College Admissions Planning in 9th, 10th & 11th Grade

Even though the word “Sophomores" appears in the title of this article, the real target for the information contained herein is current high school freshmen (or freshpeople or freshpersons, to be politically and gender-neutrally correct). Maybe I should merely refer to “all you 9th graders out there." Whatever.

Anyway, I've spent a reasonable amount of time writing about college admissions planning for high school juniors and their families. Of course, it goes without saying that there are many high school seniors out there who wait until 12th grade to get with the program. I've cautioned against waiting that long a number of times. But what about sophomores, 10th-grade students? “Come on, Dave, that's way too early to wade into the pressure cooker, isn't it?" Well, I'll spare you the tales of families who freak out because their son or daughter didn't get into the premier pre-school in their area. Thus, their (the parents', obviously) “Ivy dreams" become shattered. Yes, these people do exist.

Getting back to reality, though … no, sophomore year is not too early to start thinking about and working toward your college goals. In fact, Ivy Bound's Mark Greenstein, someone I've quoted here before, says, “If you haven't started college test planning by winter of sophomore year, you're late." So, let's examine how sophomores — that is, you current 9th-graders who will soon be “rising" sophomores — can get a meaningful jump on your college prepping.

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