It’s Never Too Early to Prepare for College

While high school graduation is a major achievement, it’s only the first step in competing in today’s job market. Employers are looking for people with advanced education — associate, bachelor, or master’s degrees. Now is the best time to start thinking about improving your knowledge and skills after high school. Why?

  • Advanced education makes it easier to find jobs
  • Employers pay more for people who have an advanced education
  • Individuals with a college education experience fewer incidents of unemployment
  • College graduates earn more money in their lifetime
  • Some careers require college education (Nursing, Pharmacist, Engineer, Lawyer)

Planning for college is a process that takes time and forethought. Once you’ve applied to the college or university of your choice, here are some things to consider as you plan for the next step in your ongoing education.

Career Path / Course Study

What are your career plans? There are various free online career and personality assessments that that will help you determine what kind of careers or college major aligns with your personality and/or interests.

While not every college student knows exactly what they want to be “when they grow up”, it does help to have an idea what career fields interest you.

Once you know what you want to do, it’s easier to find a school that fits your needs and offers the program(s) you need to achieve your goals. Visit www.careerexplorer.net

Placement Testing

There are various kinds of tests that college-bound students must take. Some scores are used to determine acceptance to the college or university, while others are used to ensure that students are placed in the appropriate course based on skill level.

Regardless of when you last took a reading, writing or math course, it always helps to take some time to review. There are numerous online resources to help you prepare for these tests. Visit www.testprepreview.com to get started.

Academic Advising

Academic advisors are there to ensure that students are selecting the appropriate courses based on factors like test scores, degree type, transfer status, etc.

While it’s great being an independent college student, it’s best to work with an academic advisor to ensure that you are taking the necessary courses to keep you on the right path.

Financial Aid

The most troubling question for high school students is often, “How am I going to pay for college?” It’s important to know what financial aid options are out there.

First and foremost, every student who is looking for financial assistance for college must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) www.fafsa.ed.gov . It’s free. It’s online. And it’s important that you get started on this as soon as possible.

Visit www.finaid.org to learn more about the various kinds of financial aid opportunities that are available to students.

Registration

College and universities offer various ways to register for classes – in person, by phone, and online. Once you have met with an advisor and know what courses you need to take, you can begin the process of registering for the courses you need.

Before you register, however, know your various needs – schedule, costs, time, etc. The great thing about college is that you have many options. It’s always best to register for courses as soon as possible – especially if you are trying to take a specialized class that is only offered once a year.

Advanced planning for course registration is always a good idea. Some schools offer an online schedule planner that will help you find the courses you need, and let you plot those courses on a weekly calendar so you can see what your weekly class schedule will look like.

Know Deadlines!

Always be aware of the important deadlines, such as…

  • Financial Aid
  • Enrollment Fairs
  • Registration
  • Payment for Classes
  • Last Day to Add/Drop Classes
  • Withdrawal for Refund

Whether you are a new freshman, a sophomore or upcoming high school graduate, it’s never too early to begin forging your future.