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Before you can prepare for college, you must first consider high school. With hard work, dedication, and proper planning, your academic career will soar. Here’s what you need to know:

Understand your class schedule.  Middle school is the turning point for preparing for advanced courses.  Consider the following:

Take advantage of special experiences.  Participating in summer and year-long enrichment programs will give you an extra boost (in the classroom and beyond).

  • Academic Enrichment
    • Summer Opportunities: Identify a program to participate in that provides academic enrichment over the summer.
    • School Year Opportunities
      • Carolina ADMIRES: Carolina ADMIRES is a research program designed specifically for 8th and 9th graders. This program exposes students to science research and professional development.  For more information, visit:
  • Program Costs: Many programs will have a cost associated with participation.  However, they might also allow you to waive the fee.  You can also consider this scholarship opportunity:

Understand standardized testing and applying to college.

  • There are two standardized tests that most colleges and university require – the SAT and the ACT.  Make sure you research the school you want to attend to confirm the test they will accept.
  • Take advantage of your online resources.  The College Foundation of North Carolina has a free test prep tool. For more information, visit:
  • Remember to consider:
    • When does your school schedule the PSAT?
    • Have you registered for the PSAT?
    • Keep your old scores and tests!  They will help you prepare for the next exam.

Start preparing for your college application today!

  • Register with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC).  CFNC will help you “plan, apply, and pay for college.”  By registering with CFNC, you will receive consistent access and support throughout your pre-college journey. Visit to register.
  • Start developing relationships with guidance counselors, teachers, coaches, and community leaders.  They could be writing a letter of recommendation for you in the future.
  • Identify local volunteer opportunities:
    • Local homeless shelter
    • Local library
    • Habitat for Humanity
  • Start identifying potential leadership opportunities:
    • Local community groups (choirs, dance groups)
    • School teams
    • Religious or spiritual organizations organizations