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9th grade checklist

9th Grade Checklist
To Do:
  • Talk to your guidance counselor or teachers about Advanced Placement courses. Find out what courses are available, whether you are eligible, and how to enroll in them.
  • Start planning for college and thinking about your career interests. At you can register with MyFSA and research your career and college options.
  • Make a list of your awards, honors, paid or volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. Consider participating in academic enrichment programs, summer workshops, and camps with specialty focuses such as music, arts, and science.
  • Work with one of your parents to update your information in FAFSA4caster at, and continue to save for college.
  • Take challenging classes in core academic subjects. Most colleges require 4 years of English, at least 3 years of social studies (history, civics, geography, economics, etc.), 3 years of mathematics, and 3 years of science, and many require 2 years of a foreign language. Round out your course load with classes in computer science and the arts.
  • Stay involved in school- or community-based activities that interest you or let you explore career interests. Consider working or volunteering. Remember—it’s quality (not quantity) that counts.
  • Talk to your school counselor and other mentors about education after high school. Your counselor can answer questions about what classes to take in high school, how to sign up for standardized tests, and where to get money for college.
To Explore:
  • Visit for some reasons to consider college and ways you can get help.
To Do:
  • Use the College Savings Calculator at to determine how much you should be saving to meet college expenses and to find tips on maximizing your savings efforts.
  • Make sure you are fully aware of the provisions of any college savings accounts you have opened for your child.
  • Continue to talk to your child about college plans as if he or she will definitely go to college.
  • Keep an eye on your child’s study habits and grades— stay involved.
  • Encourage your child to take Advanced Placement or other challenging classes.
  • Watch videos for parents on the “News Parents Can Use” page at
  • Add to your child’s college savings account regularly.