When students enter high school in the ninth grade, there are a number of basic steps they can follow for the next four years to allow them the opportunity to be accepted into the college of their choice. If students know what is expected of them to be prepared for college, their chances of being accepted into the college of their choice are greatly improved. This article summarizes what several successful high school students have done throughout their high school years to prepare them for their college experience.
Step One: Before entering high school, or during the ninth grade, the student should take an interest inventory test to help identify possible career choices. This test was developed to help students take a collection of their interests and match them with the qualities needed for different careers. Once a possible career has been identified, the student can use that information in high school to focus on a career they are suited for. This can eliminate a lot of wasted time during the high school years. High school can be more focused by having the student take classes that are geared toward a possible future career. The interest inventory test does a great job of giving students the option for their future careers. This test can be administered by the school counselor or the student can go online and find an interest inventory test to take on his own.
Step Two: Students should meet with their counselor and parents at the beginning of their ninth-grade school year, to map out a four-year plan of action for high school success. This plan should be reflective of what the student career plan might entail. One very important aspect of the plan is the academic classes the student will be taking for the next four years. These classes should be geared toward college preparation and whatever career interest the student has. If the student is academically strong enough, he/she should take honors or advance placement classes. This meeting should also allow the student the opportunity to discuss what kind of clubs, organization, or leadership positions are best suited for him. This should include sports teams. At a future meeting, the student may want to discuss summer programs or job opportunities that may be available to help him with career development. Colleges prefer students who participate in a variety of activities during high school years.
Step Three: Students should research at least 10 colleges during their ninth-grade school year to see what is needed to qualify for entry into college. The more a student knows about what is required to attend a particular college, the better chance he/she has to be enrolled in that college. Some of the research information should include: What grade point average is needed to be accepted in the college? What test score is needed to be accepted in the college? What are the top majors in college? How much does it cost to attend college? What do you need to qualify for scholarships at the college? More information can be researched. To talk with a college representative and have an in-person meeting, the students should attend several college fairs whenever possible. The high school counselor can provide students with a list of upcoming college fairs.
Step Four: High school students who are focusing on attending college need to put a plan together of how they are going to organize their time to be successful in school. Because of the many activities, high school students are involved in, he/she need to organize their day to have plenty of time to study. A very important organizational tool students can use to assist them is a planner. The planner can be used to record all school activities. This planner should be utilized for each semester. All upcoming papers, test, quiz, special assignments, study time and school activities should be listed in the planner. As soon as assignments are given by the teacher or the school they should be listed in the planner. Also, students should use a daily to-do list to keep up with what task needs to be completed that day. Developing how to use a planner can be very important in high school and college.
Step Five: To gain real experiences of college life, all college-bound students should enroll in a college summer program after their ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade school year. Most colleges offer several special programs in the summer that will help high school students experience college life while learning about a possible college major. Most programs are from two to six weeks long, and students live in dorms during that time. Most of the programs have students taking college-bound classes, as well as helping them to prepare for the ACT Test. This experience is invaluable and will be very useful when the student enrolls in college.
The five steps listed above can be very helpful in giving high school students the focus they may need to successfully prepare for college. Students need to be prepared when they apply for college or face a possible rejection letter. Some students don’t get the opportunity to talk to their high school counselor until the school year is well on its way. If that is the case, it would be wise for them to seek out other ways to get information that would be helpful for their college preparation. This article can be a start, but by no means is this the only information a student may need. Knowing what is expected is half the battle for success.