Here are some suggestions that students can take each school year to help prepare them for college. Even though high school graduation may even be years away, it is always better to begin early in learning what it takes to get accepted into the college of your choice.
Grades 7 and 8
- In 7th and 8th grades, you may be offered the opportunity to take some high-school level courses (for example, Algebra 1, physical science, or a foreign language). These courses will count for high school graduation and for college admission consideration.
- What are your interests and skills? This is a time to begin thinking about what type of extracurricular activities you might wish to pursue in high school. How you spend your time outside the classroom is an important consideration in UF’s admissions process.
- What are your favorite subjects? This is a time to start thinking about matching your academic talents with a possible college major and eventual career discipline.
- Involve your family. Parents, guardians, siblings and school counselors all can help you and offer advice on staying on the right path.
Grades 9 and 10
- Arrange your class schedule so you will complete the following college preparatory classes during high school:
- English (with substantial writing) - 4
- Math (Algebra I, Algebra II and Formal Geometry) - 4
- Natural Science (2 units must include a laboratory) - 3
- Social Science - 3
- Foreign Language (two sequential years in same language) - 2
- Total Units - *16
- Explore careers and jobs you find interesting. Talk with professionals in those fields and find out what kind of education is required, as well as what colleges offer those majors.
- Take the PSAT or PLAN tests if offered. The PSAT and the PLAN are great ways to plan for the SAT and ACT, respectively.
- Talk to your parents about your plans for college.
- If you are a Florida resident, ask your guidance counselor for information about the Bright Futures scholarship.
- The eleventh grade is often the most challenging academically. Take honors, AP, IB or AICE classes if they are offered.
- If you did not take the PSAT or PLAN in the 10th grade, register early in your junior year.
- Attend a college fair to gather information and talk with representatives from several schools. Ask you guidance counselor for a schedule of college fairs in your area.
- Begin your college research. Where would you like to go? What would you like to study? Consider admission requirements, tuition, facilities, degree programs and the student body profile. Visit each college's Web site.
- Register for the SAT and ACT with Writing in the late spring of the junior year. Consider taking both tests before your senior year begins. The SAT and ACT are very different types of assessments.
- Continue your extracurricular activities and assume additional responsibilities and leadership roles. Explore opportunities in your community; part-time employment and volunteer activities can influence your college admission.
- Establish a professional e-mail address that will remain constant throughout your college search and application process.
- Take a full load of academic classes, including honors, AP, IB and AICE classes. Even if you have completed your graduation requirements, any admission to college is tentative until your final transcripts have been received. UF expects to see students challenging themselves throughout the senior year!
- Arrange to take the SAT and/or ACT with Writing again early in the year.
- Make plans to attend a college fair or a UF admissions presentation. UF admissions counselors visit many high schools throughout the year. Check with your guidance counselor to see when UF will be in your area.
- Submit your application by November 1! Be sure to include all required materials, including the Self-reported Academic Record (SAR).
- If you are taking AP, IB, and/or AICE classes, be sure to take the exams for those classes at year-end.
- Obtain financial aid forms (FAFSA) either online or from your high school guidance counselor. UF’s priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 15.
- Keep up with your coursework. All offers of UF admission are tentative if you have high school or collegiate coursework in progress. Final admission is dependent on receipt and review of your final transcripts.
- Admission offers are subject to cancellation if your final coursework does not meet admission requirements.