The college application process is much simpler if you start collecting and updating information when you begin high school. In an expandable file folder you should keep:
Begin discussing your options with your parents early in your high school career and involve them in college related activities such as college nights and fairs.
Save money from gifts and part-time and summer jobs to help with college expenses.
Improving these skills will help you in high school, college, and your career. Enroll in McLennan County CAP and receive free student planner!
Colleges look closely at grades to determine if students will succeed in their program. Some, including Texas public colleges, automatically admit students who graduate in the top percentage of the class. Good grades also help you earn scholarships.
Your guidance counselor is a great resource for information about admission tests, college preparation, and education and career options.
Schedule private conferences with your teachers to get extra help, ask questions, inquire about careers, and talk about their college experiences.
Colleges heavily consider honors, dual credit, and advanced placement classes when considering your application. These classes improve success on entrance exams, prepare you for college-level courses, and allow you to accrue college credits while still in high school.
Focus on a few extracurricular activities, seeking leadership positions when possible. These activities, including volunteering, are beneficial when applying for scholarships and to colleges because they demonstrate your interests, abilities, and accomplishments. The Pathways To Success Program is a great extracurricular activity that helps students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective leaders, volunteers, and employees. If you complete the year-long program, which includes forty-six hours of volunteer work, you will receive a $500 college scholarship and are eligible to be hired for VOICE spring break and summer programs!
Research the types of institutions and varieties of degrees available to you after completing high school.
Attend information sessions and college fairs. Compare schools online. Review colleges’ websites and interact through their social media. Financial considerations are important, but location, campus climate, size of the student body, the ratio of faculty to students, and living facilities also matter.
Tours can be taken virtually or you can contact a college’s admissions office and schedule a group or individual tour. A personal visit gives you the opportunity to talk to current college students and to experience college life such as attending class, eating in the dining hall, and staying in a dorm.
Use online and hard copy resources to help you prepare for the tests. Attend test preparation classes, take online practice tests, and subscribe to ACT and SAT question of the day. Enroll in McLennan County CAP and receive free ACT and SAT study guides!
Take the PSAT your sophomore year will give you a feel for the test format and timing.