Preparing Academically

Colleges are looking for you!

Preparing for college can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Explained below are the primary items colleges consider when admitting students.

Fulfillment of university admission requirements

Most four-year colleges and universities require that you take a set high school core curriculum for admission purposes. It is important that you talk to your high school counselor and your colleges of choice so that you take the right classes during 9th-12th grades.

College prep classes

Specific core curriculum requirements vary from university to university. Below is a sample of a college prep curriculum developed by ACT:

  • English: Four years of English
  • Mathematics: Three years of math, including Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II
  • Natural sciences: Three years of science, including Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Social studies: Three years of social studies
  • Additional courses: Some colleges and universities require other classes as prerequisites for admission, such as two or more years of the same foreign language or courses in the visual arts, music, theater, drama, dance, computer science, etc.

High school GPA

Your grade point average is one of the most important things colleges consider. We recommend starting strong with your grades as you enter high school and continue working hard each year.

Some colleges consider just your GPA in core classes while others look at your cumulative GPA. Check with your choice colleges to see how they look at your GPA.

Class ranking

Many colleges will also look at your class rank, if your high school provides such information. Talk with your high school counselors to see whether or not your school ranks.

Test scores

Most colleges use ACT and/or SAT test scores for both admission and scholarship purposes. Check with your choice colleges to see if they prefer the ACT or SAT and what minimum score is required for admission.

Take these tests early and often while in high school to better achieve your ideal score.


Student involvement is a great asset for scholarship applications. It is important for you to get engaged with student clubs at your high school or with groups within your community, so that you can gain valuable skills and experiences to boost your résumé.  


Don’t miss out on opportunities to succeed. Make sure you meet admission and scholarship deadlines at your choice colleges.