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Here are some tips for getting ready for college:


It is never too early to start thinking about college and how to get there. The sooner you start, the easier your choices will be later on. Steps you can take now:

  • Start thinking about what you want to do
  • Sign up for college prep classes
  • Study hard and do well in school
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities
  • File important documents and keep a journal of awards/activities
  • Get to know your high school counselor
  • Start talking about your future with your parents and friends


Your sophomore year is the time to start thinking about what colleges you are interested in and planning for standardized tests. Steps you can take now:

  • Take the PLAN test
  • Start looking at colleges through their websites
  • File important documents and keep a journal of awards/activities
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Job shadow and interview someone in a career you are interested in
  • Study hard and do well in school
  • Continue to take college prep classes


Your junior year is when you get really serious about your college search and preparation. Get good grades, finalize your college search and do your best on standardized tests and you will really enjoy your senior year! Steps you can take now:

  • Prepare for and take standardized tests (ACT, SAT)
  • Maintain your activities and take leadership roles when possible
  • Continue your college search by requesting information online
  • Apply for colleges online
  • Attend college and career fairs in your area
  • Visit colleges and talk with college students
  • Take strong college-prep elective courses
  • Start your scholarship search
  • Understand the admission criteria of your top schools
  • Explore careers and job opportunities in those careers
  • Sign up for an internship or relevant summer job
  • Study hard and do well in school


Your senior year is finally here! Having a plan will make the transition easier. Steps you should take:

August – September
  • Prepare and sign up for a standardized test if you haven't already
  • Continue to challenge yourself and take solid elective courses (don't take a blow-off schedule, fight senioritis)
  • Check out dual-credit or advanced placement classes you can take in your spring semester
  • Stay involved and continue your extracurricular activities
  • Know admission criteria for your top schools
  • Apply for your top schools.
  • Line up letters of recommendation for scholarship applications
  • Meet with your high school counselor early to make sure all is in order for graduation and ask about upcoming college prep opportunities
September – December
  • Attend college fairs
  • Visit many college campuses. Attend events at the colleges you are interested in
  • Meet with college representatives who visit your school
  • Apply for scholarships
  • Talk with your high school counselor about scholarships and applications
January – May
  • If you need it, get help completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Make final visits to colleges
  • Compare financial aid packages from different schools
  • Sign and send in a promissory note if you are borrowing money
  • Notify your college about any outside scholarships you received
  • Decide which college to attend, and notify the school of your decision
  • Attend events that college holds
  • Keep track of and observe deadlines for sending in all required fees and paperwork
  • Continue to look for scholarship opportunities
  • Enroll as early as you possibly can
Last Modified: 6/1/18