Back to school: School is Starting September 7th!!

Back to School

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail” -Ancient Proverb

We are about to start a new year, and with that new year comes new opportunities and challenges and successes. I wanted to provide a very basic overview of a potential plan for 9th-12th graders going into this new year. The importance of a plan is hard to stress in a short article, you either understand the value of a plan and do it, or you don’t. Another quote that has meant something to me is:

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”Thomas Edison

Here is a quick list of grade specific strategies you can employ this year:

9th Grade-
– Make an appointment and meet with your school counselor to map out some challenging classes in your core academics.

– Start establishing relationships with your teachers and counselors; they may turn into your biggest fans when you’re planning to go to college.

– Get involved in your school or community or church activities. Starting early in your commitment to service and community involvement is the best strategy, but do not neglect your studies!

10th Grade-
– Sign up for the PSAT or PLAN. These practice tests will help you get oriented to taking these tests and show you areas you may be weaker or stronger.

– Consider taking on leadership roles in some of the activities you are involved in.

– Start doing research on colleges you may be considering. Go see a basketball game, or a concert at a local university; get yourself on campus and start to see what college life looks and feels like.

– Find some local scholarships and scholarship opportunities at local colleges.

11th Grade-
– Sign up for the PSAT; it counts toward the National Merit scholarship.

– Register for the SAT and/or ACT. Start studying!

– Attend Fall college fairs.

– Schedule a road trip with your parents, youth leader, coach, or older brother or sister- GO VISIT SOME COLLEGES.

– Find scholarships you are going to apply for and note the deadlines and requirements (probably around 50-100, this depends on your need and drive).

12th Grade-
– Get your recommendation letters in EARLY.

– Finalize your college essays.

– Decide on your top 4-5 colleges and finish your college applications

– Register to take the SAT and/or ACT in EARLY fall. Be sure to take the SAT subject tests if your college choices require them.

– Pay attention to scholarship deadlines; being late is a sure way to disqualify yourself from the money!

Nathan Cornett

If you need help with the college planning process, contact me directly at (619) 823-5974 or visit:


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About Nathan and Joanna Cornett

We are a from San Diego California, currently on a mission trip in Guatemala. Nathan has worked as a youth pastor, teen center director, college advisor, and now missionary. Joanna has worked at LaBahn's Landscape for 7 years in the field, sales, and as the Vice President, she started the Hispanic ministry at Foothills Church, and has worked in youth ministry, she is now working as a missionary. We are both passionate about youth, worship, and missions.

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