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College Planning Timeline

9th Grade

All 9th grade planning steps are shown.
College Planning steps are highlighted.

Now that you're in 9th grade, it's time to get serious about your college plans. By starting early, you'll be better prepared.
Study Hard! Build good study habits to keep your grades in tip-top shape.
Save money. Sign up for a college savings account from Oklahoma's 529 college savings plan (OK4Saving.orgnew_window) or continue to add money to an existing account. It's generally best to keep most savings in your parents' name.
Apply for Oklahoma's Promise! If you didn't apply in eighth grade, visit OKpromise.orgnew_window to sign up for this scholarship program.
Talk it up. Discuss your future plans with your guidance counselor, teachers, family members, or other trusted adults.
Take the right classes. To be college bound, your class schedule should contain at least four college-preparatory classes per year including:

*4 units of English
*3 units of math (at or above Algebra 1)
*3 units of laboratory science
*3 units of history/citizenship skills
*2 units of world language or computer technology
*1 unit fine arts or speech
*1 additional unit of English, math, science, history, world language or computer technology.
Get started on your Individual Career Academic Plan. ICAP activities will help you explore your skills, interests and values as you begin to make plans for life after high school.
Use Your Plan of Study to keep track of your courses and grades. Your transcript is a permanent record. Work hard so you are proud to show colleges and future employers the grades you make.
Invite your counselor to view Your Plan of Study
Check it out. Find out about college entrance requirements for the schools you're interested in.
Track it. Create a file of the following documents and notes:
report cards, lists of awards and honors, school and community activities, and volunteer work. You can also start a resume to track these important activities.
Start thinking about the colleges you want to attend.
(Hint: Use our Explore Schools section to help look for schools.)
Find out about AP and other honors-level courses.
Continue to get involved in campus and community activities.
How are you spending your summer?
Volunteering and educational programs can help give you a better idea about what kind of training or career would be right for you.
College life can be a big change - you're on your own!
Try taking some small steps towards independence this year, perhaps with more responsibility around your house.


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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.