Plan Ahead To Meet Important Deadlines
Applying to college entails keeping track of many important dates and deadlines. These deadlines are associated with college applications, SAT and ACT prep, scholarship applications, and the FAFSA.
When you start college planning, use a calendar or planner to help you stay on top of every deadline.
If you need help, visit your high school’s college planning center or make an appointment to speak with your guidance counselor. Your counselor can walk you through key deadlines and offer valuable advice about what you can start doing now to prepare for college application season.
Classes Will Require More Critical Thinking
Is college hard compared to high school? Going to college isn’t just like attending four more years of high school. This is a big step up in your education, and your classes will be more challenging and expect you to keep up. You’ll be tested less on memorization and basic regurgitation of facts and more on critical thinking skills and being able to apply what you learned in class to other situations.
You may learn a specific math equation and then be asked to apply that knowledge to more challenging types of equations, learn about different historical events and be asked to analyze how they affected future events, learn a scientific process and be asked to describe how it affects the environment, etc.
Common Questions About Applying To College
Students can start preparing their application materials as early as they want, but the process begins in the fall of senior year. Most deadlines fall between January and February, so learners should give themselves enough time to complete their applications.
The Common App can make applying for college easier, but the general application process can be costly and lengthy. Learners may want to start with a list of 4-6 colleges that they want to attend and then go from there.
Applying for college early offers several advantages for students. Early applicants may find the admission requirements easier to meet. They can also receive responses sooner, allowing them to apply to more schools, if needed.
For most college applications, candidates need to provide high school transcripts, recommendation letters, and ACT or SAT scores. They may also need to write personal statements or answer essay questions.
Students often use the same materials for different applications, as applicants can send transcripts and test scores to all prospective schools with little effort. However, some colleges have unique requirements that candidates must address individually, and it’s important to always double-check any personal essay prompts to ensure that your essay answers the brief.
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Value Experiences Over Things
As your career takes off and your salary rises, it will be tempting to buy a new phone every year, the coolest car, a massive house and luxurious clothes. While its fine to reward yourself to some extent, dont overdo it.
Things eventually wear out. But you always will have memories of trips you take, concerts and ballgames you attend and other experiences, from museums to family reunions.
Businessman shaking hands with a client.
College Planning Tasks You Can Do Before Winter Break :
- Make a list of what youre interested in studying and explore career ideas
- Learn about colleges and save schools youre interested in to your College Board account
- Make an appointment with your counselor to ask about upcoming college fairs and which college representatives are visiting your high school
- Browse the college brochures and catalogs in your counselors officeyou might find a college you havent thought of
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Send Your High School Transcripts And Test Scores
As soon as you complete your part of the application, ensure your school counselor sends your transcripts to the right colleges. Make sure your SAT, ACT, and AP scores have been sent to the correct schools. Some schools allow results to be self-reported, while others require official score reports from testing organizations.
Preparing For College: Tips For High School Students
College is an important investment in your future. The amount of time and effort you spend preparing for college can ease the transition and help you get more out of the experience. From proper time management to taking better notes, there are a few things you can work on while you are still in high school to prepare for the demands of college.
As a high school student, you may be evaluating which college you would like to attend after you graduate. While making a decision about where to go is vital to how your college experience will play out, there are many things that you can be doing to prepare for college in the meantime.
Developing good habits in high school will lead to good habits in college, and while a college degree is something that pays off, being properly equipped to handle university-level classes prior to entering college will contribute largely to the enjoyment you receive while studying at a university. Below are valuable tips to help high school students prepare for college.
Begin the college search as early as possibleDecide which characteristics are most important in a college before making a decision about attending college. If possible, visit each of the college campuses you are interested in to get a feel for the campus and find out what student life is like. This will also give you an opportunity to meet with an admissions representative and ask questions.
Video: Thomas Frank CollegeInfoGeek
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Value Your Health Mental And Physical
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or depressed, seek help. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Preventive health care is essential at all ages. Get an annual physical and visit the dentist regularly. Your insurance should cover preventive care, so you might as well use it.
Moving to a new home.
How And When To Apply For College
|Compare colleges on factors like tuition, financial aid, reputation, and location.||Sophomore and junior year|
|Complete and Gather Materials||Ask for letters of recommendation, take SAT and/or ACT tests, take AP exams, and write personal statements.|
|Apply for College||Apply to your chosen colleges.||Check the deadlines. Most land around the middle of senior year, though things like early decision can affect this.|
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You’ll Have More Social Opportunities
Even if you were a social butterfly in high school, you’ll have tons more opportunities to be social and make friends in college. There will be sports teams to join, parties to go to, clubs you can be part of, and more. Most colleges are large enough to have something for everyone, so you’re bound to find an activity you’re interested in, whether that’s a recreational hockey team, the student government group, a club focused on promoting renewable energy, and more.
There are also likely many more students at your college than there were at your high school, so your opportunities for making friends will multiply as well. However, you do need to make an effort to get the most out of these opportunities. Push yourself to try new things and strike up conversations with new people, and if you’re feeling nervous, just remember that they’re likely feeling the same way. Standard questions to ask new people you meet in college include: Where are you from? What dorm do you live in? What are you majoring in? Get ready to ask and be asked these questions a lot!
Control What You Can Dont Fret The Rest
We all have our share of frustrations, ranging from rising gas prices to situations at work or at home.
Focus on what you can change. Sometimes even a small adjustment can make a big difference. Exercising and eating better can improve your health, for example. Changing jobs or ending a caustic relationship may reduce your stress.
Recognize that you will not be able to change everything. You cant pick your neighbors or do anything about inflation. Manage the situations as best you can, but dont let them overwhelm you, as you cant do much about it.
Olivia Sullivan, a senior at Emmaus High School, organized an Earth Day cleanup at Jordan Park that drew 113 volunteers. They picked up 2,400 pounds of litter.
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Making College Accessible To Those With The Drive
Although many dont realize it, most colleges are open to high school juniors and seniors who are excelling and interested in starting college earlly. But that opportunity has largely served the children of parents who have been to college themselves and know to guide their children in that direction and who can afford the tuition. Early college high schools make that opportunity available to any student with the drive who otherwise may not have had the means to do the work, and its a fast-growing trend. There are currently 75,000 students in 28 states attending early college high schools.
No two early college high schools are alike. Most partner with a university, college, or community college to compress the time it takes to earn a college degree. Many early colleges get started with grants from organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
No High School Diploma Or Ged
Occasionally, St. Johns accepts applicants who have not graduated from high school or received a GED. In these cases, the student is ready for collegeboth academically and sociallyeven though they havent technically finished the requirements for high school graduation. Such students must submit the results of the SAT, ACT, or Classic Learning Test . A campus visit and interview are especially important, too, so we can assess readiness for college.
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An Innovative Approach Towards A College Degree
Early college high schools are an innovative way for high school students to earn both a high school degree and a two-year associates degree in the time it takes to go to high school saving the student both time and money.
Unlike vocational schools, early college high schools are focused on getting students on a direct college path, as opposed to training them for an immediate career. As well, early colleges distinguish themselves from college preparatory schools, since students are actually taking college courses, not simply preparing themselves for college.
In general, these schools make possible college for young adults who otherwise have few opportunities to continue with higher education. In fact, early college high schools were created primarily for underprivileged students who are first-generation college goers, as well as English language learners or any other students traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
There Will Be A Wider Variety Of Classes To Choose From
In high school, you didn’t have a lot of choice in regards to which classes you took. You could probably choose a few electives, but your schedule was mostly filled with the standard math, science, English, and social studies requirements that all students had to take.
In college, even if you attend a smaller school, you’ll have many more options. They’ll be a wider variety of classes to choose from, and many of them will focus on more specific topics like astronomy, ancient Roman history, French literature, the geography of the United States, and more. Many college students like this increase in class options since it makes it easier for them to choose classes on topics they’re really interested in.
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What Makes A Good College
When evaluating schools, there are a number of factors to consider. The size, location, and culture of the campus are all important. Knowing what you want to study also helps, particularly if you are very passionate about a particular subject. Most larger schools offer a wide variety of majors, but some smaller colleges will have slimmer pickings, so keep that in mind.
Affordability will be important for many students. You shouldn’t entirely dismiss pricier schools right away, particularly if you have a strong academic background and could earn a large scholarship. Still, if cost is of primary concern, you’ll probably want to limit your search to public schools within your state and states with reciprocity agreements.
You’ll Be Doing Lots Of Reading
You know those pictures of exhausted-looking students sitting next to a pile of textbooks they need to get through? That’s how many college students feel. Expect to do lots of reading in college, including textbooks, journal articles, and literature. If you’re majoring in a field like computer science or math you can expect less reading , but you’re still guaranteed to have at least a few classes where you’re assigned to read a couple dozen textbook pages before the next class. You’ll get to know your school’s library very well.
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Frequently Asked Questions About College Planning
Not only do college students take four or more years to earn a bachelor’s degree, but many also spend thousands of dollars on tuition, books, and housing. Since college typically requires a huge investment of both time and money, you’ll need a plan to identify a school that offers you the academic and campus experience you want while meeting your budget.
No two people have the exact same interests and goals. Nevertheless, when choosing colleges, all high school students should consider how they’re going to pay for college, the majors and academic offerings of the colleges they’re considering, and their career goals.
Use Your Summer After 10th Grade Wisely
The summer between your sophomore and junior year is an ideal time to start exploring in more depth your biggest interests and to start thinking about what kind of career/major you want. You could also work a part-time job to begin saving money for college.
Here are some examples of things you could do at this time:
- Take a school trip to a foreign country
- Get an internship or part-time job
- Volunteer somewheree.g., you could teach a class at a local Boys & Girls Club
- Participate in a summer program or camp
- Enroll in a class at a local community college
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How Do I Create & Start A School Or Accredited College
Starting your own college takes lots of time, support and, especially, deep pockets. For example, the American billionaire John D. Rockefeller endowed the University of Chicago, Spelman College, and Rockefeller University. Even without Rockefeller’s money, however, following these steps will get you on the road to starting your own learning institution and earning accreditation for it.
Early High School Graduates Or Ged Recipients
Every year, St. Johns admits a handful of students who have accelerated their high school classes in order to graduate early or receive a GED. These students often feel they have exhausted the challenge of high school and are ready to start college. If that describes you, then you arent alone. In fact, several of our faculty chose to go this route. So you are welcome to apply to St. Johns.
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Request Letters Of Recommendation
Many colleges require one to two letters of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach, or employer who knows you well. As early as the end of your junior year, you should unofficially notify teachers or counselors of upcoming requests to give them sufficient time to write a thoughtful personalized letter during the summer.
Once you have completed your portion of the online application, send an official request through the application portals and check whether your recommenders have submitted their letters two to three weeks before the deadline.
Consider Your Interests And Goals
You may or may not have some idea of what you want to major in. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What fields am I most interested in, and what am I good at?
- What are my academic and professional goals?
- What career path do I wish to pursue?
- Will I need to earn money while in school?
- Could an alternative to a traditional four-year university, such as an online college or community college, work for me and my goals?
It’s important to start this process of self-reflection sooner rather than later. You can turn to trusted adults for advice when necessary.
Starting to think about college early gives you two main advantages. First, you have time to change your mind and adjust your plans accordingly. Second, you can select high school courses and extracurricular activities that help make you a more competitive applicant for your target colleges.
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