How should I be preparing for the college search as a high school freshman?
Charlotte M. Klaar, Ph.D.
Klaar College Consulting LLC
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. Therefore, leave all your options open by taking the most intense curriculum that you can succeed in and get high grades in all your classes. Take part in a range of school activities that are meaningful to you and do the same ones each year. Do community service consistently throughout high school. With these credentials, you will have a good range of choices when you begin the college search in earnest.
Former High School Counselor
It’s never too early to start thinking about college! That’s why many high schools now include curriculum during freshman year to help students begin the college search and planning process. This is also a great time to start discussing options for post-secondary education with your parents or guardians. By starting these talks early, you’ll hopefully have a better idea about how to pay for college.
Your next step is to make an appointment with your high school guidance counselor to go over general college admission requirements and review your course selections for the next three years. At home, sign up for free online accounts that let you research and explore different colleges and careers. If they have personality inventories and career interest surveys, consider taking a few of these. You can use the results to help guide your college search process.
Then spend time on college websites looking at the academic programs they offer. Take time to compare costs and admission requirements between a few different schools. Start with in-state colleges before you expand your search to schools across the country. Remember, this is an introductory activity. Use your freshman year to explore and make note of the things that excite and interest you.
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