College-bound high school students should become familiar with the college application and admission process early in their high school careers. The more familiar with each part of the process a student is, the easier and more smoothly the process will go for him or her. Students should learn how to consider various schools, including how to set up college visits and interviews; how to create an interesting and effective admission essay; and how to get the best letters of recommendation. College applicants should be familiar with all aspects of acceptance and rejection, such as early decision, wait lists, deferrals, and financial offers. College-bound students should also comprehend the complicated process of applying for financial aid.
In addition, those planning to attend college should understand the different types of colleges, such as Ivy League schools, second-tier schools, and community colleges. Once students are accepted, they should be well-informed about choosing a major and taking advantage of opportunities on campus, such as internships, ROTC programs, and volunteer activities.
Studying in a college atmosphere is dramatically different from studying for high school classes. College classes meet less frequently, and homework is usually less than high school students have. However, college students are expected to keep up with the pace of their classes by using study guides on their own. It is vital that new college students understand their professors' expectations; if they do not, they will quite often struggle and possibly fail during their first semester.