High School » Freshmen


The HS transcript and GPA 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 from Grades 9-11. Your college counselor is here to help you - we will meet each year to evaluate your four year academic plan, keeping in mind your abilities, interests, and college goals.
As you plan your courses, remember that the most competitive colleges will expect that you have:
  • English / 4 units
  • Math (Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II and or Trig, Pre-Calc, Calc) / 4 units
  • Social Studies / 3 units
  • Science / 4 units
You will work with your counselor to insure that you have the most appropriate courses based upon your abilities and academic/college goals.

9th Grade, is the perfect time to try out new sports, clubs, community service opportunities that interest you. Colleges look for applicants who show genuine passion and leadership through activities and therefore make an impact on their school and/or community. You don’t need to be in 20 different clubs; in fact, colleges prefer that you dedicate yourself to a few activities, whether sports, service, music, rather than list. You can begin building your resume in Naviance Family Connection, and this will keep your activities organized for your college and scholarship applications.

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 on Naviance 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 the 9th Grade. Colleges will never see this; it is just for you to practice your testing skills to prepare for your future standardized tests.