• Planning for Life After High School

    HCS highschool

    Your high school years may be the most exciting and important ones you will spend in school. For the first time, you'll have lots of choices to make about what you study. It's important to know that the choices you make for 9th grade - as well as 10th, 11th, and 12th - will affect the choices you'll have for the rest of your life.

    No matter what you dream of doing with your life, preparing yourself for more education beyond high school is your wisest plan right now. Post-high school education can provide valuable experiences that contribute to a better quality of life for you. Whether or not you go on to a college, university, career or technical school, the information and skills you learn in your high school classes will always be useful in the world of work. Remember: Everyone, in every kind of job, needs to be able to write and speak clearly, listen carefully, understand what is written and spoken, and use math effectively.

9th Grade

  • Getting ready for college isn't all work. Find something you really like doing, and then dive into it. Maybe you're drawn to sports, student council, music or art. Join a school group or club, or find other ways to follow your passion. You'll develop skills and show colleges you can make a commitment and stick with it. Click here for more information to guide you during your freshman year. 

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12th Grade

  • During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice. This year is filled with admission applications, scholarship essays, financial aid information and the need to meet deadlines. Click here for additional resources to help you during your senior year. 

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Serving in the Armed Forces

  • Joining the military can provide you with an amazing education. Yet to take advantage of these educational opportunities, you must enlist, a decision that can’t be made lightly. Click here for more resources to help guide you.

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10th Grade

  • You can get on track for the SAT while you're a sophomore. Taking the PSAT is a great way to practice for the SAT. Then taking the PSAT again as a junior, can help you qualify for scholarships. Click here for more information and resources to help you during your sophomore year. 

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Student Athletes

  • If you want to compete in NCAA sports at a Division I school, you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to make sure you stay on track to meet initial-eligibility standards. Click here to learn more.

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  • Trade or Vocational Training

  • Learning a trade by attending a career college or vocational school might be for you. Aptitude, career interests, high-school record, and life goals all are part of making this decision.  Click here for more information on trade or vocational training opportunities.  

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11th Grade

  • Your junior year is the last complete year that colleges may review, so it's important to maintain good grades. Keep in close touch with your guidance office about your grades and course selection. Click here for resources to make your junior year more successful. 

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Looking for Direct Employment

  • Attending college directly after high school isn't for everyone. For some high school graduates, working instead of attending college is a preferred route. Click here for more information on direct employment after high school. 

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Financial Aid and other Resources

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, is the key application to determine college financial aid. Filling it out not only unlocks access to federal aid such as student loans or the Pell Grant, but many institutions also use this form to determine their own need-based financial aid awards. Learn More.

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  • Sources: College Board, Big Future, Great Schools.org, Williamsburg Learning, NCAA, Federal Student Aid office of the US Department of Education, Princeton Review and US News and World Report.