Preparing For College
Many aspects of preparing to go to college include effective planning and preparation. Students need to be considering and making correct choices throughout their high school years. This guide is designed to provide direction to students interested in attending college.
Freshman and Sophomore Guidelines
- Work hard to get good grades.
- Start a notebook that contains the following information:
- College Visits
- High School Curriculum Requirements
- Important Dates and Deadlines
- Visit the colleges you are interested in attending. Talk with current students and alumni of these colleges.
- Develop good study habits. Aim for at least two hours of study each weeknight.
- Ask your counselor about scholarships that are available. Check the scholarship website.
- Begin to identify your areas of academic strengths, as well as particular interest and passion.
- During the summer months, participate in workshops, community and enrichment programs.
- During the summer consider job shadowing to learn about professions that interest you.
- Explore college websites. Keep notes on what you learned.
- Maintain good grades. This is a very important year that colleges will be reviewing.
- Take a majority of academic courses, such as English, math, science, social studies and foreign language.
- Take the ACT and SAT between March and June. The ACT's writing assessment is required by some colleges so keep your options open and take it.
- Look at college websites and brochures. Narrow down your search to three to five potential colleges or universities.
- Establish an e-mail account to use for the sole purpose of college applications and check it often.
- Create a pro and con worksheet to compare colleges.
- Visit as many colleges and universities as possible. Get a "feel" for the college.
- When enrolling in courses for your senior year choose at least four academic courses per semester. This will greatly increase your opportunity of admissions and academic success in college.
- Search for scholarships. A scholarship page is located in the counseling section of this website, which will offer scholarships available; along with a list of free online search services.
- Keep your grades up. Colleges review final grades and may rescind an offer for admission if grades slip.
- Take four academic courses.
- Retake the ACT or SAT if you were not happy with earlier scores.
- Apply to colleges that you are interested in by October of your senior year.
- Revisit any colleges or universities that you are seriously considering.
- Attend a financial aid workshop with your parents.
- Complete the FAFSA online as soon after January 1st as possible to apply for need-based financial aid for the following academic year.
- When you receive admissions offers, send in any required deposits. Deposits are normally refundable until May 1st of your senior year.
Special thanks to Michigan State University for many of the above ideas and suggestions.