January 22, 2018

College Applications

Where do I want to go to college?  What do I want to study?  What classes do I need to take now?  How do I get good test scores? How are we going to pay for it all?  Will I meet my future spouse there?

For most of these questions, I can get you started in the right direction.  You will have to trust God for an answer to that last question!  Submitting college applications, just knowing where to begin, can be overwhelming.  Keep reading!  I have laid out an easy plan for you to follow…

college applications

SO many things to think about!

Not all students will be college bound – and that’s okay – but for those who are it is wise to start your research and planning early.  Make sure that you are taking strong core courses every year and that you begin working on those college entrance exams.  It’s a good idea to take the PSAT in the 9th grade (not a college entrance exam) and then start working on the SAT or ACT as a sophomore.  This gives you plenty of experience with the tests and lets you work on maximizing your scores.

In your junior year, start officially researching colleges.  Take a few trips to visit college campuses and schedule meetings with the admissions offices.  You want to have a good feel for a college before you officially begin applying.  While you are on campus, let the admissions office know what high school work you have already completed and ask what they would still like to see.  That way you can work on filling in any gaps in your senior year.

When you look at a college’s website you can often find their minimum requirements for entrance but know that just meeting those requirements is not a guarantee that you will be accepted.  Many colleges will also list the average achievements of the previous year’s accepted students.  For example, a college may require that a student complete four strong math classes – however, the average accepted student actually had five math credits.  That’s the information you want to find.

One of the best ways to pay for college is with scholarships (aka FREE money).  There are lots of ways to obtain scholarships.  You can get started with the process by reviewing my recent blog post on scholarships  – but one of the sure-fire ways to get money for college is to have great scores on your college entrance exams.  The PSAT, while not a college entrance exam, is the test that determines National Merit Scholarship status.

This is not an impossible task at all.  Colleges want you and will work with you to get all of the pieces together. And although test scores are the door opener, they are not the be-all-end-all of college entrance.  It’s the whole package they are looking for.  Make your connections early and be an impressive, unique individual.  They’ll love you!

~to your success!

Joanne

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