Ninth Grade

College Timeline


Through Eighth Grade

  • Take the most rigorous courses offered.  Taking the easiest courses accomplishes nothing.  Yes, you might make a very good grade, but are you pushing yourself to learn the most you can?  Eventually easy grades catch up with you; learning is what helps you earn a good score on college entrance exams and get into college.
  • Read, read and read some more.  While it may not be as much fun as playing video games and watching television, a well read person will do much better in high school and college and will earn a higher score on college entrance exams.  The better vocabulary you have, the better you will do in the future. Reading also directly influences your writing ability because you learn how good writers write. College admission and success is not based on the latest video game or television show.
  • Earn a good reputation with positive, college bound peers.  Friends who do not take school seriously will only pull you down.  Being smart is always in fashion no matter what others may say.  Making the right kinds of friends is important.
  • Earn a good reputation with your teachers, your counselor and your principal.  Let them see that you are serious about school and learning.  You never know when a good word from one of them could land you a great opportunity.  Conversely, you never know when a negative report about you could really keep you from getting an opportunity that you really wanted and needed.  You may need these people someday, and what they remember about you and will say about you really does matter.
  • Begin volunteering now in your school, in your community and in your church.   Find something that really interests you and make it your passion.  Giving back and making your city, school and church better places is the American thing to do.

Remember to keep a record of your hours or ask the agency to keep a record for you.  You want to be able to document your hours.


Ninth Grade

  • Again, take the most rigorous courses offered.  Push yourself; don’t take the easy route.  Plan to graduate on the Distinguished Achievement Program plan.  Earn the 25 credits you need to graduate plus complete four advanced measures— take dual credit classes and earn a 3.0 or higher in the class, earn a 4 or higher on AP exams, earn National Merit recognition, complete an original research project under the direction of a high school teacher and then have it judged by outside professionals.  You can combine these measures to earn the four measures for the DAP diploma.  About 10 percent of the senior class usually qualifies for this diploma.
  • Find your niche in high school.  Get involved in an extra-curricular activity and stay with it.  Don’t quit!  If you are an athlete, pick a sport and play all four years.  Band, choir, theatre, debate and drill team are excellent choices as are all UIL competitions; again, stay with it all four years.  Don’t get in the habit of quitting when things don’t exactly go your way in the activity.  If the coach benches you, practice harder; don’t complain and then quit.
  • Join high school clubs as soon as possible—the Science Club, Anchor Club, Z-Club, Interact Club, foreign language clubs, Student Council.  Don’t just become a member so you can have your name on the membership list.  Become an active member and earn a leadership position in the club—president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, events chair—something to show a college that you have leadership and organizational ability.  Scholarship applications always ask for this information.  Show the sponsor that you are dependable and trustworthy.
  • Begin a resumè—a list of all your school activities, community activities, church activities, honors, awards, volunteer hours and projects, work experience, technology skills, advanced courses you have taken.  Don’t leave out a thing.  Then when you are ready your senior year to compile a professional resumè to attach to your scholarship applications, you won’t need to try to recall all that information.  You will have it at our fingertips. 
  • Again, watch the reputation you are earning in school with your teachers and the school staff.  These are the very people you will need to call on for letters of recommendation for college admissions and scholarships your senior year.  In fact, if other opportunities arise your freshman, sophomore and junior years, you will need those letters much sooner.  Your behavior counts; school personnel will not write a favorable letter of recommendation for someone who has a discipline record.  Your best behavior counts every day—not just when you want to look good to your teachers.
  • Again, read, read, read and learn the vocabulary words your teachers are teaching you in class.  A good vocabulary is essential for success in college and in the business world.  Being able to write well is certainly essential in college.  Being articulate when you speak and write is worth lots of money and respect in the future.
  • Continue to volunteer for school, community and church projects.  Record all of these experiences on your resumè.  This is very important to colleges as some scholarships are based solely on volunteer and community experience.  Almost all ask for your volunteer experiences as do college admission applications.
  • Plan to attend College Night at Maude Cobb Activity Center in November in Longview.  Listen to the LHS announcements for the date and time.
  • Look for summer academic or volunteer opportunities.  If you are an identified gifted and talented student, Region VII Education Center in Kilgore, Texas, offers scholarships every year to academic camps at LeTourneau University, Texas A&M at College Station, Texas, and Galveston, Texas, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  Attending one of these camps would be a great academic experience and would look great on a college admissions or scholarship application.