It’s too early for freshmen to worry about lots of things—the SAT, the driver’s test, and yes, even getting into a dream college. Please don’t start measuring your every 9th grade step by whether or not it will help you get into Yale. That’s not just a surefire way to initiate early-stage admissions anxiety. It’s also not an effective admissions strategy.
But it’s not too early for freshmen to engage in their high school careers, to start taking responsibility for their education, and to begin preparing for—not obsessing about—the college admissions process. Here are a few resources to help freshmen families start their college planning smartly and sanely.
Protect yourself against bad information with this past post about lies people tell high school freshmen.
My book explains everything a high school family needs to know about planning for college, from how to choose classes and plan tests, to how to get better grades (and study less), to how to thrive in extracurricular activities.
And for counselors, Patrick O’Connor offers this template for college advice to share with eager (or over-eager) freshmen.