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Whether you’re preparing to take the SAT/ACT for the first time or just starting high school, it’s never too early to begin exploring college options. Here are some things to consider while you’re in high school:
Prepare yourself academically
Take a college preparatory curriculum and challenge yourself. Explore web sites of colleges that you may be interested in to find out academic requirements for admission or for your particular academic area of interest. Just remember, colleges look at all four years of your high school transcript so don’t wait until your junior year to focus on academics.
Attending a summer college academic program is also a great way to explore your academic interests and experience a college campus.
Develop a relationship with your college/guidance counselor. Your counselor will help guide you through the college search process, including applying for financial aid and searching for scholarships. Talk to friends or older siblings who are finalizing their college search or heading off to college. They’ll be able to offer helpful tips and suggestions.
Participate in extracurricular activities at your school, volunteer in your community, get a part time job. Not only will you have fun, but these are ways to explore your career interests, take on a leadership role, and develop time management skills.
Keep an open mind
As you begin your college search, create and prioritize a list of what’s most/least important to you. This list will evolve as you continue to explore more colleges. Check out a variety of schools, even ones that may not initially interest you. And remember, there are different paths you can take to reach your academic and career goals.
Visiting a college is the best way to get a feel for the campus. If possible, visit when classes are in session so you can get a better idea of what daily life is like. Go beyond the campus tour – sit in on a class, meet with a professor or staff member in your academic department of interest, attend a sports event or student performance. And don’t forget to explore the surrounding area off-campus.
Need help with the search process? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.