How to Prepare for College While in High School as a Senior
When should you start putting together your checklist for getting into college?
In a perfect world, you will have started making plans in your junior year. Doing so will have allowed you to plan for meeting admission requirements for college. However, even if you waited until your senior year, you still have plenty of options open to you.
Know What You are Looking For
Before you send out college applications, know what type of learning environment interests you. Do you you prefer large or small colleges and universities?
Is there a particular major that you want to pursue? If you do, explore which colleges have an excellent reputation for preparing young adults for careers in this chosen field.
Plan to attend college open houses. These are great opportunities to walk around the campus and get an overall feel for the atmosphere.
Many times, you might also tour the dorms and cafeteria. If you plan to apply for sports or music scholarships as part of your college planning, visit with these departments. Next, learn about the college admission process at your chosen schools.
Start the Application Process Early
You have narrowed down your list of colleges. As a high school senior, you should start the application process as early as possible. Meet with your guidance counselor well before your fall semester in high school to create a list that itemizes the college admission process. While lists vary slightly depending on the school, many line items are the same.
Most colleges and universities now offer only application options. Fill out each question and do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you are unsure how to answer an item.
Because the college admissions differ from school to school, do not be surprised if some ask for more documents than others do. Examples include test scores, details about extracurricular activities that might pertain to your major, letters of recommendation, and essays that highlight what makes you a good candidate for admissions.
Scholarships and financial aid
As the school year progresses, remember that there are deadlines pertaining to university scholarships or state or federal student aid. Even if you are not sure that you will qualify, it is always a good idea to apply. By the way, you do not have to limit your scholarship applications just to your chosen college. Other entities may also be willing to help pay for your education. Filling out the FAFSA is vital.
Follow up in the spring
If you applied to multiple colleges, make your final selection by spring. Complete the paperwork for your school of choice. This is also the time to double-check that you have met all admissions requirements. Many high school students find it useful to meet again with a guidance counselor to look over their paperwork one more time.
Once you’ve finish the admissions process, you can sit back and relax! …Or can you?
Get the Advantage of Dual Enrollment
Did you know that you can sign up for a dual enrollment program? As you continue to finish your high school classes, you can also begin taking college courses.
Doing so offers you multiple advantages. For starters, it looks great on a college application.You show that you already have what it takes to learn and do well at the college level.
Moreover, it lets you hit the ground running when college starts. Complete some courses early and it allows you to earn your degree faster or to take some pressure off in your first year. The dual enrollment option is ideal for getting some of the general education requirements out of the way and allow you to focus on your major subjects.
Of course, there are some rules to follow. At American High School Academy we routinely work with students who choose this path. Enroll for 24 college credits that also count toward a high school diploma. You work together with your high school counselor to identify the ideal courses. Keep up your GPA, and watch the credits accumulate.
For Parents: Checklist for Getting into College When a Student Is off Track
A high school diploma is among the primary admission requirements for college. However, the last year of high school is often a challenge for many learners.
The pressure of preparing for college combines with psychological stressors that the upcoming changes of growing up might bring. For some kids, it is too much. They might start rebelling by slacking off in school. Grades suffer as a result.
Other students may experience health problems or behavioral issues that make keeping up with peers too tricky. Rather than being on track for graduation, these learners are falling more and more behind. By the time you are able to help your child deal with the stress, it is almost too late. Now, the student feels discouraged and may want to drop out.
However, there is hope. American High School Academy offers students opportunities to meet the learning requirements to achieve a high SAT score, senior year coursework, and even for graduating along with peers.
Credit recovery program
A credit recovery program allows your student to work on self-contained courses in an independent study environment. The learner continues going to their regular school school while supplementing the curriculum with make-up classes. It is ideal for students with failing grades, those who are behind in credits for other reasons, and for those who are coming back from suspension.
- Virtual school – or home-based/online learning – is ideally suited for vacations and school holidays. While others are out of school for a few weeks, your student engages in personalized learning that includes interactive activities as well as video content.
- Even if your student has already dropped out or is on the verge of doing so, there is still hope. Alternative education makes it possible for this learner to take the classes that are required for a high school diploma. Once they receive it, they can continue with the application process for college.
Don’t let a temporary academic derailment prevent a student from meeting the college application deadline.
Whether you are working on your own college planning right now or you are a parent who is helping a child make good academic decisions, there is help. American High School Academy experts are just a phone call away.
American High School Academy, is a private, fully accredited high school based in Miami, Florida that offers both online and classroom high school courses. We also offer credit recovery, dual enrollment, and study abroad programs among others.
Contact us if you need help deciding or just wish to talk to someone who can answer your questions. We’re here to help!
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