Jump Start your College Planning
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Have you started your college planning yet? It’s amazing, but decisions you make as early as eighth grade have a huge effect on your college career. They affect how soon you’ll go to college, what type of college you’ll attend, and even whether you’ll go to college at all.
Getting ready for college isn’t all work. Find something you really like doing, then dive into it. Maybe you’re drawn to sports, student council, music, or art. You’ll develop skills and show colleges your ability to make a commitment and stick with it.
Take Challenging Courses
Colleges do look at your grades, but they also pay attention to how difficult your courses are. They want to see that you’ve challenged yourself. Plus, if you pursue advanced courses, such as AP®, you may be able to get college credit.
Having trouble in a class? Many schools have peer tutors, students in upper grades who’ll help you (for free). Talk to teachers or counselors—let them know you want extra help.
Read at least 30 minutes every day, beyond study and homework. People who read more know more. And when you take PSAT/NMSQT® and SAT® tests, the time you put into reading will really pay off.
You’ll take the PSAT/NMSQT as a junior (or even as a sophomore). Most students take the SAT in their junior or senior year. Be sure you’re taking the solid math and other courses that get you ready. Talk to your counselor to make sure you’re on track.
Get the College-Bound Facts
How can you find out about college admissions, work, and campus life? Ask someone who’s done it, such as college students who went to your high school. Get to know your counselors. Ask a career planner at a local college, or a teacher. Do Web research.
Involve Your Family
When parents or guardians haven’t been to college themselves, they may think they can’t help you. That’s not true. They can talk to counselors and help you stay on the right path.
Look for a Mentor
Look for adults who can lend their enthusiasm and help you succeed at your goals. If you’re interested in a particular subject or activity talk to a teacher or leader who knows about it. Find a counselor or teacher you trust to talk about your goals.
Confront Personal Roadblocks
If you have a problem that’s getting in the way of schoolwork, don’t ignore it. Talk to your friends, family, or another adult—parent, coach, nurse, counselor—who may be able to offer advice or help.
Roll Up Your Sleeves
If you expect to go to college later, expect to study now. No one can do it for you. Don’t talk the college talk—”I’ll go to college to get a great career”—without walking the walk.
Get more help: www.collegelifeplanning.com