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How To Build a Winning Academic and Personal Record


Quick Links: High School Survival Guide

Teenagers who are planning to attend college need to become serious about the cost as early as their freshman year in high school. The first step in obtaining scholarships is keeping an organized record of your accomplishments during high school.

Time Required: 4 years

Here's How:

  1. Start with having a place to keep all of your teen's records of achievements. An accordion folder works well for this purpose. Section off by school year and special areas, for instance: community service, teacher recommendations, etc.

  2. Have your teen create realistic academic goals. Work with the school guidance office on which classes are needed throughout their four years of high school. Place the information in the sections concerning the year involved.

  3. Look for areas in your community that your teen wants to participate by doing community service. Have your teen take notes on each service he performs. Include the community organization name, the names of the people in charge, phone numbers, etc. Place it in the community service section of the accordion folder.

  4. Let your teen participate in school clubs, sports and other organizations. Have your teen keep notes on the teacher advisers and what your teen was able to accomplish in the organization.

  5. Your teen will need to receive good grades and keep his grade point average above a 3.6. Grades are the most important factor when applying for private scholarships. Although, it's a catch-22. A 4.0 student with no experience in sports or community service does not look as good a candidate as a student with a 3.8 and who was on the school yearbook committee and basketball team. The key is balance.

  6. Building the teacher recommendation section can be tough. Start by saving the comments from your teens report card. When your teen receives a positive comment, write the teacher's name, grade, class name and the comment down. Place this in the teacher recommendation section of the folder. When your teen is a senior, he can go back and tap into these for recommendations.

  7. Continue to step through this process during your teen's four years of high school. If you are able to do this, it will keep it in the forefront of your teen's mind and he will do better. It will also mean a lot less running around looking for information when your teen is applying for scholarships.


  1. You will need to partner with your teenager in this process. It will be a give and take as you are the adult and have more worldly experience than your teen. There may even be a time when your teen seems to give up. Remember that he needs you most at these times and don't give up on him.

  2. How many school nights a week is your teen allowed out?(leisure time only)

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  3. Quick Links: High School Survival Guide

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