Whether you are a high school student preparing for college admissions, adult continuing your education, or someone pursuing further education for your career- these are important things to consider while preparing for college journey.
Do your research.
Research different colleges and explore what they offer as it relates to what you would like to study. Consider this in your search:
Do you want to attend a four year college, a university, or vocational/technical school, or a two year college?
Make a list of the schools you are most interested in and make note of the admission requirements. Start working to meets admission requirements as soon as possible ( I.e : SAT/ACT requirements).
Decide how you will pay for college.
Apply for financial as early as possible. Pay attention to deadlines for application submission and make note if
Consider any scholarships/ or grants that you may receive.
Look into state and local financial assistance programs.
Consider expenses such as of books/living expenses on or off campus/ food plans etc.
Consider work study, or working on campus. ** Some colleges offer free tuition if you are employed for the school ** This is huge. This is how I pay for Grad school- I work on campus and my tuition is practically waived!. Inquire at the school you are interested in and determine if they have such benefits as it could save you tons.
Try to choose a major you are passionate about!
Research careers you are interested in and search for job openings in these areas- what degrees do they require? Search these job openings on Linked in , where are these individuals employed? How long after graduation were they employed? Pursuing a career that will land you a job quickly after graduation is very important- it is basically the reason you attended college- right?! So do you research early on.
Take the schools's career assessments, ASU has a great undergraduate/career assessment test to help you get a feel for what path is best fit for you based on your responses. Check it outASU's Career Interest Test .
Build your recommendations list
Make a list of people who can provide a letter of recommendations ( Teachers, coaches, employers, mentors, etc.) Notify early on that you may need a recommendation and inquire if they would be willing to provide one, if so obtain their full names, email addresses, and contact numbers for future use.
***Be sure to check out the Bonus section below for an extra college preparation tip!
Request Admission Information Start Writing Admission Essays Research Admission and FASFA Deadlines Follow up on Letters of Recommendation
Gather Information on how to obtain your Transcript(s) Register for SAT/ACT if Applicable Complete FASFA Apply for Scholarships and Grants
** Data based on 2020 school year. Please visit websites for most recent data. As tuition and fees can change annually.
Purchase a 365 day planner- Truly a life saver. It helps you organize both school and personal life. An alternative is using a laptop calendar. Any resource to help to keep track of important dates is a good idea.
Purchase a binder for each subject and place your syllabus in the very front and loose leaf paper behind . Use this to keep track of assignments and due dates. Having a reminder in more than one place is key to never missing a deadline !
Prepare a Plan of Study
Work with your guidance counselor to create a plan of study which entails which classes you will take each semester to graduate on time. ( Set a gradation date and work hard to meet or exceed this deadline)
Connect with Study Groups
In every class pay attention to who the most engaged students are and build study groups with these students , partaking in student groups keep you motivated and you also gain diverse views and experiences by working with other students.
Take care of yourself physically and mentally
Be social, join a club or organization to meet people and socialize
Participate in physical activities . Research shows that physically active students do better in college because being active reduces stress , depression and anxiety.
Reach out to a trusted adult or your school counselor if you are having a hard time dealing with depression, anxiety or stress. They are there to help don't be afraid to reach out. you can also call the National Mental Helpline for resources on how to get help.
Post College Success
Prepare Your Resume
Perfect your Linked in
Network like your life depends on it
Be an active mentee
Bonus: Campus Tours
Check out this video of one of Havard's Virtual tours!
Here's A Great Tip: Start your college search by watching virtual campus tours or visit campus for an in person tour. On campus tours are more interactive and allow for you to ask questions. But Nowadays- a virtual tour at times are just as insightful! Most importantly partaking in campus tours will play an important role in helping you decide if the college or university is a great fit for you.