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How to Prepare for College as a High Schooler

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The process of preparing for college can be very stressful! There are time deadlines, academic requirements, school costs, and many other factors to consider when making such a huge decision. It can seem daunting, but there are ways to prepare in high school so that you are not stressed when the time comes to apply and choose a school.

Plan out your high school course schedule. See what classes you need for the schools you’re interested in before it’s too late in your high school career. Some schools require advanced math classes for certain majors, some schools prefer three foreign languages, and every school requires a rigorous course load. You have to make sure your high school class schedule matches with your college of choice’s requirements and desires.

Do not wait until senior year to take the ACT/SAT. Start by taking the test earlier in your high school career. After initially taking the test, you can figure out which areas to work on. You can study for these tests and/or get a tutor (if you do not get a score that you believe accurately measures your ability). These tests are important because they are helpful not only for getting accepted into a school, but also getting your desired scholarships.

Go on college visits. When you visit a campus you get a feel for the school that you can not get through a website. If possible, take a few hours to go on a college tour or even walk the campus. Figure out where you would be sleeping, eating, learning, and living. You will be spending four years here! Make sure it feels right. Some factors to consider are: location, environment, size, requirements, academics, expense, financial aid, housing, activities, facilities, and safety.

Know your college entrance and application requirements. What is their desired test score? Do they accept weighted test scores? Do they require an essay? What is their deadline? All of these are questions you should be asking. You need to know what is required of you so that you have time to adequately plan.

Know you and your family’s financial plan. The first thing you need to do is make sure you and your parents are on the same page. Never assume you know how much money, if any, they are able or willing to put toward college. Make sure you are on the same page financially so that neither of you are blind sided. The next thing you need to do is check the cost of the school at which you are looking to apply. Some schools are much more expensive than others, but do not let the price of the school be your deciding factor. The price of school is highly dependent on the financial aid and scholarships the school gives out. Research these opportunities so that you are not surprised when the time comes for applications and acceptance.

Good Luck!

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How to Prepare for College as a High Schooler