Congratulations on your hard work so far in high school! You're well on your way to getting the education that everyone needs to get a good job and all of the resulting benefits. I know it hasn't always been easy, but you've met every challenge so far, and there is every reason to think that you will overcome any hurdle that comes up in the future. That makes you very special, and everyone in the state is proud of you for all that you have accomplished.
It's also time for you to begin thinking about college if you haven't already done so. More and more students - including those who once thought that college was not the right place for them - are finding that college opens up many choices for building a brighter future. It's the place to be for the best opportunities in life. Don't miss out!
You should begin preparing for college while you are in high school, and I've enclosed some important information for you. Here are the best steps for now:
Take the right courses to be ready for college-level work. If you are not sure what those courses are, talk to your high school counselor; and
Register for the Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which is commonly known as the PSAT. To prepare for the PSAT, please take a look at a free online test prep program - Texas Online Preparation for College Admissions Tests (TOPCAT); http://testprep.collefzefortexans.com/.
Like many other students and their families you might be concerned about how to pay for college. The good news is that financial aid, amounting to more than $4 billion, is available to Texas families every year to help with college expenses. To learn more, please contact the Texas Financial Aid Information Center by visiting www.CollegeForTexans.comor by calling 1-888-311-8881. Bilingual representatives are available Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
College opened up a world of opportunities for me, just as it can for you. Please talk with your family, counselors, teachers, and mentors about college, and what it means for your future.
A college education is essential to achieving a bright future for you, your family, and our state. Go get it!
Get Ready Now.
Take challenging classes. You’ll improve your chances of getting scholarships, scoring higher on the SAT and ACT, and doing well in college. Enroll in either the Recommended High School program (RHSP), or the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP), required by many financial aid programs including Texas Grant.
Prepare for the ACT or SAT. Check out TOPCAT, the free online test prep program for Texas students, at www.TestPrep.CollegeForTexans.com
Get involved. Choose extracurricular activities that groom you for teamwork, leadership, and responsibility. Volunteer with community groups. Play on a sport team or in a band. Join clubs that interest you.
Show off your accomplishments. Create a personal file and include all your activities and awards: academic, sports, and community service. Keep your report cards and sample of your best school work.
Earn college credit in high school. Do this by taking Dual or Concurrent Enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Tech Prep courses.
Analyze your interests.Investigate your dream careers. When you know your interests and abilities, it will be easier to decide what college you want to attend and to determine your major.
Check out the TAKS College Readiness Standard. Take the PSAT. These will give you a good idea of the areas in which you might need to work on to be ready for college.
Find a college “coach.”Get to know people who are going to college or have recently graduated from college. They can answer questions about college life. You’ll find out that you aren’t the only one who has, or will, overcome barriers to earn a college degree.
Explore Texas colleges and universities. Find out which college and universities best match your goals. Visit
Map out a plan. Talk to your teachers, your high school counselor, and your family. Consider location, degrees, and associated costs. Discuss ways to make college affordable and learn about the application and financial aid process and deadlines.
Every year, Texans has billions of dollars to help you go to college.You can attend college no matter how much your parents earn. Nearly 50 percent of all Texas college students receive financial aid through grants, loans, and work-study programs. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January of your senior year. Start your scholarship search at www.FastWeb.com
Students must successfully complete all portions of the STAR/EOC or TAKS Test to graduate.
Grade level promotions in grade 9 through 12 shall be determined by the number of credits earned.
Grade 9Grade 11
Promotion or placement from 8th grade Required Credits=12 credits Required STAAR