Attending college is a full-time job. You will have to work hard, play hard, and lose sleep. Take advantage of the time you have in high school to prepare for college. Do you research and go on college visits to narrow your list of schools. Apply for financial aid and take your standardized tests ahead of time to avoid missing opportunities. Remember to prepare for the following:
The College Search
You will be spending the next four years of your life in college, so choose wisely. Start your college search during your junior year of high school, and go on frequent campus visits. Consider academics, size, location, and other opportunities when searching for the right college. Do not waste time applying to schools that do not offer your major of interest. Be ready for the fees colleges add at the end of each year.
College applications require your full attention. Look at application requirements for each school you have interest in. Do so at the end of your junior year. Be prepared to finish all application requirements well before the deadline because admissions offices are swamped on deadline days. To avoid complications, submit all materials at least one month before the deadline. Ask for letters of recommendation months in advance so your instructors have ample time to write a good reference. Last but not least, visit your college advisor to make sure that all credit requirements are met before applying to college.
The Standardized Tests
Standardized tests are unavoidable. Most colleges will place weight on test scores, so standardized test preparation is extremely important. To prepare, borrow an ACT or SAT workbook from the library or take a standardized test preparation class. Take the exam during spring semester of your junior year so you can retake the exam to get the highest possible score before college applications are due.
The Financial Aid
Financial aid is essential to pay for a college education. Do not overlook the financial aid process, or you will a lot of loans. Before taking out thousands in loans, submit your FAFSA, found at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. For more financial assistance, complete a free college scholarship searchto apply to win scholarships and grants.
Last Edited: November 2015
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