Did you know your high-school transcript is the most important factor in getting you into your college of choice? That means the classes you choose, and the grades you receive in those classes are absolutely crucial to your success in attaining a position at the higher-education institution of your dreams!

So long before you are filling out applications and submitting your personal statement you should be planning classes and extracurriculars that will make you a desirable prospective student.

One of the first steps is to create a realistic 4-year plan. Colleges want to see courses that challenge you and they want to see you improve over time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your course load as a high-school student needs to be saturated with a high volume of AP classes, and it also doesn’t mean you should take the easiest classes available so you can have a perfect GPA. It’s all about finding the right balance between classes that challenge you and that you can excel in. Be sure to leave room in your schedule for extracurriculars and sufficient rest; though extracurricular activities may not be the most important thing for a college admissions team, it is important to present yourself as a well-rounded individual and not burn out by trying to do too much.

Next, use your elective credits wisely. Look for classes that fulfill your interests and also potentially meet course requirements for the degree you are seeking in the future. Admissions officers want to get a feel for who you are and what kind of asset you would be to their institution.

Finally, don’t fall for this common pitfall of many students: taking it easy senior year. Colleges want to see your course load get more rigorous over time, which means that senior year should be your most difficult yet. It may be tempting to schedule lots of breaks and easy classes, but if you’re truly looking to impress, continue to challenge yourself.

To sum up, create a functional four-year plan, choose challenging courses that interest you, and don’t take it too easy your senior year! And as always, work closely with your school counselor, they are there to help you succeed!


September 7, 2023 | Planning & Preparing for College: the stress-free guide | Part Five