While some high school freshmen may think their ninth grade year is too soon to begin the college application process, it isn't too early. High school freshmen don't have to begin writing college application essays, but in future they’ll definitely need help with assignment writing,or do they have to create a list of colleges and universities to apply to, but the choices a high school freshman makes during his or her ninth grade year can make his or her college application stand out.

College Applications: Academic Requirements

Many, though not all, colleges and universities have academic entrance requirements that all applicants must meet to be considered for college admission. These are not grade point average (GPA), SAT, or ACT score requirements. These academic college entrance requirements are the basic courses that a college or university expects a high school student to have upon high school graduation.

Example of College Academic Requirements

The academic requirements for college admission vary from school to school. The academic requirements will also vary between a college and a university, as well as between a liberal arts college and a technical college. Hood College, a small, academically rigorous, private liberal arts college has the following academic requirements that high school freshmen should keep in mind when selecting their ninth grade course schedule:

  • 4 credits of English
  • 3 credits of Math
  • 3 credits of Science
  • 3 credits of Social Studies
  • 2 credits of Foreign Language
  • 1 credit of an Academic Elective

Additional College Academic Requirements

In addition to the college or university academic requirement of a minimum number of credits in a given subject or field of study, some colleges and universities may also require that a certain level or specific degree of proficiency be reached by high school students to be considered for college admission. Within the three credits of math, Hood College requires that a minimum level of Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry must be mastered. The academic requirements of 2 foreign language credits must be two credits in the same foreign language to ensure that a certain level of proficiency is reached prior to being admitted to college. High school freshmen should make sure they are taking the highest level of math, science and foreign languages available to them as freshmen. By taking the highest level and most challenging courses available to them as high school freshmen, students will allow more time for electives, special areas of interest and internships during their junior and senior years.

Extracurricular Activities for High School Freshmen

All high school freshmen should join one or two extracurricular activities, clubs or teams. By joining an extracurricular activity as a freshman, the student may have the opportunity to remain a member of the club, activity, or team throughout his or her high school career. Being a member of an extracurricular activity for the four consecutive years of high school shows commitment, dedication, and a desire to be an active member of the community. All three qualities are excellent assets to showcase on a college application and the only way to participate in an extracurricular for four consecutive years is to join the activities as a high school freshmen and begin during the important ninth grade year.

Begin the College Application Process as a Freshman

It is important for high school freshmen who would like to attend a four year college immediately after their high school graduation to seriously consider the choices they make as ninth graders during their first year of high school. High school freshmen can begin the college application process early by choosing challenging freshmen courses and participating in extracurricular activities, teams and club during their ninth grade year. A challenging academic course schedule and dedicated extracurricular participation allows high school freshmen to create a college application that stands out and gives them an added edge over their peers who may not begin thinking about the college application process until they are upperclassmen.