Preparing For College: Freshman Year
Ideally, students should start thinking about college majors and save themselves a lot of stress by starting early. They should follow a checklist for college preparation for high school students so that they will have enough time to adjust their plans or finalize them down the road. With a clear plan and potential colleges and college majors in mind, they dont have to worry about juggling demanding school work with the process of preparing for college, which can be intimidating. Following this checklist will help students keep track of essential tasks to complete in each year of their high school journey.
High school goes by quickly, so freshman year is perhaps the best time to start the college admissions and decision-making process. Students can start meeting with their counselors to evaluate how they are doing academically, learn about graduation requirements, learn and different extracurricular activities and how to get involved in them, and courses they can take over the summer to earn extra credits for college.
Preparing for college checklist:
Visit College Campuses And Get Excited
Your junior year is a great time to explore college campuses and get an idea of what college life looks like. Safely explore both large and small college campuses to get a feel for the difference. Talk to people you run into during your tour and see what they like about their school.
Cant make it to a school you want to visit? Many universities have options for virtual tours so you can get a view of the campus from your sofa at home.
How To Prepare For College: Things You Absolutely Must Do In High School To Get Ready
October 25, 2017 By Angie Kauffman · Disclosure: This Post May Contain Affiliate Links.
CollegeCovered.com, powered by Discover Student Loans, provides students and parents with great tips and tools and getting into, paying for and adjusting to college.
It seems like it was just the other day that my living room floor was filled with wooden train tracks and little boys having adventures. But now instead of talking about the misadventures of cheeky little train engines, Im discussing how to prepare for college, campus visits, cap and gown rentals, and SAT scores with those same boys. While we still have one daughter in middle school, our sons are in high school. In fact, this is junior year for one of them and senior year for the other.
We are deep in the midst of working on things that need to be done in high school to get ready for college. Its a marathon, not a sprint. There are definitely things that you should be doing throughout high school to get ready for college.
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Commit To Your College
Now that youve made your choice, got admitted, and found a way to finance your education, you get to start your first day of college in a few weeks. See what you need to get done before the day arrives. Whether you need to complete the housing application or any required health forms, make sure youve done the work beforehand.
Other ways you can commit include signing up for orientation, registering for classes shortly after graduation, or following the colleges social media channels to stay up to date.
Seek Out Leadership Roles
Just like colleges want you to be involved in activities and doing volunteering, they want to see that in some of those activities you took on a leadership role. This shows that you dont just show up to club meetings because you know you want to put it on a college application one day.
You dont need to try to be the president or team captain of everything you do. However, its good to try to have at least one, even if you dont like leadership roles. Remember this could even be something like that secretary position that nobody wants to take in the Drama Club that you love going to. It doesnt mean that you have to be front and center at events.
When to Do This: Throughout High School
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High School Freshman Guide To Prepare For College
As you begin high school, its agood idea to think ahead and be deliberate about the choices youll make duringthe next four years: the clubs, classes and study skills you select will allbecome part of your college applications and subsequent future.
Ill walk you through some of thebest strategies to increase your chances of getting into your dream school, andto figuring out where exactly that might be.
As a freshman, it may be hard tothink about college since it is 4 years away. We want to make it easy so thisarticle will review everything you need to consider as a freshman in highschool.
As a high school student, planningfor college can seem daunting, so I highly recommend meeting with your guidancecounselor as a first step. They can help you decide what kinds of majors youare interested in and how to tailor your high school experience accordingly.
Make a meeting early on to sit down with them and talk, maybe take a personality test, and ask some of the following questions:
Begin by discussing what your favorite and strongest subjects are in school, and how that might translate to college majors and future careers.
Freshmen Preparing For College Should Plan To:
- Take challenging classes in core academic courses.
- Work with their school counselors to create a yearly schedule to meet graduation and college admissions requirements.
- Talk to an advisor or school counselor about taking Advanced Placement®* and honors courses.
- Identify interests and potential career fields through online resources, like this interest profiler, and by attending career fairs and other events.
- Get involved with community-based and leadership-oriented activities that best reflect their interests.
- Browse the College Scorecard to see what types of schools interest them.
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Use A Tool To Help Plan How To Pay
Figuring out how to pay for college may seem like an overwhelming prospect. The numbers are high, there are a bunch of new terms you might not know, and it could be your first big financial decision.
A tool like Sallie Maes can help you figure out the full cost of school and factor in your financial aid and scholarships. It can also help you set up a plan to save, and figure out if youll need private student loans to cover part of the cost.
Have you completed all the steps on this checklist? If you have, youre well on your way to being prepared for your college journey. If you have a few steps to go, be sure to check out some of the resources from the list they might help make your college planning a lot more manageable.
Complete And Submit Your Fafsa
The FAFSA is released on October 1 every year, so try to complete and submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after this date as well as any other financial aid applications your schools might require. Most colleges will require you to turn in your FAFSA by February, so getting started on this sooner rather than later should help make the application process go a lot more smoothly.
Make sure to have your parents with you when you fill out your FAFSA as youll have to report your parents federal income tax returns and other essential information.
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College Prep In High School: What To Do All 4 Years
Attention freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors: these are the things you can and should do each year of high school to make your college search easier!
When you’re in high school, especially as a freshman or sophomore, college may seem like a long way off. But the bittersweet truth is that high school goes by faster than you realize, and soon you’ll have to think about what you want to do with your future. It can be overwhelming, so it’s important to lay out a plan for each year of your high school career so that when it’s time to apply to colleges, you’re ready and confident about what lies ahead.
Freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior year: no matter where you are in high school, these are the things you can and should be doing during the college search and application process. Following these steps will make your life so much easier, plus you’ll be super prepared for college and life after graduation!
Preparing For College: Sophomore Year
As schools go about preparing students for college, sophomore year students will find that the whole process speeds up to a certain extent. Academic workloads increase with every progressing year, but it is important to keep track of the college application process over the course of all four years. One of the most important things to do is to choose the right subjects, electives, and levels. A good mix of CP, honors, and AP classes will help students balance the workload better. Students should regularly check with their counselors to see how they are doing academically and whether theyre on track with the yearly college prep checklists.
Sophomore year is also good for students to take the PSAT/Pre-ACT tests. They can familiarize themselves with the ACT and SAT testing formats and get some insights into where they are and what they need to know to prepare. Taking these tests will provide students with a head start on estimating their college readiness, getting feedback on what they know, and browsing scholarships to pay for college early. A couple of other recommended sophomore tasks include thinking of what they might want to do professionally and beginning the college search.
Preparing for college checklist:
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How To Prepare For College In 10th Grade
Preparing for college in high school begins to take a more serious turn in 10th grade. Thats where most students will get the chance to take the PSAT for the first time, and its where many will have their first shot at AP classes .
So, how do you make your sophomore successful, college-wise? Start by continuing all of the steps you started with in ninth grade. While youre doing those, kick things up a notch with these tips:
1. Continue to take your classes seriously. Your GPA is one of the most important factors colleges and universities consider when evaluating your application. Although junior year is the most important in high school, its much easier to impress schools if you have solid grades your freshman and sophomore years and demonstrate steady improvement.
2. Begin building relationships with your teachers. They will be able to help you decide which schools are the right fit for you, as well as write letters of recommendation for applications and scholarships.
3. Get involved with clubs, sports or organizations at your high school. Perfect grades and test scores arent enough to nab a school’s attention you have to stand out. If youre just getting started, think about what youre passionate about and join activities that fall in line with that. Extracurriculars are a great way to boost an application. Remember, depth matters more than breadth. It is better to pursue a few activities well than to be a joiner.
10th Grade College Prep Summary:
Start The College Application Process Before Entering Your Senior Year
A lot of work goes into the college application process. At one time, experts recommended that students should start applying during their senior year. However, depending on your college of choice, some are now recommending you begin preparing even before you start school in the fall.
There will be essays, tests, recommendation letters, and a lot of paperwork to pull together to have your application completed. If you are applying to more than one school, that adds additional work to the list. Keep in mind that colleges can set their own schedules and will have different deadlines, so make sure you leave enough room in your calendar to get everything in on timepreferably early.
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What Should A High School Junior Do To Prepare For College
There are many different answers to this question, depending on who you ask and what school you want to go to. Ultimately, to answer this question is that it depends on your specific situation. In this post, we will cover what you can do in your junior year of high school to get prepared for higher education.
Extracurricular Activities As Afreshman
Outside of academics, extracurricularactivities can help explore potential career paths, develop important skillsand add depth to your college applications.
Significant extracurriculars include:
- Culture organizations
While it can be good to demonstrate aninterest in more than one area, extracurriculars are most beneficial to anapplication if you can distinguish yourself as a leader within a group. Servingas captain of the soccer team or the treasurer of the service club can help youstand out from the many applicants who also play soccer or volunteer, forexample.
When I was in high school, Iparticipated in theater, and my eventual position as stage manager fosteredleadership skills and organization, which was clear on my application.
Some college essays even askstudents to reflect on extracurricular experiences or a role that defined them:an essay I wrote about my role as a stage manager got me into the honors programat my undergraduate university.
You will want to take a careeraptitude test online to see what may be of interest to you. We have listedseveral below but you can also check with your high school to see if theyprovide the testing free.
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Hone Your Time Management Capabilities
Youll be the one in charge of managing your time as a freshman. Spend the months before college figuring out how to go to sleep on time and get up refreshed. The stronger your time management skills you bring to your first campus experiences, the less stress youre likely to undergo. One good time management tool? The timer app on your phone!
Ace The Sat Or The Act
I cannot emphasize enough how important your test scores will be when you apply for college. Besides your GPA, college admission boards depend heavily on your standardized test scores to compare your level of capability and preparation with those of other students nationwide, and even worldwide for some colleges. Hire a private tutor, take preparatory classes, or practice the test on your own to get your scores as high as possible.
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Visit Campuses Even If It’s Virtually
Are you one of the 42% of high school seniors whos visited a college or university campus? If so, congrats! Youre on your way to making a fully informed decision about higher ed.
Campuses vary wildly across the country. Some schools have huge campuses with shuttle services, others might be small enough to cross in 10 minutes, and other schools might be integrated into city blocks. By taking an on-campus or virtual tour, you can explore dorm rooms, classrooms, the dining hall, and other key campus spotsand youll be able to see if it feels like home away from home.
Another reason you might want to visit campus is for a . Not all schools offer interviews, but when they do, they can help you learn more about the schoolor help determine whether you might get accepted.
Submit College And Scholarship Applications
During the fall of senior year, you will also be working to submit college and scholarship applications.
- At this point, the resume-building that youve done over the past few years, as well as that record of your accomplishments and rewards, will certainly be useful.
Create a calendar detailing all scholarship and college application deadlines.
Make sure that you have all materials prepared and ready to submit prior to each deadline. This will include asking for transcripts and college recommendation letters well in advance.
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Ways To Prepare For College While Youre Still In High School
No matter what your experience was like in middle school, high school gives you the chance to start fresh and think of your future from the beginning of freshman year.
When applying for college, admissions teams will review your grades and extracurricular activities from all four years of your high school experience, so its important tostart preparing for college while youre still in the early days of high school. From developing good study habits to researching what an ideal college setting looks like for you, here are three ways to make sure youre prepared for college as you begin your journey in high school.
- Figure out what youre interested in.
- Research colleges now.
- Build relationships with teachers and counselors.
Seek Internships Job Shadows Or Summer Jobs In A Career Field Of Interest
Now that you are old enough to drive and work, its a good idea to try finding an internship, job shadowing opportunity, or summer job in the career field you want to pursue.
This will be excellent experience and preparation for the future, but, in addition, colleges like to see that you have specific interests and have dedicated time to pursuing them.
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Things To Do In High School To Make Your College Application Stand Out
- 7 Things to Do in High School to Make Your College Application Stand Out
If youre considering attending college, its never too early to start thinking about how to make your college application stand out. Thousands of students apply to the same colleges and universities every year, so its important to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Here are seven things you can do in high school to make your college application really pop.
1. Choose your high school classes with intention
While there are some core classes that cant be avoided, there are often opportunities to select some courses. Schedule a meeting with your guidance counselor to plan your academic year. Depending on your desired university or degree program, tailor your classes to help give you the best leg up. Additionally, you can consider taking AP courses. By testing at the end of the year, you can earn college credit for doing well on the exams.
2. Strive for good grades
It probably goes without saying, but good grades are important for getting into college. While a few less than perfect grades wont completely stop you, many universities hold academic accomplishments as a key portion of the application process. Therefore, do your best to apply yourself in high school. If you struggle in a course, make sure you talk about it with your teacher so you can get help.
3. Extracurricular activities
4. Keep accurate records
5. Manage your social media presence
6. Build relationships