September for Freshman
For most Arizona freshman, you have had a few weeks to get settled into life as a high school student. Although very different and sometimes scary, most freshman appreciate the "upgrade" into high school. From a college recruiting standpoint although you are only 14 or 15 years old - there are a few important points that you can not dispute -
1. The calendar never stops - in just three short years you will be a senior and without a plan you will miss so many key steps - why wouldn't you start now?
2. College Admissions offices can see your grades from this year - make them count - stay focused from the start!
3. College coaches are interested in knowing about you (20% of all NCAA D1 baseball players are first identified in their freshman year) - get your name out there so at the very least you know what a college looks like.
... and the one that might be the most important is a high school freshman who thinks it's too early becomes a high school senior that realizes its just too late.
In the past 20 years I have seen over and over again the family who either does not understand the importance of starting now or the family who just does not want to start now ... this develops a senior who is not prepared to go to college, (emotionally, academically and/or athletically). Give your child the tools he need to succeed in college and in life ... Get your freshman talking about it - acknowledging it and embracing it - believe me - it makes the transition to college much smoother!
Here are some things to consider as you prepare for September
Get involved in a wide variety of activities
Most college and scholarship applications ask students to list their high school activities. Many applications also ask for evidence of leadership.
Be involved in a variety of activities and wherever possible take a leadership role.
Depth of involvement (length) is also important as it shows focus and commitment.
Participate in activities out side of school
Church groups, scouting, volunteer work and community service (keep records NOW as this will become very helpful later in the process.)
Stay in the loop about school
Parents: Keep your ear to the ground for any changes in academic performance. Grades nine and ten are typically the time when students make their lowest grades in high school careers. A lot of them still need help getting organized and staying on top of their work.
Plan for Eleventh and Twelfth Grade
College probably seems far away right now, but it makes sense to be thinking about the next few years of high school. Which math course will you be taking as a senior? What about science and social studies? Are there electives that you would like to try? A plan will help you see the big picture and choose the right classes and activities.
Discuss with your teachers and counselors how many courses beyond the minimum required it is feasible for you to take.
Nurture relationships with your teachers and coaches - let them know you are going to college - do not be afraid to say this out load
College Recruiting: Begin to make connections with college admissions offices and college coaches NOW
This will help you and your family get to know each college and program and watch the changes they make over the next few years - this helps tremendously in finding the right college for you!
It helps the potential college guide you into the right courses - as opposed to just trying to be general by knowing more about what you want you can really get specific which helps you to get involved with so many more great college options.
It allows the coaches to begin to get to know the student and their family in order to have a better idea of whether or not to give a scholarship to an 18 year old.
It also keeps the student motivated and excited about their college future as the continually receive information about colleges.