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College Tennis - It's Never Too Early

Before you can blink an eye, the less demanding middle school years morph into high school and beyond. College planning is probably not the first issue that student-athletes and their parents want to tackle as the middle school years wane and high school begins. However, making a commitment to establishing long-range academic goals - along with developing strategies and timelines to support this effort - will pay high dividends down the road.

The "junior/senior year" crunch (and believe me, it can be overwhelming for both students and parents alike) is much easier and efficient with a game plan that begins in late middle school or early high school. I can't tell you how many times I have met with families and heard them lament, "I only wish I had thought about this earlier!"

Listed below are just a couple of academic guidelines that are right at the top of my "It's never too early" list:


1) Foreign Language - Colleges love to see students take at least three years of a foreign language. Four years are even better, and five - with the fifth year being at the AP level - is stellar. However, in order to fit that fifth year of a foreign language into four years of high school, the student needs to begin a foreign language in the 7th grade. Usually what happens is that 7th/8th grade foreign language study combines to form Level 1.

Check to see if your middle school offers a foreign language beginning in Grade 7 (not all schools do), and plan on enrolling.

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Page updated on Thursday, August 20, 2015
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