High school is an eight-semester CLIMB during which everyone incurs the occasional stumbling blocks. To help you navigate this path, we have developed CLIMB, a framework that provides students with a road map for the high school to college transition process—Create, Lead, Identify, Measure, Build.

  • Ninth Grade

    Create goals for your next four years and break them down year by year, semester by semester so you can track your performance.

    Lead healthy relationships with peers. Squad goal #1 should be surrounding yourself with people who support your dreams and ambitions.

    Identify opportunities to participate in any prep courses or books for the ACT/SAT test: testing schedule, locations, costs, and any other details.

    Measure first semester progress and work with school and personal resources to make improvements going forward.

    Build relationships with guidance counselors, mentors, and advisor, to learn more about tutoring options/academic support services and maybe some college scholarships you can qualify for if you reach your goals.

  • Tenth Grade

    Create a checklist for the year that includes taking the PSAT, visiting a local college; audition/tryout dates for performances and teams; and AP or other accelerated classes that you are on track to take

    Leadership positions matter! Find meaningful programs, clubs, teams and commit yourself to taking a leading role in two or three of these organizations.

    Identify at least 10 colleges (set no boundaries - any private, public, or state institution) that fit your needs. Keep track of estimated tuition, books, housing, and any other expenses as you browse.

    Measure the three semesters of progress and work with school and personal resources to make improvements going into 11th grade .

    Build in time to check in with your squad of teachers, counselors, mentors, and friends who are committed to helping you reach your goals and ambitions.

  • Eleventh Grade

    Create a plan for visiting colleges, communicating with professors, meeting admissions officers or students. If your family cannot take you, explore opportunities to tag along with friends. Or are there any church or other community organizations in your area that lead college trips?

    Lead a healthy lifestyle, make sure you're getting enough sleep, exercise and downtime so you can perform at your best.

    Identify specific scholarships for which you plan on applying and create a file folder for scholarship applications, drafts of essays, and any other requested materials.

    Measure the five semesters of progress and work with school and personal resources to make improvements going into semesters six through eight.

    Build one master calendar which will indicate all application deadlines and the dates where you will take the SAT or ACT.

  • Twelfth Grade

    Create time to make sure that you get all your recommendations from teachers; register for the ACT/SAT; submit college and scholarship applications; submit FAFSA application.

    Lead by example because younger students at school are following your trail.

    Identify and finalize the list of 10 schools to which you will apply.

    Measure the seven semesters of progress and work with school and personal resources to make sure you are on track to meet all requirements (e.g. service hours) for graduation.

    Build on progress from junior year and maintain stellar academic standing throughout senior year.

  • Social Media and College Admissions

    Just like playing sports or doing community service can set you apart from other students, so can what you post and share online (e.g. IG, Twitter, Facebook).

    Some don'ts

    Don't post explicit images.

    Don't curse or use language that is racist, homophobic, sexist, misogynist, or which can be misinterpreted as such.

    Some do's

    Do post about your passion (sports, writing, art, dance, beauty, style); in other words things that depict your talents in a positive way.

    Do take a moment to express your gratitude for family, teachers, mentors and others who have had a positive impact on your life.