8 Tips to Start 9th Graders Building a College-Attractive Transcript

Here are eight tips to start 9th graders building a college-attractive transcript!

8 Tips to Start 9th Graders Building a College-Attractive Transcript

Eight Tips to Start 9th Graders Building a College-Attractive Transcript

One of the benefits of being a homeschool mother and principal of our local homeschool umbrella school is learning the inside secrets of college admissions officers. I periodically attend meetings with these gatekeepers. While at these meetings the admissions officers share what they are looking for when looking at college applications. In this way, we pick up tools and advice to help homeschool high schoolers build a college-attractive transcript.

One of the top tips we learned for building that college-attractive transcript is to START IN 9th GRADE!

Not all teens know whether they will want to attend college. However, for those who do want to go to college, they need to start creating a great transcript as early as 9th grade!

  • When homeschool high schoolers start working on their transcripts during their freshman years, they benefit by:
  • Having time to explore interests, abilities (or their “star”) and gifts a little (or a lot) the first year
    • And discarding things they explore and do not enjoy

Based on what I have learned from college admissions officers, here are eight tips to start 9th graders building a college-attractive transcript.

Competitive Transcript:

Having a competitive transcript is most important if your homeschool high schooler is headed for a competitive college, like Harvard, for instance. To do this, homeschool transcripts should show some rigor. Including advanced and honors level classes is one way to show rigor on the homeschool transcript. Starting in 9th grade, parents with their teens should choose which courses to level-up.

SAT and/or ACT scores:

Many college-bound teens will need to take either the SAT or ACT for college admissions. You can help your teens prepare fot these stressful tests without giving your teen panic attacks. To do this during 9th grade, you can gently introduce vocabulary and study skills that can build their confidence.

For more on SAT prep, check out this post.


What are your teens’ areas of skill or gifting? Start exploring and building those areas in 9th grade. Career Exploration is a good place to start.


Teens who are involved in service and extracurriculars that give them a wide variety of experiences have an edge on their transcripts. So do those who have a single, strong interest and use that interest as a specialty to build service and extracurriculars each year during high school. Either choice is good.

Long-term commitments:

One major mistake some teens make is to neglect extracurricular activities in your underclassman years and suddenly becoming involved as an upperclassman. Admissions officers are well aware that many students that wait to become involved as upperclassmen are playing “the admissions game” and trying to impress the college admissions officers.

Leadership and fellowship:

While it is good to show some leadership, they also are aware that they need to be good team members as well as leaders. Find experiences that build both.


Teens need to explore, try new things and develop their own “voice”. This will show up in their application essays and where required, interviews. Lots of writing, starting in 9th grade helps build teens’ voices. Essays are powerful tools for this. 7Sisters Essay Writing is a no-busywork way to help your teens start to develop their voices.

Fit with the school profile:

Each college has a type of student they are on the lookout for. You don’t have control over this, but you can visit some college websites and compare college missions and freshman class descriptions.

  • Some will make you think: They are looking for MY teen.
  • Others will make you think: They are looking for someone completely different from my teen.

Homeschool high school transcripts are important! But do not worry. We are looking out for you!

Your 7Sisters have put together everything you need for homeschool high school transcript, including:

  • 1st File: A transcript template in easy-to-use editable pdf format
  • 2nd File: A high school checklist, to help you and your teens keep the course requirements organized
  • 3rd File: A detailed, 75-page guide with details on how to create a meaningful high school transcript

This is an update on Marilyn’s classic post

Read more about what 9th graders need to know.

For college-prep study skills, check out this post.

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8 Tips to Start 9th Graders Building a College-Attractive Transcript


3 Replies to “8 Tips to Start 9th Graders Building a College-Attractive Transcript”

  1. In 9th grade, I started taking college classes at my high school and local community college. Dual enrollment is a free program that allows student to take college course for credit there and at high school. Fell free to check my blog, ayounglegend.com, which documents my experiences as I graduate high school and college at 16 years old in December of 2017. Subscribe if you like what you see!

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