5 Steps to Ensuring High School Students Have the Opportunity to Go to College

When students enter high school in the ninth grade, there are a number of basic steps they can take over the next four years to allow them the opportunity to be accepted into the college of their choice. If students know what is expected of them to be college ready, their chances of being accepted to the college of their choice increases dramatically. This article summarizes what several successful high school students have done throughout their high school years to prepare them for their college experience.

Step one: Before entering high school, or during the ninth grade, the student must take an interest inventory test to help identify potential career options. This test was developed to help students take a collection of their interests and relate them to the qualities needed for different careers. Once a possible career has been identified, the student can use that information in high school to focus on a career for which they are suitable. This can eliminate a great deal of time wasted during the high school years. High school may be more focused on having the student take classes that are geared toward a possible future career. The Interest Inventory Test does a great job of giving students the option for their future careers. This test can be administered by the school counselor or the student can go online and find an interest inventory test to take on their own.

Second step: Students should meet with their counselor and parents at the beginning of their ninth grade school year to map out a four-year action plan for success in high school. This plan should reflect what the student’s career plan might entail. A very important aspect of the plan is the academic classes that the student will take during the next four years. These classes should be geared toward college readiness and any professional interests the student has. If the student is academically strong enough, they must take honors or advanced placement classes. This meeting should also give the student an opportunity to discuss what types of clubs, organizations, or leadership positions are best suited for him. This should include sports teams. At a future meeting, the student may wish to discuss summer programs or job opportunities that may be available to assist with professional development. Colleges prefer students who participate in a variety of activities during the high school years.

Step three: Students should research at least 10 colleges during their ninth grade school year to see what it takes to qualify for college entrance. The more a student knows about what is required to attend a particular university, the more likely they are to be enrolled in that university. Some of the research information should include: What grade point average is needed to be accepted into college? What test score do you need to get accepted to college? What are the main university majors? How much does it cost to attend college? What do you need to qualify for scholarships in college? You can search for more information. To speak with a college representative and have an in-person meeting, students should attend various college fairs whenever possible. The high school counselor can provide students with a list of upcoming college fairs.

Step four: High school students who are focused on attending college should come up with a plan for how they will organize their time to be successful in school. Due to the many activities that high school students participate in, they need to organize their day so that they have enough time to study. A very important organizational tool that students can use to help them is a planner. The planner can be used to record all school activities. This planner should be used for each semester. All upcoming assignments, tests, quizzes, special assignments, study time, and school activities should be listed on the agenda. As soon as assignments are assigned by the teacher or school, they should appear on the agenda. Additionally, students should use a daily to-do list to keep up with assignments that are due for completion that day. Developing how to use a planner can be very important in high school and college.

Step five: For real college life experiences, all college bound students must enroll in a summer college program after the ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade. Most colleges offer several special programs during the summer that will help high school students experience college life while learning about a possible college major. Most programs last two to six weeks, and students live in dormitories during that time. Most programs have students taking college bound classes in addition to helping them prepare for the ACT test. This experience is invaluable and will be very helpful when the student enrolls in college.

The five steps listed above can go a long way in giving high school students the focus they may need to successfully prepare for college. Students should be prepared when applying to college or faced with a possible rejection letter. Some students do not have the opportunity to speak with their high school counselor until the school year is well under way. If that’s the case, it would be wise for them to look for other ways to obtain information that would be helpful in their college preparation. This article may be a start, but is by no means the only information a student may need. Knowing what to expect is half the battle for success.

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