Hello, Freshmen! Welcome to the College News Blog! Here, you will be provided with various tools and tips to help you prepare for the whole college application process starting during your freshman year. It’s never too early to start!


Kick off your year with a positive outlook and check out this timeline!


What activities do you find interesting? What do you like to do for fun? SLA and Philadelphia have many different groups, clubs, sports teams, and volunteer organizations that you can participate in to help build up your resume! If you want to start serving the city of Philadelphia, THIS and THIS are good places to start.

Some clubs at SLA include Engineering/Science Club, Build On!, Art Club, Drama/Playwriting, Yoga, Tech Squad, Slam Poetry, Improv, Debate, Literary Magazine, and Gay-Straight Alliance.

Sports teams include volleyball, soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, cross-country, flag football, track, and ultimate frisbee.

By exploring different options and activities, you can start strengthening your skills and working towards finding a career path that is the best fit for you. If you need help finding extracurriculars, talk to your teachers, advisor, and Mrs. Hirschfield about the possibilities that are available!


Standardized tests (such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT) are important factors in the college admissions process. At SLA, students are able to take the PSAT (practice SAT) in October of 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. The results come back in late December/early January with suggestions on how to improve your scores. As annoying as they may be, they are necessary! But don’t worry, there are many different ways in order to start preparing for these tests so that you may score well and get into the college of your choice.

Click here for a list of available resources.


It’s never too early to start thinking about how scholarships work! Becoming familiar with scholarships earlier in your high school career will ensure that you take advantage of available scholarships and help you understand how they work. The best part is that you can secure money for college! Here are some scholarships for 9th graders:

October 17, 2019  Modern Myths Scholarship– write a poem about your modern interpretation of a traditional myth or urban legend and win $1,000.

October 31, 2019  Voice of Democracy – awards up to $30,000 for college to democracy-loving high school students.

January 30, 2020  Technology Addiction Awareness– write  140 character message about the dangers of technology addiction.

April 15, 2020 (opens in January)  Barron Prize for Young Heroes – awards students who work on inspiring service projects.

April 30, 2020  E-Waste Scholarship– awards students who understand and care about the impact of toxic waste on our environment.

September 30, 2020  Don’t Text and Drive– show your digital social responsibility and earn money for college.

Rolling Deadlines  RaiseMe – Earn micro-scholarships for college for your achievements in high school.

Various deadlines, Writer’s Square– awards scholarships for writing and photography entries.

Various programs and deadlines, Philadelphia Futures offers financial and college-readiness support through several different grant programs.  The deadline for 9th graders is early in September, so check it out now and be prepared!

To research more scholarships we recommend that you create a profile in a major search engine such as Fastweb, Scholly, and  CollegeBoard. Visit our Blog’s Scholarship tab for more information.


If you want to participate in a summer enrichment program, or want to apply for a scholarship, fill out this official transcript request form and return it to the College Office, room 220.

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