How To Prepare For College | Teen Ink

How To Prepare For College

November 3, 2013
By VioletRoyal BRONZE, Lebanon, Indiana
VioletRoyal BRONZE, Lebanon, Indiana
3 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To be great takes time." - NK

One of the most stressful situations for many high schoolers these days, especially juniors and seniors, would be preparing and applying for colleges. You may be one of those teens who already knows what college you want to go to, what you want to major in, have take the SAT one or two times, etc. or you may be someone who has no clue what to do or where to go for help on figuring out all this crazy college preparation stuff. If you are either one of these people, I'm hoping this kind of college planner that I've come up with with some help from some knowledgeable sites will help you in your time of need during your college preparation.


1. Meet with your counselor! Your counselor is one of your major resources when preparing for college. They can help you come up with a schedule and pick the right classes for the career path you want to take. Make sure to ask about the higher level classes if you're up for the challenge. Remember that colleges take into consideration both your GPA and the amount of effort you put into getting that GPA score.

2. Get involved in extra curricular activities! One of the main assessments on any college application are the extra curricular activities you've participated in. The bigger the list, the more attractive your application will look to the colleges you apply to. Being a part of extra curricular activities in high school shows that you will most likely continue to do extra curricular activities in college as well.


1. Continue to meet with your counselor.

2. Continue to be involved in extracurricular activities.

3. Begin doing research on colleges. One major factor to look at is the student requirements. Also, make sure to find classes to take in high school that will help you to meet these requirements.

4. Begin financial planning. Check college websites to get a tuition estimate. You should also check how much it's going to cost to live on campus. After considering these two factors, come up with a financial plan, considering how much money you'll need to save for college and how you'll earn this money.


1. Consider possible majors. Consider your interests and create a list of majors that focus on these interests. If you're not sure what you're wanting to do in college, consider taking a career assessment test.

2. Continue researching colleges.

3. Search for scholarships. There are many websites that offer scholarships and all colleges will have their own scholarships. Some colleges will even automatically give you a scholarship once you're admitted to the college depending on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

4. Begin preparing for standardized tests. Check to see if the colleges you're interested in require the SAT, the ACT, or both. Most take these tests during their senior year, but it's a great idea to take a "prep" test to see what it's like and so you'll have an idea what to expect when you take the test again. Make sure to study for these tests! You can find test prep books at your local library or bookstore or there are also prep classes online or free prep websites as well.


1. Get recommendations. Good recommendations are important for both college and scholarship applications. To be ahead of the game for this part of the application process, have good relationships with your teachers, coaches, and volunteer directors.

2. Register for the SAT and/or ACT. If you plan to take the ACT, be prepared to take it between September and June. It is offered six times a year and the registration deadline is about a month before the test. The SAT is offered once a month between October and June and you have to register at least a month in advance.

3. Apply. Make sure to pay close attention to your grammar and spelling when filling out the required forms. When doing the essay portion, personalize it to the college you're sending the application to. Including reasons why you're interested in the school will show that you've done your research. Applying early is the best option. You have a better chance of being accepted if your application is in early.

4. Continue your search for scholarships.

5. Submit the FAFSA form. You will need a copy of your parents' and your own tax returns (if possible) before starting. It is easiest to submit this form online.

6. Wait for results. You will most likely hear from the college you've applied to by the beginning of May.

The author's comments:
As a junior in high school, I'm beginning to experience the stresses and difficulties of what college I should go to, how I'm going to pay for it, etc. I thought it would be a great idea to have a preparation schedule so you have it all planned out for you and you'll have to worry less (hopefully).

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