Road Map to College

Road Map to College

Seeking a higher education is an important decision in a student's life. Over the years, students have had greater choices in their education and the institution they elect to attend. In 1870 there were 563 college institutions with 52,286 enrolled students. One hundred years later in 1970 that number grew to 2,525 with over 8 million enrolled students. Today, there are over 4,600 institutions in the United States with over 20 million students continuing their education in college. Planning and preparation are key for success.

Middle School

Students in middle school may not know what they want to be when they grow up but preparing early for a college path can keep the option available. Below are ideas to consider when following the college path.

  • Take Algebra I in 8th grade to reach pre-calculus or calculus in high school
  • Consider taking a foreign language course in high school
  • Visit college websites to view their high school curriculum requirements
  • Speak with your school counselor to help plan your high school schedule


  • Develop good study habits
    • Colleges look at all four years of high school grades, courses, activities, and more
  • Spot academic red flags
    • Identify the source of any academic issues to adjust and resolve any problems
  • Summer Activities
    • Spend the summer involved in fun but meaningful experiences. Summer activities can deepen interests and make an impact

Extracurricular Activities

Colleges review extracurricular activities when considering college applicants. Be involved in quality activities over quantity during your high school education. When looking for extracurricular activities consider:

  • Leadership roles
  • School clubs
  • Work history
  • Volunteer experience
  • Athletics / Sports

Extracurricular history can help you present yourself as a well-rounded, committed individual.

Maintaining School Grades

Getting good grades in school is important when continuing an individual's education. Below are some resources from the Department of Education for parents to help students excel.

Links to Explore