9-10th Grade

Tips for 9-10th Graders

Although college might still feel a long way off, 9th grade marks the start of the college application process for students. The most important piece of the college application process is your high school transcript. Your transcript is a summary of all the courses you’ve taken and the grades you’ve received in those courses from freshman through senior year. So what can you be doing in 9th and 10th grade to ensure you’re on the right path to achieving your goals?

  • Take classes that challenge you
    • The #1 thing that colleges want to see is that you have pushed yourself to take the most challenging courses available at Alexandria City High School from freshman through senior year
    • What does a sample 9th grade schedule look like?
      • Honors English 9
      • Algebra 1 (or higher)
      • Honors World History & Geography: Part 1
      • Foreign Language 1 (or higher)
      • Honors Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.)
      • Honors Science OR Elective that you plan to stick with throughout High School (ex: Photography)
      • Health/PE 9
    • Colleges want to see 4 years of English, Math, Science, History, and Foreign Language—and when possible, AP, Dual Enrollment, and Honors courses
  • Get good grades and make college affordable
    • Good grades = money for college
      • If your family does not have enough money to pay for college, that doesn’t mean you can’t go
      • Typically, the more selective the college is (or the better your grades have to be in order to get accepted), the more scholarships and financial aid the school gives away – so focus on your GPA!
  • Know how your Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated
    • Every course counts, meaning all grades from Minnie Howard courses count toward your final GPA
    • Colleges will see the letter grades you’re receiving in your senior year courses, but the GPA they will judge you by will only include 9th, 10th, and 11th grade courses
  • Get involved
    • Choose a sport, a club, a theater production, or volunteer opportunity that you enjoy and commit to it for all 4 years of high school, preparing yourself to take on leadership positions junior year
    • As you get involved with activities, start building a résumé to keep track of what you have done
  • Visit the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA)
    • Contact information for SFA College Adviser for 9th and 10th graders will be coming soon!