If you know you want to attend college following high school graduation, it’s important that you start planning now. The more planning you do beforehand to ready yourself for the big day will put you in a better position to attend the college of your dreams and to find success after graduation.
With that in mind, here are five college planning tips that will get you to the college of your choice:
1. Take the Hard Classes Early
Many high school students wait until their senior year before taking more difficult classes. The reasoning is this will help make the transition from 12th grade into your freshman year of college easier. You may want to rethink this strategy.
From the very first day of high school, you should begin to consider how your grades, courses, and activities will impact you chances for college scholarships. Many colleges look at the types – and difficultly – of the classes a student has taken throughout his or her academic career. Students typically send college applications before they have finished their junior year. If you’re among those students who have taken more difficult classes early on, you may stand out from the crowd.
2. Check out Colleges Early
Don’t wait until senior year to step onto a college campus! Take some time during sophomore and junior year to visit a few college campuses. A visit to a prospective university can give you a feel for what that school and campus can offer you. It also affords you an opportunity to see how well you mesh with an existing campus culture.
3. Find Volunteer Opportunities
You may not be old enough to legally work, but as a student, you can still gain valuable experience by volunteering with a number of local community organizations. Even if you don’t have a crystal clear picture of what you want to pursue in terms of career or educational goals, volunteering with a local organization can help you decide. At this point, if you have an idea of what you would like to do after college, try to find local volunteer opportunities with organizations in your future field. For example, if you want to go into healthcare, volunteer at a hospital or nursing home.
4. Discover Internships in Your Chosen Field
Many students begin to take on part time jobs once they turn 16. At this time, you may want to explore internship opportunities with local businesses that align with your future college and career goals. For example, if you plan on a career in business, consider a part-time job with a local bank or apply for a summer internship with an accounting firm. If, on the other hand, you enjoy theater, community theaters are always looking for interns to aid with production and promotional aspects of the performing arts.
5. Use Your Test Scores to Find Weak Spots
You can use your ACT’s or SAT’s scores for more than applying to schools. If you find that you did not do well in math or English, for example, consider taking additional classes in that subject. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the position of having to take remedial classes when you arrive at college. This will add time and money to your goal of graduating from college.
College planning for high school students begins from the moment you enter high school. With a little planning before it is time to select, apply, and start college, you will be prepared to succeed in your college career.
CK-12 offers tons of math and science content, practice problems, study guides, flashcards and more to help you get ahead in high school and increase your chances of being accepted to the college of your choice. Explore CK-12 for resources to help you!
This article was contributed by Drexel University Online, an accredited university located in Philadelphia, PA. Explore the various bachelor’s degrees offered by Drexel University Online.