Applying to college sounds like a simple thing. You just have to write a letter intending to apply for the college, take a few exams, and submit your requirements. Sounds easy, right?
Unfortunately, the truth is that it’s much more complicated than it sounds. Applying for college is a serious challenge, and it will take you four whole years to work towards that one big day.
Here’s how you can get ready for college right at the start of your high school years:
1. Design a four-year schedule with your career counselor.
Don’t take your career counselors for granted! Your career counselor can be your best companion throughout your four years in high school. They’ll team up with you and advise you about education, university life, and the steps you need to take to get there.
Career counselors have an idea of what certain colleges are looking for in terms of qualifications, so from the start of your first year, they can let you know which extracurricular activities to take, as well as what kind of grades you need to aim for.
2. Be active in extracurricular activities.
Having great grades isn’t enough. Colleges are looking for students who have shown dedication in other things except for schoolwork. In high school, join clubs and organizations, or do volunteer work. This will show your prospective colleges that you can manage your time well.
This will also imply that you’ve gained certain skills that you can learn only outside of the classroom, such as leadership and teamwork. It also highlights your achievements and commitment.
3. Study hard.
Colleges require you to have a certain grade point average (GPA), so you must work on each of your grades to attain that attractive minimum grade they’re looking for. Study hard and earn high points in all of your classes.
Your college will look over your transcript and see each of your grades from all of the subjects you’ve taken. The higher the GPA, the better chances you have of being accepted to top universities.
4. Research on your target colleges and universities.
From GPA requirements to extracurricular activities, universities typically prefer one thing over another. With assistance from your career counselor, research about your dream universities and find out what qualifications they’re looking for.
If they prefer students who have done volunteer work, you can work toward this goal during your four years in college. Remember, you need to sell yourself to these colleges, so it’s worth researching what will get them to notice you.
5. Look for scholarship opportunities.
College and university can be expensive, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your education. Many universities offer financial aid, from athletic scholarships for the sports enthusiasts to create scholarships for the artistically inclined. Look for a scholarship that you can achieve so that you can be assisted when you go to college.
6. Note application deadlines.
At the start of your senior year, start applying for colleges. Note that most colleges have deadlines for applications, as well as a limited number of slots. By the time you reach your last year of high school, you should already have all of your documents and requirements ready to go. You can apply to as many colleges as you want, but be sure they’re realistic, and that you have the qualifications they’re looking for.
As someone serious about their future, you should keep in mind that applying to college is an effort that starts as early as high school. What you do during this time can determine which kinds of universities you can attend, as well as the probability of getting accepted.
Use your four years in high school wisely to influence how your future will turn out.