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Graduation plans
Planning to attend college cannot begin too early. A solid foundation throughout elementary and middle school is important for planning high school courses and college readiness.

The high school curriculum is built with college in mind. Paint Creek ISD recommends the following coursework in high school:

  • English – 4 credits
  • Mathematics – 4 credits including Algebra 2
  • Science – 4 credits
  • Social Studies – 2 ½ credits
  • Economics/Free Enterprise – ½ credit
  • Spanish – 2 credits PE – 1 credit
  • Fine Arts – 1 credit
  • Electives: Foundation with Endorsement – 10 credit


Dual Credit/Enrollment
One way to earn college credit is by taking dual credit courses. Paint Creek High School currently offers dual credit courses through Cisco College.

A second way to earn college credit is through ACT or SAT testing. Colleges award credit based on test scores. Students should check with the college/university about awarding credit.

Automatic Admission
The highest ranking graduate at each Texas public high school receives a certificate from the Texas Education Agency that can be used as a scholarship to cover tuition costs at any Texas public college or university.

Students are eligible for automatic admission to a public college or university in Texas if they rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating class from an accredited public or private Texas high school and meet the following requirements :

  • have successfully completed Algebra 2 and
  • have an outstanding performance in one of the following areas:
    • dual credit course,
    • PSAT, PLAN, SAT or SAT or
    • have earned a business or industry certificate or license

Graduation Checklist

  • Keep track of your high school credits to be sure you will meet all local and state requirements by the end of your senior year
  • Consider taking dual enrollment/college courses to earn college credit while still in high school
  • Begin keeping a list of the awards and honors you receive (handy for scholarship applications) as well as extracurricular activities
  • During your sophomore year, begin researching the universities or colleges you are interested in attending – check what prerequisites are required for admittance and any timelines required for applications ? Explore your interests and take advantage of College/Career Day opportunities
  • In your junior year, take the PSAT for eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. Students who take the PSAT tend to score higher on the SAT than those who do not.
  • Check with your advisor’s office to learn about available scholarships. Be sure to begin applying early and for as many scholarships as possible. Do not limit yourself just to local scholarships
  • Preferably in your junior year, sign up and take the ACT and/or SAT test, but no later than the fall of your senior year
  • Apply to college early and complete the FAFSA

College Readiness
Many are beginning to ask “What is college readiness?” and there are many definitions and opinions. College Readiness may mean that a student is:

  • Capable of succeeding in an entry level (non-remedial) credit-bearing course
  • Earns the necessary GPA to move to the next grade level
  • Capable of transferring and applying knowledge from one course to another subject or level course

But, college readiness is not just academics. College readiness also includes the ability of students to:

  • Seek and find help when necessary
  • Be independent thinkers with a willingness to take risks with ideas
  • Be willing to accept criticism and grow from it ? Be willing to work with and be a productive member of groups
  • Be cognizant of timelines and deadlines ? Be information literate ? Use technology as a tool rather than a crutch

Students wanting to enter college upon graduation need to visit all of the links included on this site. Valuable information regarding college selection, testing, application, admission and financial aid can be found.

Why go to college?
As you make plans for the future, continuing your education with either a two-year or four-year college degree is recommended.


  • 56% of jobs today require some college ? 80% of the jobs projected to grow the fastest over this decade require some post high school education
  • Dropping out of high school or failing to earn a college degree severely limits a student’s employment options and earning potential
  • A college graduate makes twice as much as a student who does not complete high school
  • Adults who stay in school longer are more likely to have good health, volunteer in their communities, and exercise their right to vote
  • Earnings * over a lifetime with a college degree:
    • Professional Degree: $4.4 million
    • Master’s Degree: $2.5 million
    • Bachelor’s Degree: $2.1 million
    • Associate’s Degree: $1.6 million
      *Source: US Census Bureau

Preparing for Campus visits
It is important to visit schools you might want to attend. Visiting a school gives you a close-up look: a chance to focus on the details and actually experience the college before you make a commitment. How many schools you visit depends on your time and money. You may not be able to visit every school you are considering, but try to at least visit schools that will provide a variety of experiences.

Make the most of campus visits

  • Do some prep work 
    Before the visit, decide what you want to learn about the school and put together a list of questions. Use a similar list for every school so you can make fair comparisons.
  • Schedule your visit at least two weeks in advance 
    Call the admissions office to arrange your visit and inquire about campus tours. Ask to sit in on a class, eat in the cafeteria with students, spend the night in a dorm, and use the campus facilities.
  • Visit while classes are in session 
    Fall is the ideal time to visit college campuses – classes are in session and campus activities are in full swing.
  • Set up interviews with faculty and admissions staff 
    Arrange to meet with professors who teach subjects that interest you. Meet with an admissions rep to verify admission requirements and discuss costs and financial aid.
  • Take the campus tour 
    Gain access to more of the campus – your tour guide can be a great source of candid information.
  • Attend information sessions 
    Schedule your interviews after the information session and the campus tour. You will speak more knowledgeable and have better questions.
  • Ask lots of questions 
    Ask students what they like best and least about the school, what the campus is like on weekends, and which professors are best. Read the student newspaper and bulletin board postings.
  • Trust your instincts, take notes, and bring a camera 
    Pay attention to your first impressions. Keep notes and take pictures to jog your memory as decision time approaches. After you have seen a few campuses, it is easy to confuse the details.
  • Send thank you notes 
    After visiting a college, remember to send thank you notes. It is polite and could get you noticed.
College Common Application

College Application can be completed online at

Financial Aid 

The application for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be found at

42 Scholarships to apply for over Spring Break
Other Financial Aid Resources
Texas Colleges Offering Free Tuition Based on Family Income

ACT Test

ACT Test Dates & Registration

SAT Test
SAT Test Dates & Registration

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