You may be only half way through your freshman year, or you might be a sophomore. You might think it is a bit early to burden yourself with thoughts of college applications. Sure, you want to go to college and considerations of where to go and what to be when you grow up are floating about your head, but to actually sit and go over the details of applying to colleges may just be too much information for you right now. That is probably wrong thinking!
The college application process is very demanding. It takes a great deal of time, is very involved, and is complicated. Things you will have to think about are
• taking college entrance tests,
• selecting a college,
• aligning your tests scores and grades to information about colleges’ profiles of applicants to see if you compete,
• taking the right courses to show you have a strong academic background,
• having the best teacher recommendations,
• thinking about college costs and applying in a timely way for financial aid,
• making sure you have followed your passions and demonstrated such through extracurricular activities,
• writing essays,
• developing your high school resume,
• adding sports resumes and coaches’ recommendations,
• organizing dates so you meet deadlines,
• making visits to college campuses and following up with admissions on the campuses you are considering strongly…
I actually could go on.
To avoid making your head spin out of control once you are a junior or in the summer and fall of your senior year, it is imperative you start the whole process early.
• The first thing you should do is meet with your guidance counselor and get to now him or her very well. Keep checking in about your course work and what exactly you need to organize to start preparing for the college application process.
• Another important thing to do is take your SAT or ACT early a so you will have time to get tutoring, practice, and retake time.
• You should also be starting to learn about colleges and their application requirements as well as deadlines, and
• You should be thinking about when to schedule visits to campuses to narrow down your list.
• It is also a good time for you to start learning about financial aid and the FAFSA application.
You can find help on all of this on our main site at CollegeBasics.
Another good resource for starting this process is the College Board’s Big Future website. On this site you can look at colleges and careers and also get information about financial aid as well as develop a plan for yourself to make the college application process a little less daunting. Check it out!