Tips for High Schoolers

It’s not too early to begin your college planning  

The course work you take throughout your high school career will have a direct impact on your college experience.  We recommend that you engage in a college-preparatory curriculum, taking advantage of Honors, Advanced Placement, and IB courses offered at your school.  Additionally, get involved in extra-curricular activities that help develop your strengths, gifts, and talents.  Whether it’s playing a varsity sport, serving in student government, or volunteering within your community, there are myriad ways to develop your strengths and demonstrate your abilities beyond the academic realm.  Colleges and universities are looking for students who are achievers both in and out of the classroom.

You are not alone in this process

Work with tutors – they are usually free of charge, and are eager to see you succeed.  Seek a mentor – it could be your guidance counselor, or perhaps an older sibling or cousin who’s already been through the college process, and can provide insider information to help you streamline your search.  Talk with your parents – they’re often smarter than you think, and can help you think through big and small college questions.   Ultimately, with a wide sphere of contacts, your final college choice will be both an informed and exciting decision! 

Admission to Principia College

Principia recommends that students take at least 16 academic courses in their high school program in order to be well prepared for college. We highly recommend the following high school courses:

  • 4 years of English (composition, literature)
  • 4 years of math, including pre-calculus or an equivalent (such as math analysis or college algebra)
  • 3 years of natural science, including some lab work
  • 2 years of history and social science (including American history)
  • 2 or 3 years of the same foreign language
  • 2 years of academic electives


1. Academic programs

Are you looking for a range of majors and programs or technical training in a specific field? What do you hope to gain from your academic experience in college?

2. Extracurricular activities

What happens outside of the classroom? What clubs, athletic opportunities, and other activities are available?

3. Relationships with faculty and peers

Will you be able to build a one-on-one relationship with your professors? Can you see yourself fitting in and building friendships with your peers?