5 Tips for High School Juniors Planning for College

1. Don’t Procrastinate

Start your research now! You will not be able to make the most of your college search unless you start early.

Even if it is too soon to start thinking of specific universities, you can decide what majors you are interested in and where you want to go to school (certain areas of the country, size, and city or suburb). This will make your research go much faster because you will be able to easily narrow down choices.

Once you start, use an array of different sources. When it comes to the internet it is crucial to utilize accredited websites, but also look into what people are saying about the school on social media. Of course, speak with your guidance counselor as well.

2. Shoot for the Stars

When it comes to researching colleges don’t be afraid to go a little wild. Thinking outside the box will expose you to possibilities you have never thought of.

For example, don’t limit yourself to colleges only in your home state. You can decide to attend a school that is all the way on the other side of the country. It may be hard at first, but it made you a stronger person overall.

Leaving the nest will help you learn how to be more independent, and while you don’t need to depart the state to do so, leave the possibility open.

3. You Are Not Defined by a Number on Paper

Much of the college search is narrowed down by numbers. This includes GPA, SAT/ACT score, and tuition prices. However, do not let this rule out a dream school.

There are always scholarships and grants you can apply for to help with those steep price tags.

Also, sometimes an admissions office will overlook a lower GPA if you can prove that you make up for it in other ways such as volunteering and extra-curricular activities.

Don’t only apply to “reach” schools, it is imperative to have back-ups just in case. But, reach for the stars and it may pay off!

4. Make sure you love the school

While it is very important to listen to advice from your parents, guidance counselor, friends, etc. you are the one that will be attending the college you choose.

You must be honest with yourself.

If you end up at a school that you don’t love then chances are you will want to transfer, which can be a long and complicated process. Knowing where you want to be from the beginning will help you to avoid this.

If you are having trouble choosing between two or three schools, make a pros and cons list; it always helps to see it on paper. If it so happens that you are not accepted to your dream school there will always be chances to re-apply!

5. Avoid Senioritis like it’s the Plague

Don’t believe the rumors that once you are accepted it’s all right to “slack off”.

Universities can, and will, request a final transcript at the end of your senior year. If they see that you have given up they may not want you at their school. Regardless of whether or not they look at the final transcript, becoming a lazy student right before college is the worst decision you can make.

The transition from high school to higher education will be difficult, especially pertaining to the heavier work load. The more you are prepared for the extra work, the less of a shock it will be. If you keep up with your school-work all of senior year you will not have much of a problem adjusting.

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