Planning for College
As you begin your college search you may feel a little overwhelmed. But keep in mind there are lots of good colleges from which to choose. Take a breath and relax. Have fun as you visit and learn about different schools. Follow these key steps to help you find your way to the college that's right for you!
Key steps to take while you are in high school:
- Take the right classes: Create a four-year outline of what classes you should take during high school to meet college admission requirements. Most colleges require students to have four years of English, three to four years of mathematics, three years of lab science, two years social science and a foreign language.
- Challenge yourself in your coursework: Take accelerated, honors, or Advanced Placement (AP) classes and do well all four years. These classes will not only challenge you but prepare you for collegiate course work.
- Get involved in your school: Commit yourself to extracurricular activities for 3-4 years during high school. Participate in something you're interested in - music, athletics, theatre, student government, and/or other student organizations.
- Explore your career interests: Think about what job you could see yourself in. Talk to your parents, family and/or friends to learn more about their careers and see about shadowing them. You could also intern during the summers to get a feel for different work environments.
- Find the college that fits you: Visit colleges to find out if they are the right size, do they have a good location, or what type of extracurricular activities do they offer? Can you see yourself on campus as a successful student?
- Learn about paying for college: Your best resource is to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA opens October 1, 2016 for students who intend to enroll in college for the 2017–2018 academic year. FAFSA's new prior-prior year tax policy allows your family to use tax and income information from 2015. Financial aid can be given based on need or merit in a variety of grants, scholarships, work-study and student loans. You can also research local, state and national scholarships for additional funding.
Learn more about the steps to take during each year in high school: