When should I start planning for college?
As the saying goes, “why put it off if it can easily be done today?” The earlier you plan, the more opportunities you will have to increase your competitive edge in college admissions and the easier it will be to get into the school you’re hoping to attend.
What are the steps in planning for college?
Here is a list of things you can do to prepare for school, with tasks spread out over the course of your senior year. In addition to meeting admissions and application requirements, it is very important that you keep track of the various requirements and deadlines related to your orientation at school.
• Find an interested staff member at school who will help you with the college process.
• Request letters of recommendation from teachers and administrators. Don’t be shy; they understand that it’s part of their commitment to your education.
• Take leadership positions in the clubs and organizations you are passionate about.
• Offer to take leadership positions in jobs, even if it’s something unglamorous like food service.
• Attend informational college events at school.
• Research scholarships and financial options, such as this one (link out).
• Register for ACT and SAT tests.
• Finalize your first, second and third choices for college. A good overall number to apply to is four to six campuses.
• Obtain and submit college applications.
• Finalize your college essays.
• Submit your second-round of college applications.
• Obtain & Submit a FAFSA form for financial aid. Learn more about that here (link out).
• You will begin receiving admissions notices from the schools you applied to.
• Plan your visits to college campuses before making final decisions of where to attend. Spend at least a day at each campus.
• The deadline for you to submit your decision and deposit to the college you choose to attend will be May 1st.
What entrance exams do I have to take for college admissions?
There are three main college entrance exams that most (not all) colleges require for admissions:
• SAT I
• SAT Subject Tests
These tests evaluate your skills for college-level courses. Their questions review:
• Advanced mathematics
• Reading comprehension
• Writing skills
Most colleges will accept the best score between the SAT I and ACT, which is why students take both tests. Other colleges will require both the SAT I and two or three different SAT Subject Tests.
In the Midwestern region, colleges will give an option to take either the SAT I and SAT Subject Tests or to simply take the ACT.