Top 10 College Facts for High School Freshmen
Written by: Lindsay Shugerman
October 3, 2011
Filed Under Education
Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
At last, middle school is behind you and you’re a high school freshman. Congratulations! Now are you ready to start thinking about college?
I know it seems too soon. After all, you have four years until college, right? Think again. Preparing for college really starts the day you walk into your first high school class. Ready?
Here are our top 10 college facts for high school Freshmen…where are you on this list?
10. The time to challenge yourself is now
Movies portray college as a four-year long party with an occassional class thrown in. But the reality is that being successful in college means a commitment to hard work and applying good study skills.
Now is the time to acquire those skills by selecting classes and assignments that put your talents and habits to the test. In four years, it’s too late.
9. It’s time to start looking at colleges now
By the time you reach your Junior year, you’ll need to know which colleges are on your application list. But making those choices involves research and ideally, campus visits.
The time to start that process is your Freshman year. By next year you should have a pretty good feel for where you want to go, and the year after that the actual applications start.
8. Not everyone is accepted into a college
This is one of the college facts for high school Freshmen that always seems to get overlooked. There’s an assumption that anyone can go to college somewhere. But every year, thousands of students find themselves with no acceptance letters and no plans for the next fall.
Doing your prep work now will give you a better shot at the competitive world of college admissions later.
7. Use college admission requirements to guide your high school schedule
This is one of the big reasons you need to start narrowing your list of colleges now. Different colleges have different admission requirements.
The end of your junior year is too late to find out that you needed four years of math or a language to get into the school of your choice.
6. College Board prep starts now
You may not be taking your SAT or ACT tests any time soon, but the preparation starts from the first day of high school.
Get a good test prep book or CD-ROM set and start working on your problem solving and math skills. Review and add to your vocabulary, and polish your writing skills. When the test does come around, you’ll be ready to shine.
5. Get to know your teachers
When college application time rolls around, you’ll need letters of reference from teachers.
Building good relationships with teachers from day one will ensure that you have instructors who know you well, and can provide the recommendations you need.
4. What you do outside of school counts
College admission isn’t based on grades and test scores alone. Admission committees also consider summer jobs, volunteer work and community leadership.
Look for opportunities that match your interests, or choose those that offer an chance to grow in new directions.
A bonus: some school districts even provide scholarships to graduates who completed a certain number of hours of volunteer work. So those same hours that help you with acceptance might also pay some of the bills.
3. Make a plan for the next four years
You’ll have to keep track of a lot over the next four years, so making a plan can help you stay on track and on target.
Your plan should include required classes and when you’ll take them, test dates (and test registration deadlines), college visits, volunteer and job plans, and of course, college application due dates.
2. Grades determine money as well as admission
College money is something most high school Freshmen don’t consider. But the grades you earn this year and beyond could earn you a scholarship – or keep you from qualifying.
1. What you do now counts
There are a lot of jokes about the “Permanent Record” that probably doesn’t exist. But when it comes to college admission, there is a permanent record of your high school years.
College admission committees will see your class choices, grades, attendance, disciplinary issues and extracurricular school activities. And the record starts now, in your Freshman year.
It’s up to you to make that work in your favor.