Freshman Year

Academics must be a top priority. College may seem far off, but it’s never too early to start off high school right. Take on as heavy of an academic load as you can handle. The grades you earn your freshman year will be included in your final high school GPA.

  • Select high school courses with school counselor, and confirm that classes will contribute to college requirements.
  • Discuss academic plans for the next four years.
  • Consider enrolling in algebra or geometry classes and a foreign language for both semesters (most colleges have math and foreign language requirements).
  • Research colleges of interest.
  • Discuss college with older friends and family.
  • Talk to your parents about planning for college expenses. Continue or begin a savings plan for college.
  • Get involved. Involvement in extracurricular activities can help develop skills that classrooms may never teach.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

ACT Class Action Lawsuit: $16 Million Settlement for Students with Disabilities

October 23, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

ACT, Inc., the college admissions testing company, has agreed to pay out $16 million to 65,728 California students with disabilities to settle a class-action lawsuit. The class-action federal lawsuit filed in California in 2018 alleged that ACT, Inc. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by disclosing test-takers' disability status to colleges and scholarship organizations on score reports, and denied certain examinees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its Educational Opportunity Service. [...]

Test-Optional Colleges Pledge to Judge Applications Holistically

October 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the way it has made it harder than ever to take the SAT and ACT, many colleges and universities, from large state universities to small liberal arts colleges, have announced that their admissions for next year’s Class of 2025 will be test-optional. Test-optional admissions mean that schools won’t require a submission of a standardized test score as part of the admissions process. But how will admissions officials judge applicants without a score? Will a student who doesn’t submit a standardized test score be penalized in any way? And will a student who does submit a score be chosen over one who doesn’t? [...]

Increasing Number of Students from Immigrant Families in Higher Education

October 20, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Getting a college degree is part of the American Dream. College graduates generally earn more money and have a better quality of life. So it’s not surprising that students from immigrant families or who are immigrants themselves are making up an increasingly larger percentage of associate’s, bachelors and masters-seeking students in America. [...]

Last Reviewed: October 2020