Today’s Ultimate Transformation Moment focuses on building a college resume. This is particularly important for the high school students as they prepare for another year.

For children with aspirations and goals of achieving college degrees, there are definitive things that the high school student must be aware of as they embark upon any school year.

Once the student enters the ninth grade, the college entrance process begins in earnest. The next four years pass quickly, and you have to begin the following process in the ninth grade to have the student in the best position to not only be accepted into universities but also, ultimately, attend the university of their choice. Note that the historical Black colleges are some of the best colleges around.

First, the student must receive their high school diploma. However, in meeting the requirements for the high school diploma, make sure the youngster is taking the appropriate classes for college eligibility. There’s a difference between high school diploma requirements and the courses necessary to enter a college or university. I suggest families review the University of California system requirements, i.e. UCLA, Cal Berkeley, or any of the nine U.C. system universities. The U.C system requirements are basically the most in-depth entrance requirements of all the universities in the nation. Once the student can meet these requirements, it is a high possibility that they can get into other schools of their choice.

Second is G.P.A.–Grade Point Average. Every semester the student should strive to achieve the best grades possible. GPA means a lot, when universities are reviewing applications. It is one of the ways they identify a serious academic student.

Third are the standardized tests. Students take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in the ninth and 10th grades as a prerequisite to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

The PSAT is important because a high score on this test can make the student eligible for college scholarships later. The student is automatically listed on several college scholarship lists, because of a high PSAT score. Do not be fooled into believing that this is a throw-away test. Know that it does help as far as financial assistance and with receiving scholarships.

The SAT and the American College Testing (ACT) are the two tests most universities use as parameters to help select students. The highest score possible is always best and for potential college athletes, 820 points between your math and critical reading on the SAT, or a combination of more than 820 makes you eligible through the NCAA Clearinghouse for scholarships.

Fourth is extracurricular activities. A student should participate in a variety of activities from art, to music and sports. Community service is also important, and this includes participating in church and or local organizations. These activities demonstrate maturity and help build an attractive resume.

Finally, and in many cases the most important for us all, is financial aid. Start immediately seeking information about scholarships and what the requirements. There are a significant amount of scholarships available. There are also many local companies and corporations that offer scholarships for books and expenses. There are hundreds of scholarships designated for African American students that go unused every year.

Our children can and are going to college. We as parents have to help prepare them properly.

Their college resume is very, important. Their GPA, standardized test scores and extracurricular activities should shine on their resume, because these items put them in the position to be eligible for scholarships, grants and other financial assistance. Have them put the work and effort in today to allow the resume to reflect an optimal picture of the student.

Today we have the fewest number of students applying to colleges, and our young Black men comprise the lowest percentage attending universities.

We can increase the percentages by helping our children be prepared for higher education, and also be able to meet the requirements. When they get to the university of their choice, we want them in the position to stay there and obtain their degrees.

That’s our ultimate transformations moment. Peace and be more.

Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles, Calif. The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page with Dominique DiPrima.” As founder of Collegiate Search Youth Organization, Erich has been assisting youth in the community for more than 20 years.