My CollegeTRAK

Secondary School Counseling

The road to college begins in high school.

High School Planning: What is it?

High school is a time for exploration, whether it is through new courses, subjects, sports, music, or extracurricular activities. It is a dynamic time for students, but it can also be a confusing, overwhelming and competitive experience given the culmination of these years marks the start of college life. In admissions applications, colleges review all aspects of a high school student’s life, from academics to extracurricular organizations and activities to community service, and much more. Because there is no set guidebook detailing what colleges require from students who are applying, it is important for students to position themselves in the best possible light.

Many high school freshmen (and their parents) do not realize the importance of decisions made every step of the way during these four years. Every decision can have waterfall effects, and sometimes irreversible ones, on the subsequent years of high school. For example, participation in certain levels of classes (e.g., honors, AP, IB) have prerequisites, and therefore students must think about their pace of development and degree of interest. Also, it may take time for students to find extracurricular organizations and activities that they excel in. Wanting to be President of an organization is one thing, but actually being elected by one’s peers is another obstacle. As a further consideration, while a student may want to try different course and activities from year to year, colleges may look for some level of consistency in a student’s interest. There are many more factors beyond these that students have to think through that will ultimately affect their college admissions application and their likelihood of being accepted into their college of their choice.

Get a Head Start on Your Future

Through our work with hundreds of students and thousands of college applications, we know what colleges look for in students and what factors can increase a student’s acceptance rate. We take the time to understand each student and his/her interests, strengths, weaknesses, and goals, and use this knowledge and our expertise to prepare a plan for the student’s high school journey. We want each student to shine during their high school experience and be best prepared and positioned for the next chapter of his/her life.