There are many reasons why it’s important to choose a college before your high school graduation. Preferably you should begin your search before the end of your junior year, so that you may expand the choices as well as the time you’ll have to do a thorough search.
There are several critical factors among the many considerations you and your parents need to explore. A review of them could help in the process of making one of the most important decisions in your life.
1. Be realistic
Talk over your high school records, and determine what colleges and universities require as minimum requirements. For example, if your grade point average has been steadily in the 3.5 or higher figures, chances of getting accepted by the college you choose are good.
On the other hand, as you’re just completing your junior year in high school, you want a top-quality college and your GPA is lower than 3, you should make every effort to get better grades in your senior year.
2. Determine what type of college you prefer
By your high school junior year, your career plans should be starting to form. For example, are you considering becoming a doctor, attorney, teacher, engineer or other professional? With such emerging thoughts, you should begin to research all the courses and other requirements involved to earn those types of degrees.
Investigate the reputations and pore over catalogs of colleges with the best line-up of academics, other fields of study, social life and athletic facilities. Check them out with your school advisers, and if you have relatives and friends in those professions, ask their opinions about the best choice you can make.
Higher-level education is expensive, and you must face reality about how your parents can cope with paying for yours. An important reason to begin your search early in your high school junior year is that it will allow school advisers, you and your parents to search out all possible ways to be able to afford college. This involves thoroughly exploring all loans, scholarships, and assistance programs.
This is an important part of choosing your college. Other than costs, how far from home it is has to be a factor. For example, if you become a commuter student at a local college and live at home, it may limit your freedom, but it will save your parents a ton of money on rent, food, laundry, transportation and other expenses. For an away-from-home education, along with costs, you need to consider available housing and nearby off-campus stores and other facilities.
5. Be prepared for rejection
You may have scored the most touchdowns or maintained a 3.9 GPA, and you’d be shocked if your favorite college turned down your application. You could also be turned down because you filed your application too late, because the best colleges get the most requests by far, and class sizes are limited.
One of the best reasons to start your search before and early in your senior high school year is that you allow yourself plenty of time. You’ll need all you can get to consider various colleges, visit them with your parents and do other research. Don’t find yourself on graduation day with no choices and no idea of
Choosing a college before graduation should start at least a year before that important date. If not, you could find yourself standing there on stage with your high school diploma and no idea what you should do next.