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Talk with your family:
- How are you planning to pay for college?
- What characteristics are you looking for in a college? Is small class size and individual attention important to you? Do you want to go to a college or university with large research facilities? Is there a certain location you would like to live in?
- Do you want to study at a liberal arts college?
- What would your family like to see in the college you attend?
- Check out several colleges.
- Contact the admissions offices at the colleges you're interested in.
Talk with your guidance counselor:
- Review your courses.
- Ask for help.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask college representatives.
- Sign up to take the PSAT or ACT PLAN.
Get and stay organized:
- Create files to keep copies of applications and correspondence.
- Call college financial aid offices. They can answer a lot of your questions about paying for college.
- Use the FAFSA4caster to help you figure out how much federal aid you qualify for. Remember, with private colleges, this is only a part of the aid you will likely receive.
- Continue collecting items for a portfolio, or scholarship, notebook or resume.
- Set up a calendar to track important dates and deadlines.
- Write thank you letters to people who help you along your path to college.
Outside Activities: When colleges look at your application for entrance, they're going to spend a lot of time looking at how you spent your time outside of the classroom. They want students with well-rounded interests, students who participate in volunteer activities, sports, social, and religious organizations and the like. These activities give colleges a better idea about the kind of person you are. If a college can see that you have strong leadership and teamwork skills because of the activities you participate in, the college is more likely to grant you entrance. If you're not involved in activities such as these already, it's never too late. Find an organization or a cause you care about and get involved.
Internet Appearance: Think about how you appear to colleges over the internet. Remember that colleges and potential employers may look at Myspace, Facebook and other online profiles. If your page contains inappropriate material, either clean it out or set it to private. Also make sure you're using an e-mail address that reflects well on you.
Attend college fairs and financial aid nights, such as the NACAC fairs.
Take the the PSAT or ACT PLAN. Don't use the actual SAT or ACT tests as a practice test. Use on-line resources to get ready.
Continue exploring the options available to you for paying for college.
Consider different types of schools.
Begin planning for college visits.
Review your PSAT or ACT PLAN results with your counselor.
Talk with your college friends that are home for break about their experiences.
Take the SAT and/or ACT now, or prepare for the spring exams. Consider taking both tests, and more than once. Colleges will look at the best score you get on the tests.
Identify the characteristics you want in a college. Make a list of colleges you might like to go to.
Attend college fairs and financial aid nights.
Log on to the FAFSA4caster to get an ideal of the amount of federal aid you'll be eligible for. Don't forget that at private colleges, this is just a portion of what you may be eligible for.
Register and study for the SAT and/or ACT.
- Don't use one sitting as a practice test. Use books and on-line resources to get ready for the tests. Consider signing up for a prep course, taking practice tests or getting some computer software to help you study.
Plan campus visits
- Talk with your family about combining college visits and vacation plans.
- Make arrangements for visits with each college you are thinking of applying to.
Continue college discussions with your family and counselors.
Check to make sure you've registered for all the classes you'll need your senior year to meet college requirements.
Take the SAT and/or ACT.
Take Advanced Placement (AP) tests, if necessary.
Get a summer job to save extra money.
Considering a military academy or an ROTC scholarship? Meet with your high school counselor before leaving for summer vacation.
Continue searching for scholarships and ways to pay for college.
Combine vacation plans with campus visits.
If your SAT or ACT scores were not to your satisfaction, consider preparing this summer for the fall exams.
Talk to people in interesting careers.
Talk with college friends who are home for the summer.