The high school transcript and GPA (Grade Point Average) do begin now—your grades count! Colleges look to see an upward trend—do you increase your rigor each year while maintaining or improving your grades? The GPA sent to colleges is cumulative—combined, 9-11. Your college counselor is here to help you—we will meet each year to evaluate your 4 year academic plan, keeping in mind your abilities, interests, and college goals.Activities
9th grade is the perfect time to try out new sports, clubs, community service opportunities that interest you. We want you to have an overall fulfilling high school experience, to find your passions and therefore be able to impact your school and community. You don’t need to be in 20 different clubs; in fact, it is better that you dedicate yourself to a few activities, whether sports, service, music, rather than a “laundry list”.Colleges
As early as 9th grade, you can begin thinking about the types of colleges you may want to attend. You can research colleges and do virtual tours and keep track of those that interest you; we also encourage you to visit colleges if there happens to be one of interest to you nearby. The purpose of college visits at this point is not to know exactly where you’re applying but to get a sense of different types of college environments and what type of college you ultimately might like.Standardized Testing
At AJA, you will have the opportunity to take a PSAT as early as 9th grade. Colleges will never see this; it is just for you to practice your testing skills so that you are best prepared for your future standardized tests.