Getting ready for college can be overwhelming. With so much to do to prepare for leaving home, it is important to plan ahead. Planning ahead will not only ensure success in school but will also save you money and stress. If you, your son, or daughter, are about to enter college this fall, here are a few tips:
The Final Year:
As many people will tell you, your senior year is very important. Not only is it the year that you apply to school, but it’s also is the last thing colleges will see on your transcript. Fight the urge of “senioritis” and take a schedule that will challenge you, trust admissions will notice. Second, if you haven’t already, become good friends with your guidance counselor. These professionals can keep you up to date on all the application requirements, deadlines, and possible last-minute courses and outside activities that might look ideal on your application. Every school is different and requires various components of their applicants. Take testing for example, many colleges require different tests, whether that be the SAT, ACT, subject tests, etc. Counselors will help you manage that information depending on your school of choice. In addition, they can help you find scholarship information, which can come from the school itself or an outside organization.
Lastly, take time to visit the schools. Organize tours and meetings with professionals related to your career path. Be sure to ask questions about things like campus housing, Greek life, student organizations, intramural sports, etc. If visiting the school isn’t possible, ask your counselor about any college fairs that might be going on!.
After you choose a school, there are other important things to consider. Apply for housing as soon as possible. Some of the best choices may go faster than you think so this isn’t a step you can be lax about. Additionally, have several conversations with your parent or advisors about how tuition will be paid. Make sure everyone knows when payments are due and how to pay them. The sooner this is covered, the less stress there is for everyone.
When considering schools, other things you might want to note might be, what major/degree options are available, and what professors are teaching classes. While you don’t need to know your major just yet, it is important to know your options. Enroll as early as possible. The best classes with popular professors fill up fast, so act soon. If a class is “waitlisted” or “full” you can always email the professor directly about enrolling. For a more comprehensive list of college tips, visit some of the links in the sources below.
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