Preparing In High School

Preparing In High School

In today’s society a college education is fast becoming a necessity to landing a career-focused job. The completion of high school is now viewed as mandatory. If college is in your future, you should recognize that activities you do and classes you take during high school can play a part in molding you as a college applicant. Even colleges with less restrictive admissions, such as community and state colleges, will have basic requirements you’ll need to complete to be admitted. Those aspiring to attend more selective colleges or hoping to collect scholarships will have to achieve more to stand out from the competition.

Planning

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It is a common notion that the process of applying to college is something to be undertaken in a student’s senior high school year. It is advised however, that students with college ambitions begin to plan much earlier. One consideration is determining how to pay for college, planning for which is best done as early as possible. Options include scholarships, work-study, loans and grants. If a student entering high school is considering college down the line, sitting down with a counsellor in their freshman year can help set them on the right path. This will help them get in to the right courses, and to understand what GPA universities will be expecting. In their sophomore year, high school students should be researching colleges, and developing extracurriculars. Colleges are impressed with well-rounded individuals, and a healthy amount of extracurricular activity helps display a student’s balance. By their junior year students in high school should be researching and considering different majors, in addition to continuing researching colleges themselves. Students should focus on colleges that specialize in areas that interest them. This is a good time to survey scholarship options, and is also time to start preparing for standardized tests. In their senior year it is recommended that students acquire good recommendations, which help colleges get to know applicants more personally. Then students need to complete their ACT or SAT, and begin the application process. It is best to pay close attention to spelling and grammar in application essays, to personalize essays to each school, and to express why you are interested in the particular school. Be aware of application deadlines, and understand that applying early is the best bet.

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Goal Setting

When planning for future college attendance, setting goals to help realize your acceptance is the safest route. As discussed above, planning early will help students get in to the college they want, so college bound high school students should set early goals. An early goal to set is a GPA you hope to maintain. Getting your high school workload and curriculum under control is an essential step on the road to college. Next, consider finding a role model or mentor who has college experience. Such a person can help you set and meet goals. Students should also set goals outside of the classroom. Challenge yourself to get a job, develop hobbies and volunteer. Undertaking and succeeding in your own projects outside of school looks good on an application, and gives you subject matter for essays. Finally, determine what schools and programs you aspire to apply to, research the acceptance requirements, and make it you goal to meet these requirements.

Key Points

Preparing for college is as important as ever, and there are a few keys points that key points that should be followed. First, understand that a college education is becoming a staple requirement for starting a career. Second, start planning and setting goals early; freshman year is not too early to be considering college. Third, take the time to research colleges and programs to understand what the options are, and what appeals to you. Next, understand the requirements for programs and colleges of interest, and work hard to fulfill these requirements. Keep in mind that exceling outside of school is as important as good grades. Finally, get good references, customize your essays, and apply early.