Tips on Preparing for College

The Money Discussion. The earlier you start, the better! Talk to your parents about the cost of college and how you and your family will pay for it. Save as much as possible and be sure to explore all of your grant and scholarship options.

Start Talking! Meet with your guidance counselor as early as possible (9th grade) to discuss your courses and college major interests. Be sure you are taking classes that will help you meet these goals (including college preparatory courses and/or AP courses).

Get Involved. It's important that you get involved in extra curricular activities such as sports, volunteering, student government, clubs or part-time work. These are important things to include on your college application and something schools pay close attention to when selecting applicants.

Put Yourself to the Test. Make sure you sign up and prepare for all of the necessary standardize testing. The PSAT (taken at the beginning of Sophomore year) helps you to prepare for the SAT as well as establishes your eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship competition and other select scholarships. Your SAT score is used at most colleges as part of their admissions requirement.

Utilize Your Resources. Be sure to attend college fairs and financial aid nights at your high school. Continue to talk to your parents and guidance counselor about your college interests. Research colleges to determine which ones you are interested in. Request catalogs from the admissions offices of the colleges you would like to addend.

Apply Yourself! When you are ready to start applying to college (end of junior year/beginning of senior year), gather all of the necessary paperwork from each college you are interested in. Be sure to keep track of all important deadlines!

Get the Details. When it comes to preparing for college there a lot of things to think about! Make sure you start early and gather all of the necessary information. For a detailed list of things to do to prepare for college, check out our Countdown to College checklist.

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