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First Generation First

Putting our first-gen students first.

Actions to Take in High School

Getting into college starts way before you actually start to apply. From course enrollment to after-school extracurriculars, students need to build their college applications when they first enter high school. Below are some common actions that typically help with having a strong application.

Ninth Grade

  • Get good grades!
  • Find friends with similar goals who will support you and vice versa.
  • Get involved in some clubs at school (or outside!) by simply attending meetings and searching which ones will help you explore your interests.
  • Introduce yourself to your teachers and start a professional connection so that they are willing to help you in the future.
  • Start a chart where you will write down all your activities, volunteer hours, etc. so that you can keep track of everything!

Tenth Grade

  • Continue being involved with your clubs and extracurriculars. Don't be afraid to add/drop activities for what you want to invest time in the most.
  • Keep up your grades!
  • Increase the difficulty of your classes by taking Honors, AP, and/or IB classes if your high school has them available.
  • Take the PSAT for the first time and start looking into SAT prep.

Eleventh Grade

  • Start running for leadership positions in your extracurriculars (this can start as early as freshman year but very common in junior/senior year).
  • Continue to increase your course difficulty and make sure your grades are up!
  • Take the SAT/ACT/AP tests and aim for a high score!
  • Look into SAT Subject Tests to strengthen your application.
  • Start building your professional profile (LinkedIn, Reéumé, etc.).
  • Your junior year teachers will potentially be writing your letters of recommendation, so make sure they get to know the best sides of you!

Twelfth Grade

  • Take the SAT/ACT again if you're able to, and aim for an even higher score than before!
  • Make sure you continue taking rigorous courses (colleges will still look at first semester grades)!
  • Research and finally start applying to colleges!
  • Make sure your application is strong using our tips and tricks!
  • Ace your college interviews!
  • Get accepted and start preparing for this new chapter of life!
  • Life doesn't end with college rejections and there are several life paths you can take. :)

Your activities do not have to start and end when you are in school. Make sure to fill your summers with fun activities such as volunteering, getting a job, or researching scholarships! Check out these YouTube videos for stuff you should do in the summers in between your school year!

SAT/ACT Practice & Preparation

The SAT and the ACT are standardized tests taken by almost every student in the U.S. Although many universities require you to submit your SAT/ACT scores, plenty of colleges are going SAT-optional. Regardless, these tests are very important to your college application and we want to help you get the highest possible score! Try these resources for SAT/ACT prep! FGF is neither sponsored by any of these companies/organizations nor paid to promote them.

  • College Match – Free

    CM is a non-profit organization based in the Los Angeles area that aids first-generation and low-income students with weekly SAT prep with personal tutors, one-on-one college counselors, and even a free trip to several East Coast colleges! Ask your college counselor if your school is partnered with College Match and ask how you can get into this free program!​

  • Janae’s Tutoring – Monthly Subscription​

    Janae, a current undergraduate at Stanford University, ​started her business when she was 15 by combining her passion for education and entrepreneurship to create a tutoring company. She and her team would love to help you with one-on-one tutoring to raise your SAT, ACT, and AP Scores!

  • Khan Academy – Free

    Practice taking full-length SAT tests on Khan Academy, just like the real one, or focus indiviudally on the math and reading/writing portions.

  • College Board – Free

    Take official College Board practice SAT tests and get personalized feedback to help you improve.

  • Varsity Tutors – Free

    Take free SAT diagnostic tests on Varsity Tutors to help you understand which concepts you should work on the most.

  • Test Prep Review – Free​

    Review Test Prep Review's FAQ for understanding more about the SAT and take practice tests to help prepare you.

  • The Princeton Review – Free 14-Day Trial

    Use the Priceton Review's SAT prep to learn from experts with video lessons, drills, and more.