Planning for College or University

College planning is an involved, multi-year process with a number of related steps to ensure a successful transition from high school to college. Meet with your school counselor, often.

Start with Self-Reflection and Goal Setting:

Identify your interests, strengths, weaknesses, and long-term goals. Consider potential career paths and the academic requirements associated with them.

Research Colleges and Universities:

Explore different colleges and universities based on your preferences, such as location, size, academic programs, campus culture, and extracurricular activities. Consider admission requirements, acceptance rates, as well as available financial aid.

Prepare for Standardized Testing:

Research and register for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. Prepare for these tests through study guides, practice exams, or test preparation courses. Take the test multiple times if it helps improve your score.

Academic Planning:

Meet with your school counselor to ensure you are on track to meet graduation requirements. Choose challenging courses that align with your interests and college aspirations. Take Honors and Advanced Placement classes in your areas of interest. Maintain a strong GPA.

Get involved in Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities, clubs, sports, or community service to demonstrate a well-rounded profile. Consider leadership roles to showcase your initiative and commitment.

Build a Strong Resume:

Create a comprehensive resume that highlights your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, community service and volunteer work, internships, and any additional relevant skills.

Financial Planning:

Research financial aid options, scholarships, and grants. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or other financial aid applications.

Plan College Visits:

Attend college fairs, campus tours, and information sessions to get a feel for different institutions. Speak with current students and faculty to gather insights.

Obtain Letters of Recommendation:

Build relationships with teachers or mentors who can write strong letters of recommendation for college applications.

Develop an Application Strategy:

Develop a timeline for completing college applications, taking note of deadlines. Craft a compelling personal statement or essay. Ensure all application materials, including transcripts and recommendation letters, are submitted on time.

Stay Organized:

Keep track of application materials, deadlines, and any communication with colleges. Consider creating a checklist to stay organized throughout the process. Confirm financial aid details, payment plans, and any outstanding paperwork.

Health and Wellness:

Take any required vaccinations before starting college. Ensure you have health insurance coverage, especially if you attend college out of state.

Remember that college planning is a dynamic process, and it's essential to adapt your plans based on new information or changing circumstances. Seek guidance from counselors, teachers, and mentors throughout the process.