Skip Navigation

The California State University

Middle school

Why do you go to college?
College offers the opportunity to explore many different interests and ideas, to meet a variety of people, and to learn about yourself. You go to college to earn a degree (like an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree). The degree demonstrates that you have obtained the knowledge and skills required for many careers. A college degree can help you earn more money, opportunities and jobs.

It’s never too early to start preparing for college.
Start by thinking about what you would like to do for a career and map out a plan to get there. Here are some common questions and answers to help you get started on your road to college.

How do I prepare for college?
Here are things you can do beginning in middle school:

  • Explore your interests and potential careers.
  • Get help from your teacher, counselor and family when you need it.
  • Talk to your school counselor about courses that will prepare you for college.
  • Do well in your English classes.
  • Read lots of books.
  • Take pre-Algebra.
  • Study hard, turn in your schoolwork on time, and do your best to earn good grades (As and Bs).

For more information on preparing for college, visit California Colleges

  • Take pre-Algebra or Algebra I or another rigorous math course and aim for good grades.
  • Take a language other than English.
  • Create an account at California Colleges to begin your Academic Planner.
  • Focus on your classes and keep up with homework assignments. This will help you master the study skills you need to be successful in high school and college.
  • Aim for As and Bs in all your classes; focus on homework and develop good study skills.
  • Get help from your teachers, counselor and family when you need it.
  • Explore different career options.

What is a college?

What is a college?

A college or a university is a place where you can go after you graduate from high school to learn about particular subjects you are interested in.

Subjects you may want to study include business, nursing, computer systems, biotechnology, politics, graphics and many more. You can study any topic that interests you!

9th Grade

9th Grade

Start taking “a-g” courses and aim for As and Bs.

More about 9th grade

What is a career?

What is a career?

A career is an occupation (job) or profession that often requires a college degree. You may not know what you want to be when you grow up, but think about the things you like to do and what careers match your interests.


ACT (American College Testing)
AP (Advanced Placement)
CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress)
CSU (California State University)
EAP (Early Assessment Program)
PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test)
SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)