Freshman Year

Your freshman year in high school

Let’s be honest—making the transition from middle school to high school is a big step! While it might seem like college is a long way off, it’s actually closer than you think. Make the most of your freshman year by building a strong foundation for your high school career. Not only will this give you an advantage in your upcoming college search, but it’s a great way to get involved in high school.

Your path to college begins the moment you register for your first high school classes, so it’s important to make sure you put your best foot forward. When scheduling your classes, make sure you are taking a mix of college prep courses: mathematics, English/language arts, science, and social studies. If you attend high school in Indiana, be sure to follow Indiana Core 40 diploma requirements (and if possible, work toward an Academic Honors diploma).

Studies show that a key to a student’s success is the mathematics credits they take during high school. When scheduling your freshman classes, do so that you are on a path to graduate with at least algebra or geometry (or both!).

Academics are obviously important when you are preparing for college, but so is what you do when you are outside the classroom. Learn about, and sign up for, your school’s extracurricular activities such as athletics or clubs. Not only will it help you develop invaluable leadership skills and give you the opportunity to meet new people, but it also shows colleges and universities that you are more than grades and test scores.

College is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your future, and it’s not without a significant price tag. Get a head start on paying for college by doing some early research on scholarships available in your community. Check with your parents to see if their employers offer scholarships, or if your church or other community organizations offer service or merit awards.

In addition to being a good time to start thinking about the cost of tuition, your freshman year in high school is also a great time to start putting money aside to pay for the other costs of college—whether that be a new laptop, textbooks, or spending money—so you don’t have to work while you’re in school.