    • Helping at church events

  • Visit our 'Volunteer Info' page under the 'Resources' tab for volunteering opportunities in San Antonio

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Get involved in extracurricular activities on campus

  • Being involved at your school shows that you are committed to something that you care about and can manage time well

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Consider participating in academic enrichment programs

  • Academic preparation is a critical part of being college-ready

  • Some high schools have programs like Upward Bound which helps students prepare for college through tutoring and other enrichment events

  • Ask your college advisor if there are any programs on your campus


Keep track of everything that you participate in

  • When applying to colleges and scholarships in your senior year, you will be asked to list all of your challenging classes, volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, and enrichment programs

  • Colleges want to see what you are passionate about and how hard you worked over your high school career

  • Visit the 'Resume Building' page under the 'Resources' tab for free templates

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Start thinking about your career options

  • What subjects do you like? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

  • Searching your career options will help you select a major later on

  • Visit the 'Career Search' page under the 'Resources' tab for help searching

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Prepare for the SAT and ACT

  • In your junior and senior year of high school, you will need to take the SAT or ACT. These are important test that colleges require before you can apply to their school

  • Some schools require a minimum score for acceptance

  • Get free SAT preparation at KahnAcademy.org/sat

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Start researching colleges

  • Do you want to go to a big school or small school? Do you want to live in Texas or venture out of state? Do you prefer having small class sizes or big class sizes?

  • The earlier you start your search, the more best match options you will find by your senior year

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Start saving money for college

  • Saving money for important college necessities like books, food, dorms, and tuition can be very beneficial if you start early

  • Talk to a parent or guardian about opening a savings account