College Tips

Check out our videos with helpful tips for high school students preparing for college.

Visit the Texas GEAR UP website and take virtual tours of universities you might be interested in.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many credits do I need to move to the next grade level?

  • 7 credits to be considered a 10th grade student
  • 14 credits to be considered a 11th grade student
  • 21 credits to be considered a 12th grade student
  • Earn at least 5 credits during the last grade (12th) to graduate with 26 credits

What is a credit transcript or transcript?

The credit transcript or transcript is a record of all the high school classes the student has taken and the number of credits earned.

Why should I take Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) or Advanced Placement (AP) classes?

Advanced Placement classes have a higher “weight” than regular / regular classes. Therefore, these classes can help increase your GPA. In addition, universities view these classes favorably since it is assumed that by taking these classes, you are challenging yourself. Additionally, students who receive a score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam may earn college or advanced placement credit.

Why do I have to go to college?

It is important that you consider preparing for the workforce with more than a high school diploma. Remember that you are going to compete with many other people for a position in a job. Students who are more prepared, whether with a college degree or training certificate, will be viewed more favorably/competitively in the eyes of a business employer.

Why should I participate in extracurricular activities or student groups at school?

Participation in extracurricular activities/groups will help you learn how to work with others and with the community. You will be exposed to new learning experiences, activities, people and situations that will help you grow as a person. Additionally, your college or job application will likely look more favorable if you include that you have participated in extracurricular activities.

How can I receive college credit when I’m in high school?

You can receive college credit hours through Dual Credit and AP classes.

What are AP classes?

Taking advanced placement (AP) classes in high school can help you earn college credit alongside your diploma and lead to tuition savings as an undergraduate. AP classes prepare learners to take tests on college-level knowledge. Students who receive passing scores (typically 3 – 5) on these tests can earn college credit. Talk to your counselors to see which AP classes are offered at your high school.

What is Dual Credit?

If eligible, a high school student is able to enroll in college course(s) and is able to receive credit for both high school and college. Talk to your high school counselors to see which dual credit opportunities are available.

Why are Class Rank and GPA important for college admissions?

Class Rank: A student’s class rank is determined by their GPA placement compared to the rest of their peers. Class rank is part of the criteria that colleges use for admission. You get your updated class rank at the end of every semester. If you have not received it, you can speak to your counselor for information on it.

GPA: Grade Point Average (GPA) is a single number that represents your entire academic performance. Your GPA is essential for college applications and scholarship applications. Speak to your counselor to find out your most current GPA.

Why is knowing how to write a proper email important?

Knowing how to write a proper email to show that you are professional. It helps later on in life when you have a job.

Learn more about writing professional emails at the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

How do I avoid plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the action of copying, collaborating, or presenting others’ work as one’s own.

Learn more about how to spot plagiarism and how to avoid it from Oxford Academic Guidance.