Preparing for College

Steps to Prepare for College

Freshman Year

  1. Take challenging classes in core subjects. At Battle Creek Central, we offer Pre AP and AP courses that accelerate and enrich the material. These classes are weighted on a 5.0 GPA scale, which means earning a "B" in the class is the same as earning an "A" in a regular class.
  2. Work on your Education Development Plan (EDP) by logging in to Career Cruising ( You can complete a 4-year plan, explore colleges and careers, and learn about financial aid options.You can get your login from your counselor.
  3. Get Involved! Colleges and universities like to see students that are involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, theater, band, choir, etc. Also, consider volunteering your time in the community. You can keep track of everything you are involved in with Career Cruising.
  4. Get good grades! Colleges look at your grades more than anything else when considering your application. At the end of high school, you will have a cumulative GPA that represents how well you did in your classes.
  5. Read! One of the proven indicators of success on standardized tests is a students reading level.  The more you read, the better you will do on these tests.

Sophomore Year

  1. Continue to take challenging classes in core subjects. This may include Pre-AP English, Pre-AP World History, or Pre-AP Biology.  
  2. Work on your EDP. Continue to explore careers and education pathways that interest you. You should be saving these into Career Cruising.
  3. Take the PSAT test. This test is available for all 10th grade students and indicates how well you will do on the SAT your junior year.  This test happens in the month of October.
  4. If you joined an extracurricular activity freshman year, stick with it! Colleges and universities like to see you involved in the same activity for all four years. It shows you are committed. Also keep track of any awards/distinctions that you receive, such as All-Conference, team captain, Varsity letter winner, etc.
  5. Continue to get good grades.If you struggled freshman year, its not too  late to improve your GPA.
  6. Read!

Junior Year

  1. If you have been taking those Pre-AP classes, it is time to move up to AP (Advanced Placement).  At Battle Creek Central High School we have AP classes for English (Language, Literature), Math (Calculus), Science (Biology, Chemstry), and Social Studies (US History, Government, Economics, Psychology). We also have AP Studio Art!
  2. Take the SAT test in April. This is the most important test you will take if you are interested in attending college. This test is scored on a scale from 400-1600 and includes Reading and Writing as well as Math. Students will have the opportunity to take the PSAT in the fall to prepare for the exam.
  3. Go on college visits. Plan on attending some visits with counseling staff, but you should also get out and visit some colleges that interest you. Your counselor can help you set up these visits.
  4. Athletes who want to play in college should start filling out recruiting forms. You can find these on most college athletic websites. Also, college-bound athletes should register with the NCAA eligibility center in the summer after their junior year.
  5. This is the most important year for good grades, attendance, extracurriculars and community involvement.

Senior Year

  1. In the Fall, you should begin applying for colleges. You should have your first application completed by November 1st. Talk to your counselor about getting transcripts sent to the schools you are applying to.
  2. Apply for scholarships. There are thousands of dollars out there to help you pay for school.
  3. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid beginning October 1 of your senior year. This is required in order to enroll in college. You can do it electronically at
  4. Take AP Exams in May to earn college credit
  5. Consider dual enrollment classes at Kellogg Community College to get college credit while in high school.
  6. Pass all of your classes. Colleges still want to see your senior year transcript to make sure you didn't slack off senior year.

ACT School Code: 230-177

Powerpoint DocumentGraduation Requirements Powerpoint

PDF DocumentAffording College in Michigan Guidebook

PDF DocumentNCAA Eligibility Center Requirements