Getting College Ready

Tasha L. Jordan

Summer is the best time to get ready for college.  There are 6 tips below that will help teens get ready during the college decision-making process to identify their prospective schools.  According to statistics, students who “match” well have a better chance to graduate within 4-5 years.  Students should use these tips during their high school years before they start to apply to college:

  1. Students should register for the SAT/ACT, take the appropriate prep courses, and shoot for high scores.  The numbers that students affect the post secondary institutions that they will be admitted to and then attend.  St. Louis University High School often offers an ACT Prep Course that students can sign up for to prepare for their high score.  

  2. Research shows that a college degree leads to more job opportunities and higher paying careers post graduation.  Students should talk to their teacher, college counselors, and other students to help understand their options.  Talk to your support system about the different options available for financing college.   

  3. Lists are your friend.  Make a list of the schools that you would like to apply to.  According to KIPP Through College, students’ lists should “include at least nine possible schools -- three likely, three target, and three reach schools based on the likelihood of admission, graduation rates, financial aid packages, and fit. Also, make a list of scholarships that you are eligible for and make a timeline for when to apply to each.

  4. Students...get started early.  Applying to college takes a lot of time.  By getting an early start, you can apply ahead of admissions deadlines and increase your chances of more aid.  But not just summer before ready.  Check out these timelines from Princeton Review to learn how you can make the necessary steps towards college throughout your years of high school.    

  5. Talk to your counselor.  School counselors have all of the inside tips on applying to colleges, scholarships, and can help write recommendations that will make or break your chances at college acceptance.

  6. Be smart about college finances.  Close friend Karen Shumaker encourages prospective students to “remember that [they] will have to pay back what [they] borrow in students loans.” You can always negotiate the financial package you are initially offered by your school, Shumaker says.  

Applying to college can be stressful.  We hope that these 6 tips will help you be #collegeready.  Stay tuned throughout the summer for more tips about being college AND career ready for our #careercollegethursday!