Path to College

Every student who plans going to college must be fully and timely prepared to avoid the hassles of cramming due to late or worse, lack of planning. Thinking about and planning college usually come in the minds of students during their senior years where there’s only a little more time left until college days arrive.

Not everybody starts in their senior years. There are those who plan ahead and start as early as middle school. Whether you start too soon or only the moment you reached your senior year won’t really matter for as long as you understand that your actions must always match your goals.

How does one trek this path to college? The mere thought of college planning may bring a million things that you have to consider. It is imperative that you keep track of your own planning timeline to keep you focused and goal-oriented.

Preparation

As said above, preparation may start as early as middle school and carried over to high school. Achieving success in this stage may prove crucial especially when you start the college application process. How will you prepare yourself?

  • Let everyone know that you’re going to college. Having a good support from your family and the community. This can greatly help you have a more realistic view about college and receive sound advices from various individuals.
  • Work on your academic and other activities. Challenge yourself by taking tougher courses without having to shelf the need of getting good grades. Also consider your extracurricular activities by joining clubs that you will enjoy and benefit from later on.
  • Most schools usually hold college fairs. Go for a visit to get an overview of the different colleges to expand your options.
  • You may also want to take the SAT to prepare you for various college admissions.

Research

Sometimes the key is to find the right fit for you. It’s important that the college that you choose best matches your goals as well as your personality. You may want to consider the following factors:

  • Size and location. One of the factors that you have to consider when choosing is whether you will attend a big university or a small one. Bigger universities may give you more choices but are coupled with larger classes. Small universities tend to be more specific in nature. You also have to figure out whether to attend a college near home or choose somewhere out of the state.
  • Choosing a major. Major plays a big role in choosing a college. You have to figure out what you are passionate and best at to know which career will suit you. Some colleges are known to offer the best education on a certain career. You may want to consider this as you go along your application process.

Scholarships

  • College costs are high. Most people usually think that they can’t afford it. If you also feel you can’t afford college, there are various aids that you can seek to help finance your college education.
  • Who is eligible? Aids are given based on a student’s need or achievements in academic, sports and other talents one can get merits from.
  • Kinds of Aid. Aids come as scholarships, grants, student loans and there are a lot more. The combination of financial aids that you will apply for may largely depend on your needs.
  • Where to look. You can find financial aids from the university itself, private organizations, state or federal government.
  • How to apply. Seek your school guidance counselor to guide you in applying for different financial aids. You may also want to consider filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which allows you to be considered for all federal student financial aid.
  • Deadlines. Deadlines matter. Like you, there are a lot of people seeking out financial aids. The earlier you apply for scholarships, the better are the chances that you will get your financial aid.