Jump Start your College Planning

Find this Article and WAY more at COLLEGE BOARD!

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.

Get Involved

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.

Get Help

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.

Don’t Delay

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


About Nathan and Joanna Cornett

We are a from San Diego California, currently on a mission trip in Guatemala. Nathan has worked as a youth pastor, teen center director, college advisor, and now missionary. Joanna has worked at LaBahn's Landscape for 7 years in the field, sales, and as the Vice President, she started the Hispanic ministry at Foothills Church, and has worked in youth ministry, she is now working as a missionary. We are both passionate about youth, worship, and missions.

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