Planning for college, during your last two years of high school, is something not to put off. This article will give some suggestions, for what juniors and seniors should be doing now, to plan for their college futures.
August through October
1. Stay on track for graduation. Assess your extracurricular activities. Plan to make sure that you are doing everything necessary, to build an appealing resume for college. Make it relevant to who you are. colleges want well rounded individuals that can add to their campus in many ways.
2. If you plan to participate in NCAA division I or II, now is the time to start your certification process. You will need help with this. See your athletic director or school counselor.
3. Start researching colleges. Determine what is important to you. Things like location, housing, transportation, work study, faculty and programs should be evaluated for each school. Look and examine admission requirements and align your resume and application with each school. Note; Your resume will be slightly different for each school. Do not use a standard resume for all schools.
4. Attend college fairs. Get to know college admission directors. Learn the admissions process. Visit a school, even if you don;t plan to go there. You never know where you might end up.
5. Examine tuition’s and fees between all the schools you are considering. Attend financial aid programs.
6. Plan to take the ACT on September 11. Register before august 6, to avoid paying a late fee.
August through October
1. Make sure you are on track to graduate in the spring.
2. Continue taking college prep and AP classes. Keep your grades up and your extracurricular commitments.
3. Avoid senioritis. (Getting lazy and enjoying your final year)
4. Make a list of your top five college picks. Then make a list of five schools that have what you really want. somewhere in these ten, should be where you end up.
5. Make a large calendar to keep track of important dates strictly for college. Keep it on your wall.
6. Begin work on your application essays. Remember to align them with each school. Spell check everything. Have your grammar teacher double check it for you. Most are glad to help.
7. Determine who will write your letter of recommendations. Give each writer a self addressed envelope. You want them to arrive at the correct place. Leave nothing to chance.
8. Let your counselor know what schools to give your transcripts to. Give your high school two weeks to get them delivered. Make photo copies of everything going in and place them in a labeled folder.
Sit down with your parents and examine the letters of acceptance. You still have to make the final decision. If you get a rejection, move on. You can list in order, the schools as they come in with best to worst. Remember, sometimes the best on your list may not be the right fit for you.
Once this final step is taken, everything turns towards financial preparation. Money acquisition and saving now become paramount to your success. Good Luck.