Ideally, ninth grade
is the time to begin mapping out the courses your child will need in high
school to graduate with a college prep transcript.
It’s okay to begin
thinking through the courses in eighth grade or even later than ninth grade. My
older daughter decided she wanted to go to college in January of her 11th grade
year. So we began the process then. Though we had to play catch up, it was not
a big deal and she ended up getting into an extremely competitive college on
scholarship. Pulling together a college transcript can be done at the 11th hour—or
in 11th grade. So if you are behind the eight ball, fear not. It’s not too
How do you know what
a college prep transcript should look like?
credits (Some colleges only require 2)
universities actually require specific courses, most have preferences.
Regent University prefers:
The University of
Credit Confusion: One
credit typically takes an entire year to achieve. It is at least 180 hours
(called a Carnegie Unit). Most fine arts courses, though they span an entire
year, are only ½ credit because they do not require much outside work.
Ninth grade is also a
good time to go ahead and research some colleges you may be interested in. I
A great place to
research the difficulty of admissions and other specs on colleges is Peterson’s
Real Guide to Colleges www.petersons.com. You can also go
directly to the college’s website or call their admissions office.
Even if your child
proclaims to the mountains at fifteen that he is not going to college, choose
the most academically challenging transcript your child is capable of
producing. When a child turns seventeen, he will think differently and will
often change direction without warning. If he’s had a rigorous course schedule
in high school, he’ll be ready for whatever college he decides to pursue.
Give your child a
high school education that opens up the most doors—and ask God to lead him
through the right one!