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Preparing For College (High School Guide)

Ideas College

Preparing for college is important for every student. There are many steps that need to be completed to help students prepare for this journey. Through beginning at the right time and accomplishing certain steps, college will approach with you just waiting for the acceptance letters. Follow our student guide to preparing for college, grade by grade.

9th Grade is the starting point for preparing for college.. This is the stepping stone year that will start you working towards your college goals.  The first step in this grade is to meet your guidance counselor. This meeting can help you decide what your goals are and possibly what you want most from college.

You are still young, so things may change. Getting a general idea and begin the process of brainstorming what it is you want to be after high school is important. Begin looking at different clubs or sports you like, as extracurricular activities are a great way to earn achievements, along with help you learn to set and achieve goals for yourself. Colleges love to these activities, along with your grades! These activities are a great way to look at receiving scholarships or grants!

As we all know, good grades are vital and important for college. Make sure to  start your year out in a good way through working on your grades and keep them this way throughout your high school years. Colleges go back to 9th grade and see what your marks are. Everyone wants to go to college, so make sure you prove to the school of your choice that you are able to work hard and get the good grades!

9th grade is also a time to think of how you spend your summer. Try volunteering somewhere or begin your 1st job! Having a job and volunteering is a way to add a little more responsibility to your life as well as learning to juggle more than one thing. It is ok cut back on your job or volunteering during the school year. Learning to manage your time and show school being important through minimizing your work time is a great way to show people you are growing up!

10th Grade is the grade you begin thinking about your SAT or ACT test. Begin by taking the PSAT test. This test is a great way of getting your name out to colleges before other students! Speak to your guidance counselor about the Plan Assessment Program that is offered by the American College Testing. This is a great way to show your testing ability as well as getting a glimpse at your study habits and how well they are working! Make sure to pick the right classes. Having the right classes is important to helping you achieve your goals.

11th Grade is an important year. If you haven’t yet, take the PSAT course in the Fall. This qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship Program. This is program can help you earn money, which is wonderful when it comes to paying for school! This year is a great time to attend college fairs and/or college tours.

Start thinking about what you want to be even along with what schools will help you accomplish your goals. This is a great time to begin collecting recommendation letters from teachers, bosses, and other individuals that you have worked with (for pay or no pay). Recommendation letters are wonderful for those college applications! Begin looking into your high school ranks and where you stand. This way if there is something that can be fixed, you can find and begin fixing it.

12th Grade is the time that you begin registering for your ACT or SAT tests which are necessary for college acceptances. Make sure you have requested (either by mail or online) that your test scores are sent to the colleges of your choice. Make sure your grades and activities are on track. Your grades do not need to be perfect, but they need to be good to help get into the colleges you need and want. If you feel you are not on track for doing well on your ACT or SAT tests, find and hire a tutor to help you prepare. Your test results can help make up for any classes you may have not done well in.

Begin to finalize your top 5 college list.  Gather the information from college visits, your interviews and research you have may have found. Be sure to apply to the schools you may feel are difficult to get into as well as schools you may think are easy. This is best way to assure you have a few different options available to you. Make sure to fill out all the forms needed and mark all the deadlines on a calendar so everything gets sent to the correct place on time. Make sure you notify all schools of your intent by May 1st. If you are not sure yet which school you want, try visiting a few school campus again and get a feel for what you truly want. Once you make that decision, make sure you send your deposit to your chosen school and ask your guidance counselor to send your final transcript to the college in June.

Now is the time to enjoy the last little bit of what’s left before you start your next journey in life. Enjoy your high school years, but make sure you are working hard to keep up on everything! These are such important years of your life that affect your future.