#StepUpSummer: How 8th and 9th Grade Students Can Prepare for College This Summer

stayontrackThe end of school is just around the corner, and many students couldn’t be more excited. I remember this time of year as a high school student; I looked forward to taking a dip (or twenty!) in the pool, riding my bike around the neighborhood, reading, hanging out with friends, and sleeping in every day! One thing that I wish I had taken more seriously over the summer was using my time wisely to prepare for college (while still enjoying some lazy days and other fun summer activities).

Here’s a list of suggestions to make your summer a StepUp Summer of college preparedness! No matter what grade you are in, there are things you can do this summer to make sure you are prepared to go to college.


If you’re going to be in 9th grade next school year…


Prepare:

  • On-CampusIt’s okay if you don’t know what you want to be or what you want to study in college just yet. You can take time to think about what you want to do when you grow up and research what your interests are with UtahFutures
  • Sign up to be a Utah Scholar and track your points. What is a Utah Scholar?
  • Go to a fun summer camp (Here are some great suggestions: Part 1, Part 2)
  • Volunteer in your community and get experience with a field you might be interested in (Remember that community service serves YOU!)

Pay:

  • PIGGY-ICONLook for scholarships using StepUp Scholarships on UtahFutures because it’s never too early to find some cash for college
  • Find ways to save money regularly for college using a savings account at a bank or credit union or a Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) account

 


If you’re going to be in 10th Grade next school year…


Prepare:

  • On-CampusThink about what college majors you might be interested in and learn about them at utahmajors.org
  • Talk to teachers, family, friends, and neighbors about their college experiences
  • Arrange a time to job shadow someone who works in a subject that interests you. Ask your friends and family members for help setting something up

Pay:

  • PIGGY-ICONFind a part-time job (even mowing lawns or babysitting) to get experience to put on scholarship and college applications while earning some cash for college – save as much as you can!
  • Use the StepUp Utah Scholarship Toolkit to create a good scholarship resume to snag some scholarship dollars
  • Make sure you are on track with the right classes to earn the Regents’ Scholarship to help pay for college costs

Remember that these are just suggestions! You can find many other ways to make your summer a #StepUpSummer to prepare for college. If you have other suggestions or need help preparing for a StepUp Summer, tweet or instagram message me at @stepupjacob.


Jacob Newman, Outreach Officer, FAFSA Wizard, and Paying for College Expert at StepUpUtahJacob Newman is a Community Outreach Officer with Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA) and financial aid expert. Before working with UHEAA, he worked as a the Job Readiness Program Coordinator at the English Skills Learning Center. Jacob graduated with an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Brigham Young University in August 2016. He speaks Thai, Spanish, and American Sign Language. Follow Jacob on TwitterInstagram, and Snapchat @stepupjacob.