This will vary from student to student. Many high school students feel prepared to begin conducting at least some initial college research and campus visits either in the second semester of their sophomore year or the first half of their junior year.
How about right now? You don't have to make a choice, but begin thinking about things like what you want to study, where you would like to go, and what would be important about a college.
The classes you take and the grades you earn are by far the most important factor upon which you are evaluated when you apply to college (with a couple of rare exceptions, all colleges require a high school transcript).
College admission officers look closely at what you have done outside of the classroom. They are looking for evidence of commitment and your capacity to care deeply about what you choose to do with your time.
It's not the number of schools you apply to that is important. It's the thought and care put into each application.
First, a word to the wise: when a college says something is "recommended," you should read that as "required."
Should you be "worried" about college now, as an incoming high school freshman? No, you should definitely not be worried. However! Even though it's early, you should be thinking about college. At least a little bit.
A good college essay can help you get accepted, but a bad one can sometimes prevent it. That's why it's important to do it well.
Writing is not a group activity, and you should always write your college application essay on your own. You can get guidance, but make sure it is the right kind of help.
You need to check with the state in which you want in-state tuition to see what the rules are. For instance, some states require that you graduate from a high school in that state.
A "name-brand" school can play a part in the connections you develop. The name of your school will open doors for you, and a strong network of alums in high places will give you opportunities that those from non-brand name schools might not get exposure to.
Dual enrollment is done in many ways: by taking courses given at the high school that are sponsored by a college or university and offer college credit or by enrolling (with permission from the high school) in a few courses at a local community college while still enrolled in high school.
Start with you! Exploring your learning style and what environment will optimize your learning is important.
As strange as it sounds, it is truly important that you think about the place, the physical area, of where you want to go to college.
The one mistake I often see students making is taking an easier curriculum to elevate their GPA. What they are doing is basically limiting their ability to stretch their academic knowledge, setting them back during the first year of college. Students who take a challenging curriculum will have a better appreciation of the work required in college and adapt better.
Do your best in all your classes so you don't close doors for yourself. You may not think you want to do something as a freshman, but that may change once you are a junior.
If your high school is ranked high in the nation, that is great for you because you have the advantage of many more opportunities to intensify your curriculum. It does not mean as much to the colleges.
Much of the stress surrounding the college admission process occurs because students and parents possess little first-hand knowledge of what colleges actually want to see in students.
Remember that quality of involvement is more important than quantity. Stick with activities that have always interested you, as most colleges can see through the applicant that pads their résumé, especially late in the game.
Being interviewed can be difficult at first, but it's a skill that gets easier the more you practice.
It is not uncommon to get anxious and apprehensive about being "college bound." Many others not only second-guess their college choice but also whether they are truly ready to take this significant step in their life.
This may vary by school, but in many cases the work that you have done over three to four years of high school is the most important indicator of your ability to do college level work. It is not just the grades, but the rigor of the classes that you take that will show your abilities.
It is quite common for students and their parents to disagree about the appropriate college choice. Think carefully what is most important to you as you start your college search.
Students who are willing to share who they are as a person, distinct from their academic record and test scores, are the students who stand out.
This is really the million-dollar question, and, of course, there's no succinct answer. Sometimes I like to tell prospective students to think of it this way: you're not just deciding where to go to school, you're essentially looking for a new home for four years.
Be aware of Early Decision versus Early Action; each means something entirely different.
It is best to submit two teacher recommendations from either your junior or senior year. One should be from an English teacher, and the other can be from a different discipline, depending on the area you think you may study.
You should have people who know you really well write your letters of recommendation. Use the following rules of thumb as a guide to asking for letters of recommendations...
Yes--but you should have an opportunity somewhere on the application to explain why your grades are low.
Although high school students always wish that the process was easier, the nice thing about the Supplement is that it allows the applicant to showcase more of what makes them a good fit for the school.
When planning for college, good grades and high test scores are important. Just as important are activities outside the classroom.