9th Grade

It's a great idea to start thinking about college as early as possible so that you can set yourself up for success!

Follow these 12 action items below in your freshman year of high school and you'll be well on your way to the college of your choice!

Remember that all students, whether you are a citizen, undocumented, have DACA status, or have parents or other family members who are undocumented, can go to college!

Action Item #1: Work on your GPA

What is GPA?

The GPA is your grade point average.

It represents your entire academic performance in high school. Your GPA can go up or down depending on your grades from 9th grade to 12th grade.

According to MDCPS and the State of Florida, the GPA requirement to graduate high school is a cumulative (ongoing since freshman year) 2.0. Keep in mind that colleges will see your weighted and unweighted GPA, and some schools might even recalculate a different version of your GPA based only on your core academic courses like English, Math, Science, and History.

Your best bet is to always work to keep your GPA as high as you can so that you can stay competitive with other students applying to the same colleges as you.

Check out the slideshow below for a more detailed explanation of the differences between a weighted and unweighted GPA and how to take advantage of accelerated course work to impress colleges and boost your weighted GPA in the process!

Acceleration Credits

Action Item #2: Take a personality test

A personality test determines your strengths, challenges, communication and/or learning style.

Knowing this information might help you figure out what career you're interested in or what you might want to study in school. Click the link below to take a personality test now!

Action Item #3: Explore and participate in

extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are very important because they will help you align your interests with your values and strengths to help you grow and gain leadership experience!

*PRO TIP: To start, try picking something that aligns with your interests or passions; you can use your Personality Test results to help you figure that out!

Action Item #4: Track your activities, summer experiences, honors, and achievements

It is recommended that you start your path volunteering anywhere you can and keep track of your community services hours (you will need them for graduation, college, and scholarship applications).

Below are some links that can help you build your resume and raise some money for school!!

This college planning tool is a great place to track your activities throughout high school because it saves everything in one place and it will format your information into a resume whenever you need it!

Create an account on Raise.Me to earn FREE MONEY for the activities you've completed!

You can start tracking them in 9th grade and continue updating it each year of high school.

Action Item #5: Develop time management and study skills

In high school, it can be very hard to manage time and school work together!

It is very important for you to learn skills and practice making a study plan so that you know what works best for you and you can spend more time in the future getting right to work!

Action Item #6: The 10th Grade PSAT Exam

This is a test you will take in school in your 10th grade year. It can help you see how you will do on future college entrance exams and you could even earn free scholarship money for your score!

Use the links below to learn more about what the test is and see if your school offers it for students to take in 9th grade so you can get a head start on practicing for this important exam!


Read about what the PSAT is, how it works, and what it is used for.


Learn about what will be tested and what to expect on test day.


Study for the test beforehand and access your scores afterwards.

Action Item #7: Take the Scoir personal interest survey

YouScience is an awesome tool that you have access to for free through your district Scoir.com account! When you login to Scoir and go to your "My Profile Page" you will be able to scroll down and see a link to the YouScience career inventory profile.

By completing a series of brain games, you can learn a whole lot about what your best fit career path might be based on your personal interests and unique strengths!

Action Item #8: Plan high school courses

By planning out your high school courses it can help you align with career/major interests and help you challenge yourself.

Action Item #9: Discuss classes and academic opportunities with your counselor

Building a relationship with your counselor with them, make sure you’re only taking classes you need and that will advance your growth and resume, while keeping you on track for graduation.

Action Item #10: Start exploring how to pay for college

Start understanding what this looks like to be mentally prepared, start saving, financial literacy.

Action Item #11: Plan a summer experience

A summer experience can help you explore a passion/interest add to resume, build leadership skills, help you stay engaged in your own growth.

Action Item #12: Summer reading

Summer reading can help you prepare for the next school year, as well widen your vocabulary.

Special Opportunities

U Dreamers Program

The U Dreamers Program is intended to meet 100 percent of an admitted student’s demonstrated financial need. Depending on the amount of the award, it could potentially cover tuition and mandatory fees, on-campus housing, a meal plan, and University health insurance.

The American Dream Scholarship

Qualifying students can get two years of tuition-free attendance at Miami Dade College. This money will be applied to cover additional costs after any other scholarships have been applied and depleted.

The Dream.US Scholarship

Scholarship opportunity for undocumented students in Florida. Recipients can receive up to $37,000 annually to cover tuition costs, housing costs, and more at one of their Florida partner colleges!