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8th Grade, 9th Grade? What's Happening?

In last week’s Professional Forum, I learned that many of my colleagues across the US are full to capacity with 8th and 9th graders. Each year, more 8th graders and and first year high school students sign on for my support. How does that fit into my goal to manage stress and expectations, to "De-Stress the College Process?" A healthy high school>college journey for every student and family matters most to me.

Starting early can help high school freshmen and their families:

  • Think about students' academic interests/strengths (which shift through high school) and recommend ways to develop them.

  • Discuss extracurricular activities/strengths (what they love now, being open to broadening interests, and understanding what matters later).

  • Get reliable answers about the evolving college landscape rather than depending on the "buzz," which is generally misleading and incorrect. If I don't know the answer, I'll get it through my professional networks.

  • Open my LCS system to access a wide range of educational resources, including the Fiske Guide. 

When the time is right:

  • Learn the most recent data on ED/EA/RD admit rates to help us build a smart college list.

  • Make informed choices about the SAT and ACT that suit your student best.

  • Stretch out four payments, beginning with the contract signing until the fall of senior year.

  • Reduce stress later by having a clear and realistic 3 or 4 year plan.

Is starting early necessary for every student? Of course not. But having professional educational support throughout high school can offer a sense of structure and control throughout those busy years.


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