It is important for any college-bound student to begin preparing as early as possible. The following paragraphs briefly describe ways to prepare for college during each year in high school. This information includes how to look good on an application, ways to prepare academically, and how to gain interest for areas of study.
Your freshman year in high school is a good time to begin building a foundation for college preparation. Join activities or clubs to help your college application. Joining a variety of clubs may help you find new interests. Meet with your guidance counselor to talk about your interests and how to work them into your schedule. If you have an idea of what type of college you may be interested in, use your schedule as a way to prepare. For example, if you are interested in a medical career, schedule science classes to explore the field. It is also a good idea to attend a career fair or college fair if your school holds one. Finally, get a guide to the ACT or SAT, whichever you plan on taking. Finding out what you will need to learn will help you out later.
Your sophomore year should build on what you have accomplished during your first year. Continue to meet with your guidance counselor. Discuss colleges that interest you and what things you can do to help you in that direction. Work on keeping your grades high and try to bring up grades that are weak in any area. Take a visit or two to see what college life is like and what is expected of you. You may also want to meet with people from different professions to further your understanding of possible careers. Take a practice ACT or SAT exam to find out what you need to work on over the next year.
During your junior year, you should begin the final stages for college selection and preparation. Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss your final choices of schools. Take visits to those colleges and find out what you need to do to apply for admission. Take the ACT or SAT exam. Review your scores and discuss with your counselor if you should take the test again and what you can do to do better. Make preparations for financial aid and begin applying for scholarships if possible. Continue taking college prep classes and keep your grades up. Also, select and meet with people who you will be using for recommendation letters.
During your senior year, you will make final preparations for your college of choice. Meet with your counselor to select your college and safety schools. Get your letters of recommendation and complete applications for those schools. Make sure to keep a competitive class schedule. Finalize your financial situation and apply for any scholarships that you can. This schedule for your high school career will help lessen the burden of preparing for college and will allow you to take adequate time for each necessary step.