Preparing for College: 10 Tips to Make Sure You’re Ready

Preparing for College: 10 Tips to Make Sure You’re Ready

Right from high school, you should put things in place to help you secure admission offers to your dream college. In this article, we’ll go through 10 steps you can take as you start preparing for your post-secondary education.

Schedule a Meeting With Your Academic Advisor

In your junior year, you need to become familiar with the requirements for college. The best way to do this is to speak with your academic advisor as soon as possible. Your counselor will help you with the academic preparations for college, such as reviewing your transcript and resume. 

An academic advisor can also help you find a career path you’ll enjoy based on your interests and academic strengths. If you already have some schools in mind, you can share them with your school counselor and ask about their specific application requirements. Your academic advisor can also assist you with searching for schools that offer courses that align with your personal and career interests. 

If you’re looking to cut costs and spend less in college, you should start applying for scholarships, grants, and student loans now. The good news is many academic advisors have insider information about funding opportunities for prospective college students. You can ask your admissions counselor for scholarship-winning tips or tell them to write great letters of recommendation for your applications.

Apply for As Many Scholarships As You Can

College is expensive, and if you don’t want to spend time working multiple part-time jobs to earn extra cash in your first year, you need to start applying for funding opportunities now. Some scholarships will cover your entire college tuition, while others provide funding aid up to a certain amount. 

Winning a scholarship can make a big difference in your application. Many schools give unconditional admission offers to students who already have a scholarship, grant, or other forms of financial support from a recognized organization. Sometimes, these schools award scholarships to exceptional applicants.

Complete Your FAFSA and Learn About Your Financial Aid Options

Every school year, the government gives a certain amount in federal student aid. Schools often distribute these funds on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is crucial to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early. Filling this application qualifies you for grants, scholarships, and loans.

Go On College Campus Tours

There’s only so much the internet can show you about college life. If you want to know what a college truly feels like, you should book a physical college campus tour. College tours always help when you can’t seem to decide which of the schools to apply to.

During the campus tour, you can connect with other high school students. Remember those admissions process questions you couldn’t find answers to online? Now is a good time to ask school members for clarifications. At the end of the tour, you’ll understand the college on a deeper level.

Take All Your Required Courses in High School

Part of your college preparation is finding out the required courses of the school you would like to attend and register for them. Many colleges list the course requirements on their admissions page, so that is an excellent place to start your search. 

If you’re still undecided on your school choice, you can ask your counselor for advice. Generally, most colleges require four years of English and three years of science, social science, and math, respectively. Some colleges may ask you for two years of foreign language study.

Prepare Early for Your College Entrance Exams

It’s never too early to start preparing for your college entrance exams. Your teachers and counselors will share tips on how you can smash these tests, but you also have a lot of work to do on your own. 

You can check out different entrance exam resources in your school, or speak with high school seniors who have taken these standardized tests. Once you have this information, it’s time to try out test preps like PSAT to know what these college entrance exams feel like.

Establish Great Study Habits

Building great study habits now will help when you get into college and start dealing with more difficult coursework. You can ask your guidance counselor for study tips and then draw up a timetable to keep things on track. Great study habits help you to maintain good grades as well.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

A good college application isn’t only about having an excellent high school GPA. You need to show you are just as much of a great student outside school as you are in the classroom. This is where extracurricular activities can help. 

Extracurricular activities demonstrate your range as a student. For example, being a member of the school’s girl scouts is a smart way to show initiative and leadership. As you engage in extracurricular activities, you also get to meet new people who have the same interests.

Learn How to Manage Your Time

Now is the best time to set boundaries on your time as you start preparing for college in high school. In university, you’ll have the freedom to decide your schedule. If you do not know how to manage your time, you may run into a lot of problems. It would be best to consider drawing up a timetable and setting specific study hours plus time for extracurricular activities. Without good time-management skills, you’ll find it difficult to keep up with the different commitments in your application process. 

Start Thinking About Your Future Living Arrangements

An important part of college life is finding the best living situation, whether on-campus or off-campus. For example, if you are a prospective UNLV student, you can start to explore several student housing options in Las Vegas. You’ll spend most of your time in your student residence, so you should get it right from the get-go. 

There are a lot of things you need to do as you prepare for college admissions. To avoid getting overwhelmed, you can create a preparing-for-college checklist to make things easier. Once you have your checklist, take on tasks one piece at a time, and you’ll be ready for college education in no time.

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