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Sophomore News

Dear Sophomore Parent:

In class in September, I gave your child a blue Guidebook to College Admission. This resource was developed to help your child make good decisions for the future.  If your child received this guidebook, he or she should be planning on going to college after high school.  That might be a four year university, a community college, or a technical school.  I am working with the students in English classes with the Guidebooks.  In November I plan to send them home with your child so that you may take a look at it, too.

If a four-year university is the plan, there is no mystery about what it takes to be accepted to college.  Whether students are striving for acceptance to a super-selective Ivy League school or a small liberal arts school that accepts most applicants, here are the requirements in order of importance:

  1. courses in high school – selective colleges will look to see if students took the most difficult courses we offer (i.e., honors, AP, dual enrollment).  Many colleges will accept students as long as they have taken all of our college preparatory classes.  The more selective the school, the harder the course-load must be. 
  2. your grades in those courses (mostly As for selective schools, mostly As and Bs for less selective schools).  NO Ds or Fs, please!
  3. SAT and/or ACT scores – sophomores will prepare for the SAT this fall by taking the PSAT; otherwise, you don’t really need to worry about this until next year.  (HINT:  the best way to prepare for SATs is to take hard classes in high school and do well in them.)
  4. extracurricular activities – depth is more important than breadth; that is, students should get involved in one or two things and become a leader rather than spreading themselves thin with many different activities.


If the plan is to attend a community college, sophomores need to work hard in college prep classes.  Even though there are no admissions requirements (besides a high school diploma) to be accepted to a community college, the harder students work now, the easier the transition will be to college.  All community colleges require applicants to meet minimum scores on a placement test.  If students don’t meet those minimum scores, they will be required to take remedial courses which takes up valuable time and money.  Students should learn all they can here for free!

There are some great vocational schools for students who want to concentrate on learning a skill.  Sophomores should be thinking about what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing, (i.e., business, technology, automotives, cosmetology, etc.).  Keep in mind that Americans spend about 66% of their lifespan working, so people should enjoy what they do!

Sophomore year is wonderful; all they have to do is learn as much as they can in their courses and get good grades. 


Sincerely, Sarah Blackburn