College: Getting in

by Brianna Acosta, Staff Writer

It’s the time of year that all the seniors are stressing about college applications. Even though college applications are sent in by senior year, you have to work towards college all four years of high school. Your high school transcript shows every class you have ever taken in high school and what semester grade you got in that class. Make sure you keep track of everything you do, including volunteering and clubs your involved with.

Freshmen should start looking at colleges and seeking out what they want to do or where to go. Take challenging courses your freshman year, don’t fail, but as hard as you can handle. Take advantage of the PSAT that the school district graciously pays for, not all school districts pay for the PSAT. Start saving for college, this is so unbelievabley important so you don’t get bombarded with the high cost once you get accepted. Join as many clubs or organizations as possible, while still being able to get good grades in school. Talk to your parents about college and why you want to go to college.

Sophomores should keep taking challenging classes and keep their grades up. Continue getting involved with organizations and clubs, it will really help your college application if you do volunteer work. It is important to keep up with saving for college, there are so many costs, tuition, room and board, meal plans, and text books. Try making a college comparison chart with some of the colleges you are most interested in. Start thinking of the questions you want to ask the colleges you are interested in. Continue to take the PSAT seriously.

Juniors should focus on the activities they are involved, including working a job. Junior year is a great time to start looking up college scholarships, so you can add that money to the savings that you should be keeping up with. The reason you should keep up with savings and sholarships is because you don’t want to be paying off student loans most of your life. Start an academic resume to show to your colleges on your application. Take your SAT and/or your ACT this year so you have time to re-take them if needed. You should always take your SAT or ACT more than once. Keep your grades up!

Seniors should focus on their school work. In August you should sign up for the SAT or ACT as soon as you can. August through December you should make sure you are on track to graduate, try to take ACC classes, keep up with college application deadlines, visit colleges/college fairs/ college admission counselors, begin your college applications, start the financial aid process, and keep up with your classes. January though May, make sure everything for your college application is turned in by the deadline, visit the colleges that accepted you, decide which school you are going to attend and notify them that you will attend,  notify the other schools that you will not be attending, keep looking for scholarships, compare financial aid from different schools, and notify your college about any other outside scholarships you have received. When evaluating cost, keep in mind it is not just tuition you have to pay for, you have to also think of the cost of room and board, the cost of textbooks, and the cost of possibly a meal plan.