6-8th Grade

Tips for 6-8th Graders

It’s never too early to start planning for college! The steps you take now to challenge yourself and enroll in high school level courses will help determine your college options in the future. Here are 5 steps to success that you can take in middle school:

  • Get good grades! Did you know that the better your grades are, the more money you can get for college? The colleges that give away the most money to students are the ones that are the most competitive to be accepted into, meaning that only students with the highest grades are accepted. Good grades will also make you more likely to win private scholarships, like ones from local businesses or the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria!
  • Focus on classes that count for your high school Grade Point Average (GPA). If you are taking a foreign language, Algebra I, or Geometry in middle school, colleges will see the grades you receive in these courses. 
  • Start taking challenging courses now! The #1 thing that colleges look at is the classes you take during high school. Think about taking Honors Language Arts, Honors Science, Honors Social Studies, Algebra I, or a foreign language now! Choose an Honors class in a subject you believe you will do well in. If you take these challenging courses now, you’ll be more prepared to take a rigorous curriculum in high school.
  • Get involved! Figure out what activities you enjoy, whether that’s playing a sport, volunteering, or participating in a school club. Colleges like to see students who have interests inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Set a goal to calculate your Grade Point Average (GPA) at least two times a year. This way, you’ll know how you’re doing in comparison to where you want to be. Here’s a helpful tool for calculating middle school GPA.


T.C. Alumni Panel (for all 6-8th grade students during the school day on January 8, 2020 at Francis C. Hammond Middle School and on January 9,  2020 at George Washington Middle School)

  • Hear from recent T.C. Williams graduates who are currently attending colleges across Virginia and the country. The panelists will discuss their middle and high school experiences within ACPS, explain the challenges they experienced along the road to college, and share advice with current middle school students.

Transition to High School Planning Night at Minnie Howard (for all 8th grade families in ACPS on January 22, 2020)