High schools should really offer a course in “How To Be Prepared For College.” All too often, many students feel left in the dark when it comes to the college application process. When should they visit a campus? Do colleges just look at grades from senior year? Which entrance exams are easier? Needless to say, applying to college is anything but simple and straightforward. From freshman year to senior year, every step of the way counts. Read on to learn how students can make the most of their high school years so they can attend their dream university upon graduation.
It’s cool to do well in school. When students transition from middle school to high school, it’s important to remember that every year counts. But why do grades from freshman and sophomore year matter so much to admission officers? The answer is quite simple: a student’s GPA includes graded calculations from all four years. A shocking number of students enter high school unprepared for the rigorous academic standards, as evident in a low GPA at the end of the first year. When students begin their high school career with a low GPA, raising it becomes more difficult in the subsequent years. Students can avoid this problem by making every moment count; more importantly, students must remember that every choice has consequences that can drastically alter their futures.
This may seem like an obvious point, and it is. However, many students apply to schools they’ve never stepped foot on. By attending a campus tour or college lecture, students get a glimpse of university life. From social aspects to academic factors, there are a number of college facts and hacks that students may only see through in-person experiences. Believe it or not, the Internet doesn’t have all the answers. Students need to see and experience a college campus for themselves; otherwise, they won’t really know whether or not it’s the right place for them.
It doesn’t hurt to take both the SAT and ACT because most schools accept either test. In fact, many students tend to do better on one over the other. Therefore, it’s best for students to discover and unlock their standardized testing strengths and focus on the test they naturally excel at. Once students gauge their performance, they can begin to hone in on the unique test-taking skills needed to master the exam. More importantly, students will usually see better results if they solicit the expert services of a test prep tutor. These instructors are often experts at standardized tests, having scored well themselves.
Once students combat the standardized testing obstacles, it’s finally time to begin applying to colleges. At this point, it’s important to consider the Common App. This network is convenient, as it allows students to create one application to send to almost any school in the United States. While this is a one-stop-shop for college applications, it should be noted that many schools require university-specific essays, in addition to the application.
There’s no doubt that senioritis is a real phenomenon, which affects thousands of students throughout the country. It actually doesn’t come as a surprise; after 3 long years of hard work, it makes sense that students want to kick back and relax until graduation. However, students must buckle down and persevere for senior year. While it’s true that college sendoff is only months away, recruiters are still checking in and examining the classes that applicants enrolled in during their final year Taking two study periods may sound tempting, but students must think twice before planning a course-light schedule. In fact, students should enroll in AP classes. Not only will this impress recruiters, but scoring well on AP tests can also save students time and money in college. If a student earns a high enough AP test score, they’ll receive college credits and skip introductory-level classes.
By considering these simple, yet easy-to-forget things when applying to colleges, students will be better prepared for the college acceptance of their dreams.