The 4-Year Plan to Get Into the College of Your Dreams

The 4-Year Plan to Get Into the College of Your Dreams

Written by Chris Hernandez

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Want to get into your first pick of colleges? Follow this proven 4-year plan that tells you exactly what to do from 9th through 12th grade college application season.

You often hear about how high school is the greatest time of your life, but no one seems to mention that it may almost feel like the busiest time as well. Juggling challenging classes and extracurriculars while trying to decide what to do with the rest of your life can be overwhelming and challenging.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid the stress and pressure that come along with the major life decision you have to make in your formative years: where you go to college. The most important thing is to prepare yourself to prevent everything from accumulating right before application season. Though it seems that the application and acceptance process does not start until late junior or early senior year, it is imperative for students to realize the journey starts as soon as they start high school.

Colleges and universities look for stable, reliable candidates - students who have maintained their GPA all four years with little fluctuation, remained consistent in extracurriculars, and stand out from their peers academically and socially. Stay on track by mapping out what you need to be doing every year to stay on top of the application curve.

9th grade to-do list

  • Take challenging classes.
    • This can be advanced, AP, AICE, or any type of class that is more rigorous to show colleges you can handle a more challenging course load.
  • Join or (even better) start your own clubs, sports teams, or student organizations.
  • Make yourself known
    • Introduce yourself to your counselor, your current teachers, and the head of any club or team joined.
  • Start exploring potential career paths and major interests.
  • Work with one of our Amikka Freshman consultants.

Summer (9th grade) to-do list

  • Volunteer. Be part of a community, give back, help out.
  • Research colleges and go on visits. This can help you to see what type of campus and school you would feel most comfortable in.
  • Work on something that you are passionate about. If you really want to stand out you can even create a club or non-profit to maximize your impact.
  • Work with one of our Amikka Leadership consultants.

10th grade to-do list

  • Keep your classes challenging.
  • Stay engaged with your extracurriculars, stick to one for at least 3 years.
  • Start building connections within your favorite clubs and preparing to obtain a leadership role.
  • Prepare for and take the PSAT. Practice makes perfect.
  • Build relationships with your teachers and counselors.
  • Volunteer or find your first job.
  • Take practice tests to see which exam is better for you.
  • Work with one of our Amikka Sophomore consultants and/or our PSAT tutors to maximize your progress.

Summer (10th grade) to-do list

  • Take SAT / ACT summer prep classes.
  • Go on college visits.
  • Attend a college summer course or camp.
  • Start thinking about your career path.
  • Continue to build experience working on something that you are passionate about.

11th grade to-do list

  • Maintain GPA through challenging classes.
  • Build your college list.
  • Identify who will write your recommendation letters and ask for them early.
  • Pursue leadership positions- clubs, student government, sports, jobs, internships, etc.
  • Retake the SAT if necessary.
  • Calculate your budget for college with your parents and figure out how you’re going to pay for it.
  • Work with one of our Amikka Junior consultants.

Summer (11th grade) to-do list

  • Work on your applications.
    • They are long and abundant. Start by filling out the common or coalition app basics or by choosing and writing your prompt for the essay portion.
  • Go on college visits.
  • Finalize your college list. Make sure it includes reach schools, match schools, and safety schools.
  • Finish taking the SAT/ACT after reaching your target score.
  • Keep building your resume.
    • Volunteer, work, do a summer program, find a job or internship related to your area of concentration.
  • Work with one of our Amikka Internship consultants.

12th grade to-do list

Fall semester

  • Keep your classes challenging and your GPA leveled.
  • Decide how you are applying.
    • Early decision- allows for early application, but is a binding contract to enroll if accepted (you can only apply to one school early decision).
    • Early action- allows for early application and decision without promising enrollment upon acceptance.
    • Regular decision- later application deadlines and decisions, but does not show as much enthusiasm or preparedness as the prior two.
  • Find out if you qualify for any scholarships such as national merit semifinalist.
  • Fill out the FAFSA (Oct.1).
  • Order and send transcripts.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Schedule and prepare for interviews if applicable.
  • Work with our Amikka Senior consultants.

Spring semester

  • Finish strong.
    • Don't start slacking now, try to finish with your best grades yet.
  • Stay on top of decision dates & acceptance letters.
  • Review scholarship options for schools you have been accepted to.
  • Make your final decision.
  • Think about housing options
    • Are you able to commute?
    • Is student housing the best option for you?
    • Think about meal plans
  • Work with one of our Amikka College consultants.

Written by Founder
Chris Hernandez

Christopher Hernandez, the founder of Amikka Learning, couldn’t afford expensive SAT tutoring so he spent hundreds of hours studying on his own.

After improving over 400 points and attending an Ivy League school he realized how unfair the playing field was with tutoring: no matter how smart you were, if you couldn’t afford tutoring you were stuck.
His dream was to change this.

He began tutoring for the SAT and quickly realized that he was a gifted tutor. His students were loving his program and improving very fast.

Fast forward 8 years, Amikka is a leader in the education industry and has helped thousands of students get into their dream schools.

If you’d like a free consultation for 1-on-1 tutoring schedule a call with our team here.

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Help Your Child Get Into Their Dream School. Without The Cost.

No contracts. Affordable
SAT and ACT prep.

Free Consultation