Step 2: Push Yourself


Working a little harder today will make college easier

Pick the right classes

To get into college, start by taking the right classes in high school. Find out what classes you need to meet entrance requirements and sign up for them now. Lock in the classes you need to graduate high school in Kentucky and then choose electives based on the career you want to pursue. Remember, colleges will want you to have taken at least two years of the same foreign language. Check out this course planner and checklist to map out your high school plan.

Get a head start on college classes

Sure, grades are important, but the tougher the courses you take, the more likely it is that a college will decide to take you and the more prepared you'll be for classes when you get there. In general, most colleges prefer students who challenge themselves with harder courses, even if they earn only average grades, than those who take easier courses just to get higher grades. Kentucky offers several different ways students can begin earning college credit or advanced placement in college classes while still in high school. Check out the Get a Head Start on College Classes section to learn more.


Get involved

Not only do extracurricular activities and volunteering help you better understand what you enjoy (and don't enjoy) doing, they look great on college applications and help you gain experience you will need to succeed as a college student and as a working adult.  Lots of different options are available, with some at little to no cost. To find the right one for you:

  • Check with your school counselors
  • Read the club section of the local newspaper or the Parks and Recreation department website
  • Call your local YMCA or Chamber of Commerce
  • Visit the Volunteer Match website to search for volunteering opportunities in your area
  • Ask other students what activities they are involved in
  • Check with area churches or colleges

Achieve Honors

Honors and advanced placement courses are the gold standard for colleges and carry much more weight than other courses in working out your grade point average.

Tap Into Computing

Courses in computer science (or even classes that require you to use computers in researching or completing projects) will give you the skills you need to make the grade at college.