5 steps to ensure high school students have the opportunity to attend 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 to the college of their choice. If students know what is expected of them to be prepared for college, their chances of being accepted to the college of their choice are greatly improved. 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 ninth grade, the student must take an interest inventory test to help identify possible 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 potential career has been identified, the student can use that information in high school to focus on a career for which they are a good fit. This can eliminate a lot of wasted time during the high school years. High school can be more focused if the student takes classes that are oriented toward a possible future career. The interest inventory test does a great job of giving students choice 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 the student will take over the next four years. These classes should be geared toward college preparation and any career interests the student has. If the student is strong enough academically, she must take honors or advanced placement classes. This meeting should also provide the student with an opportunity to discuss what types of clubs, organizations, or leadership positions are best suited for them. This should include sports teams. At a future meeting, the student may want to discuss summer programs or job opportunities that may be available to help with career development. Colleges prefer students who participate in a variety of activities during their 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. The more a student knows about what is required to attend a particular college, the more likely they are to enroll in that college. Some of the research information should include: What GPA is needed to be accepted to college? What test score is needed to be accepted into college? What are the best majors in college? How much does it cost to attend college? What do you need to qualify for scholarships in college? More information can be investigated. To speak with a college representative and meet in person, 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 focusing on attending college need to put together a plan for how they are going to organize their time to be successful in school. Due to the many activities that high school students are involved in, he/she needs to organize his/her day to 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 included in the planner. As soon as homework is given by the teacher or school, it should be included in the planner. Additionally, students should use a daily assignment list to keep up with assignments that need to be completed that day. Developing how to use a planner can be very important in high school and college.
step five: To get real college life experiences, all college bound students should enroll in a summer college program after their ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade school year. Most colleges offer several special programs in the summer that will help high school students experience college life while learning about a possible college major. Most programs last from two to six weeks, and students live in dormitories during that time. Most programs have students take college-bound classes in addition to helping them prepare for the ACT test. This experience is invaluable and will come in handy 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 need to be prepared when applying to college or facing a possible rejection letter. Some students don’t get a chance to talk with their high school counselor until well into the school year. If that’s the case, you’d be wise to find other ways to get information that would be helpful to your college preparation. This article can be a start, but it is by no means the only information a student may need. Knowing what to expect is half the battle for success.