College Admissions Checklist

In order to successful apply to and enter one’s college of choice, the preparation for admission must begin far beyond filling out and signing the application. Therefore it is necessary of students to have access to a College Admissions checklist that allows them to make sure they have the requirements met to enter into their chosen college or university.

As a freshman, the student should first of all give themselves a pat on the back. They have made it to high school! However, it is very important to make sure that the freshman year sets the tone for the remainder of high school. It is VERY hard to pull a GPA up to an acceptable level of a 3.0, once you start at a 1.8 GPA. This can affect not only getting into the college, but also the amount of merit-based financial aid they might receive.

At the freshman level, the student should also be getting involved in activities. It is important that they explore out-of-class organizations, whether school sponsored or not. Examples of getting involved include the YMCA or YWCA, church, student government, and the school newspaper or yearbook, just to name a few. The student should also begin thinking about things they like to do and ways these “likes” might develop into a career. They can learn as much as they can about various jobs by attending career days, or participating in internship programs. If the student and their family have not begun to think about how to financially pay for college, now is definitely the time to consider a financial plan.

In the sophomore year, the student must pass any proficiency or graduation tests set up by their respective states. These tests, in addition to the practice SAT test or the practice ACT test, help to prepare students for their college admissions examinations taken during their junior year. It is also imperative that the student keep their grades up as a sophomore. This is also an opportune time to visit colleges nearby or plan visits while on family vacations. This allows the student to get information without the stress of actually applying at the same time.

The junior year is a very important year. Now is the time to review the coursework up to this point and make sure that the student is on track to meet graduation requirements. The student should also be studying for, registering for and taking the SAT or the ACT. Based on the visits and the information gathered the previous year, the student should narrow down their list to roughly ten schools that they would like to attend. These college or university choices will also determine what type of financial aid and scholarships the student is eligible for.

Senior year is usually when a student develops “senioritis”. However this year can make or break a students’ hope for college admission. As a senior narrowing down college choices from ten, then applying to those colleges by the deadlines, is the most important step in the race to higher education. Also, if as a junior the student did not fare well on the ACT or SAT, the senior year is also the time re-take the tests to try to achieve a higher score. During January of the senior year, the student should also pick up and complete the FAFSA, which determines eligibility for financial aid. After this hard work of the senior year is done, it is time to smile, enjoy the high school graduation ceremony and prepare for the upcoming year as a college freshman!

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