Timeline: 9th and 10th Grade

Following this timeline will keep you focused on how to make the most out of your early high school years. If you follow the timeline, you can make informed decisions that will provide you better opportunities for your future.


Take a Rigorous Academic Plan — Review your schedule with your college counselor, dean, and/or parents to make sure you’re enrolled in challenging classes that will help you prepare for college. Colleges prefer four years of English, history, math, science, and a foreign language. Take the most advanced class you can succeed in, particularly AP and honors courses.

Focus on Grades — Get the best possible grades by attending school daily, completing all your classes and homework, and studying for your tests and quizzes. Colleges prefer A’s and B’s on your transcript.

Get Involved — Join school, community, or religious programs. At Thurgood Marshall Academy, you could join a sports team, the debate team, the dance team, art club, or a variety of other groups. If you are interested in something the school does not offer, see the Programs Office or your college counselor to find a program in the DC community. Colleges want to see your individuality and consistent commitment, so when you find something you like to do, stick with it.

Explore Talents — By trying new things and participating in programs you enjoy, you will have a chance to discover your strengths, continue to develop your talents, and learn new things you may enjoy. Knowing your talents is important for finding the college and career that you will enjoy the most and will lead you to your future success.

Create a Calendar with Important Dates & Deadlines — Make sure to record important dates, class assignments, and portfolio projects in your agenda.

Create Community Service Hour Plan — You need to complete 20 hours of community service each year; there is significant scholarship money available for students who are committed to community service, so take the time to find volunteer work that you enjoy and can participate in the entire time you are in high school. You can also gain skills and experience through volunteer work, such as by tutoring elementary school kids, spending time at a local hospital, or assisting at an animal shelter.

PSAT — Take the PSAT seriously on Wednesday, October 15. This is an opportunity to practice for the SAT and strong scores can lead to scholarship money.

Register with DC-CAP — See Ms. Mitchell in Room 009 to register. By registering for DC-CAP you will be eligible for additional college counseling resources and services including the Last Dollar Award which is valued at $2,070 for college.

Participate in College Visits — Take advantage of college visits with Thurgood Marshall Academy. We are visiting two schools this year; this is the time to figure out what kind of school you might like to attend.

Attend the College Fair — Attend Washington, DC’s largest Annual College Fair hosted by National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) at the Washington Convention Center. The evening session will be held on Monday, September 29th from 6-8 pm. Ask your parents/guardians to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about your college interests.

Attend College Visits at School — Colleges visit Thurgood Marshall Academy to recruit students. See your college counselor for information about visits and a calendar.

Attend Financial Aid & Scholarship Workshop — During Thurgood Marshall Academy’s open house nights for parents/guardians there will be special college sessions. Take advantage of the workshops and attend with your parent/guardian. Information about the sessions will be on the website and sent home through mailings.


Focus on Grades

Get Involved

Participate in College Visits

Attend College Visits at School

Create Sophomore/Junior Class Schedule — Make sure your schedule has the most advanced classes available to you.

Create a Summer Plan — Take advantage of your extra time during the summer to catch up in summer school, volunteer, attend a pre-college summer program, or find an internship. Apply to the programs you are interested in early so you can take advantage of a great opportunity. Research programs in the Summer Opportunities section of the college counseling website, or see your college counselor, Dean, or the Programs Office for special summer opportunities.

Participate in a Pre-College Summer Program — A pre-college summer program involves attending summer classes at a college; students compete to be accepted into these programs. A challenging summer school program can increase your changes of getting into a competitive college. There are summer programs for just about every type of student and interest, whether you would like to work on academic subjects or developing skills such as playing an instrument or sport. Use a summer program to develop a talent or interest in the arts, you could join a program in film and video, creative writing, visual arts, animation, dance, music, or theater. Participate in a science and technology program where you can study engineering, computer science, ecology, even compete in a robot building competition. There are local programs, or you can leave the area live on a college campus. Thurgood Marshall Academy has had students enter programs across the country, from the University of Southern California to the (MS)2 program in Andover, Massachusetts. Look for programs in the Summer Opportunities section of the college counseling website, or see your college counselor, Dean, or the programs office for special summer opportunities.

Visit Colleges — Take advantage of visiting colleges with your friends and family. You can visit local schools by taking the metro, bus, or driving. If you are going on a vacation with family or friends, visit colleges on the way or when you arrive at your location. Your college counselor can assist in planning college visits or you can go to the college’s website and call to schedule a visit. By visiting schools throughout high school you will be able to determine the type of school you would like to attend.

Find an Internship Based on Your Interests — Washington, DC, offers many summer internships for high school and college students. If you are interested in an internship, take advantage of your resources at Thurgood Marshall Academy and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities listed in the newspaper, on the internet, or advertised throughout the school.

Create a Summer Reading List — READ! Visit the Thurgood Marshall Academy library or your local DC library for suggested summer reading. You should also ask your teachers to recommend books that they think you would enjoy.