College is the next step for many students following high school, and we hope to make that transition as easy and painless as possible. Getting to college can seem overwhelming. We have outlined a good approach to exploring, selecting, and getting yourself to college. Preparing to continue your education starts well before senior year. As a freshmen, you should be exploring potential careers and working on community service. In your sophomore and junior years, you should be taking the PSAT, SAT and ACT standardized tests. In your junior year, you should be exploring schools
Maintain a good GPA. While you think your classes in middle school and as a freshmen don't matter, they do! Not only do they provide the foundation for your upper level classes, they also contribute to your GPA. Colleges and university factor in your GPA when making admissions decisions. Many organizations and clubs also consider GPA when deciding membership.
Join Clubs, Organizations, and Sports. Having membership in a club or organization or on a sports team looks great on resumes and college applications. There are several clubs and organizations available to our students including HSTA, Upward Bound, Youth Leadership Association, National Honor Society, Skills, 4-H, Debate, FCCLA, etc.
Please utilize the icons to be directed to relevant information.
Take an interest profile assessment to learn about careers that match your interests.
Explore different careers that you may be interested. Learn how long it takes to complete your education for that field.
Learn about yourself as a potential candidate for post-secondary Education.
Explore Colleges & Universities. Every college has a different atmosphere and community on campus. When exploring schools, it is important to select a school that has what you are seeking as a student. Do they offer your educational program that will meet your educational needs? Do they have activities on campus you would be interested in? Do you want to play a sport? How much is it going to cost to attend there and what financial aid do they offer?
*The icon button will take you to a website that allows you to explore all colleges and universities in the United States and some in various countries.
Take Standardized Tests. As a sophomore or junior, you are eligible to take the PSAT. This will give you experience in taking lengthy assesments and give you a projection of what your SAT scores may look like. Be sure to take the SAT or ACT and send your scores to the schools you are interested in attending.
ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Grounded in 60 years of research, ACT is a trusted leader in college and career readiness solutions. For information on test dates and waivers, please visit the ACT website by clicking the icon or by contacting the school counselor.
One of the biggest goals in changing the SAT was to make sure it’s highly relevant to your future success. The new test is more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education. It measures:
What you learn in high school
What you need to succeed in college
For information on test dates and waivers, please visit the SAT website by clicking the icon or by contacting the school counselor
Take a campus tour and attend college fairs. College fairs allow you to screen several schools you may be interested in at one time. It's a great opportunity to learn the basics of the school and get to know what the school has to offer you.
The best way to familiarize yourself with a school is to visit the campus and get a personal feel for the atmosphere and community. Be sure to visit with your major department and ask questions to get a better understanding for yourself of what the school offers.
Apply to the schools you are interested in. Now that you've visited the campus (hopefully a few), you should start applying to schools that you are interested in. Every school has their own deadline for when applications are do, but the earlier you submit, the better. Institutions of Higher Education utilize the information from your application to see your eligibility for their scholarships and financial aid packages their offer as well as to determine your admission to their school.
Don't forget to send your transcript and test scores to the college(s) or university(s) you are applying to. You can request your records from the counselor's office or under the transcript tab.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA opens on October 1 each year and should be completed as early as possible. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal student aid based on your parents income if you are a dependent student and your income if you have worked in the previous year.
Once completed, a Student Aid Report will be generated and sent to the schools you choose to have it sent to. Colleges and Universities use this information to design and offer a financial aid package based on your financial need.
Decide whether to live at home or on campus. Aside from paying for college, deciding whether to live on campus or at home is one of the biggest challenges. Things to consider are cost, distance to home, and ability to commute. For some students, this is the first time they will be away from home, making it a difficult transition for many.
If you decide to live on campus, make sure you check your school for their housing application deadline. Many schools have an application fee associated with their housing called a "housing deposit" which can be returned to the student at the end of their academic journey.
Apply for Scholarships. College is expensive, and even with a financial aid package from the school, there could be out-of-pocket cost to the student. It is important to apply for every scholarship available.
Scholarships are awarded based an various criteria. Some are based on need, some on merit, and some on skill. Always check the criteria and requirements of the scholarship you intend to apply for and submit it in a timely manner. Scholarships are posted outside the counselor's office or can be found under the scholarship tab.
Draft a Resume & Cover Letter. It's important to have a resume and cover letter you can utilize throughout your time at college and in the career field. Most jobs require you submit a resume when completing a job application. You never know when you may need one for a class!
Get to know the area around campus. Most colleges are in bigger areas with more to do than just hang out on campus. Get to know your surroundings; locate a grocery store, fast food, your closest Walmart, a coffee shop, the movie theater, the bowling alley, restaurants, fun places that offer activities you are interested in, and at least one quiet spot off campus where you can do your homework.
Attend Orientation to create your schedule & head to your post-secondary education. At orientation, you will be surrounded by students who are new to the university as well. Get to know them! This is also a great opportunity to meet your roommate if you have one and discuss what you each plan to bring.
You will create your schedule at orientation and get antiquated with your program's professors and the in's & out's of college life. I encourage you to utilize this time to explore campus on your own as well as check out the dining area and campus epicenter.
Congratulations! You've made it.
So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains. -Dr. Seuss