Middle School

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You can never be too young to start on your path to college. Getting on the path to college is just a few questions away!

Step 1 – Think About Life After High School

What do you want to do after high school? It all depends on where you want to be and how quickly you want to get there. Some people have life plans started before their freshman year while others are still at the planning stage a year after high school. Here is a quiz that will assess your responses and show you several careers that MAY interest you.

Personality Quiz

You Can Do Anything You Want To!

This quiz is designed to help you think about the college majors that are available to you. It will also make you think about your own personality traits and how they may fit well within different areas of study.


Step 2 – Make A College Planning Checklist

One of the easiest ways to start organizing yourself is to have a checklist to move you toward a goal no matter where you are in the process:

College Prep Checklist

Use the College Prep Checklist

Step 3 – Plan to Keep Learning After High School


Generally, universities are larger and offer more majors and degree options than the other types of colleges. In addition to liberal arts majors, they may offer engineering, architecture, health, and other programs. At most universities, you can earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Most universities contain several smaller colleges; for example, colleges of agriculture, teaching, and liberal arts. You may have to apply to a specific college within the university and take most of your classes within that college. At a university, you can prepare for many types of careers or for further study in graduate school.

Community Colleges

Community colleges are the most common type of two-year college. These colleges prepare you to continue your education or to enter the workforce immediately. They offer associate degrees that get you ready to transfer to a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree. Other types of associate degrees and certificates focus on career readiness.

Community colleges are often an affordable and convenient option; they charge relatively low tuition to in-state residents. Many students can also save money by living at home.

Vocational-Technical (Vo-Tech) and Career Colleges

A vo-tech or career college offers specialized training to students who are interested in a particular industry or career. At these colleges, students are not required to take general education classes in all subjects. You take classes only in your field of study – for example, culinary arts, firefighting, dental hygiene, or medical-records technology. When you complete your program, you receive a certificate of completion or an associate degree.


A military academy or service academy (in American English) is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, which normally provides education in a service environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned.

Three types of academy exists: high school-level institutions awarding academic qualifications, university-level institutions awarding Bachelor’s degree-level qualification, and those preparing officer cadets for commissioning into the armed services of the state.

Step 4 – Keep Your Grades Up

Did you know that one of the strongest indicators of college success is your 8th grade math level? That’s right. Your math classes are a strong predictor of whether or not you will make it into a community college or a four-year college or university and earn a degree on time.

Having a strong grade point average (GPA) has become increasingly important in college applications. Striving hard to increase your GPA is a surefire way to ease your way into College Success.

Your GPA is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to a 4.0.

For example:

A=4 grade points B=3 grade points C=2 grade points D=1 grade points WF/F=0 grade points


Example Student Transcript
Course Credit Hours Grade Grade Points
Biology 3 A 3 x 4 = 12 Grade Points
Biology Lab 1 B 1 x 3 = 3 Grade Points
English 101 3 C 3 x 2 = 6 Grade Points
Mathematics 3 F 3 x 0 = 0 Grade Points
10 Total Credit Hours Attempted 21 Total Grade Points

To get the example student’s GPA, the total grade points are divided by the total credit hours attempted.

Total Grade Points 21
divided by = 2.10
Total Credit Hours Attempted 10

You can total your current semester courses and credits with our online GPA Calculator (above).

To calculate your cumulative GPA, total the credit hours and then the grade points from all semesters. Divide the total grade points by the total credit hours.

Here are some tips to raise your GPA or keep it perfect.

  • Attend class regularly. Some teachers give extra credit for attendance.
  • Take notes in every class. By doing so, you get to record important pointers in your teacher’s discussion. It also helps improve your listening skills.
  • Avoid overloading. Take only classes that can fit into your schedule. You’ll tend to cram more if you have too many subjects.
  • Have a regular study time. Make yourself accustomed to studying frequently.
  • Using flashcards is a plus. It will help improve your familiarity with mathematical equations, vocabulary words, and scientific formulas. You’ll find it easier to solve math problems and essay-writing exams.
  • Study for your exams in advance. Limit your review to at least one week before the day of the test to keep your mind fresh and relaxed.
  • Make solving mathematical problems a habit. This will improve your analytical-thinking skills and help get you prepared for the harder questions on exams.
  • Be friends with your classmates. It is easier to study if you are cordial with the people around you. You can also ask them for help in topics you are having difficulties with.
  • Befriend your teachers. You will feel less pressure if you know your teacher is an ally and resource.

Step 5 – Explore Careers and College Options

Career Options

1) Take the Personality Test link here.

2) Use the results of your Personality Test to start exploring specific occupations and career paths.

3) Check out our Career Videos. We have videos to help you learn about careers and jobs from MPB’s Job Hunter and Hinds Community College.

4) Once you’ve got an idea about what you want to do with your life, you need a plan to make it happen.

5) Go to your school counselor or library for additional help and information.

College Options

1) Talk to someone who went to college. Ask a lot of questions! Your teachers certainly went to college, so ask them what it was like!

2) Visit colleges to get a sense of what it really is all about.

3) Explore our College Discovered to see what life beyond high school will be like.

4) View and print a copy of your Grade Level Checklist and start down a path of college success.



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