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Planning the First Steps in Starting College

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Contrary to what most people think, the first steps in starting college actually begin before it even starts. Having a plan before college starts lets you prepare well ahead. It’s also of great help in staying on track. Here are the first few steps to get started in college.

  • Participate in extra-curricular activities – More and more colleges are looking into an applicant’s extra-curricular activities. With this in mind, it’s best to encourage participation in activities related to your planned major especially in high school. This also develops self-discipline and self-confidence.
  • Keep your grades up – Not surprisingly, getting good grades is still one of the first steps in starting college. Beyond the cumulative GPA, some schools may even look into specific areas depending on the chosen major. Keeping grades up should be done as early as middle school and not just during senior year in high school.
  • Enroll in college courses – Apart from advanced placement classes, high school students may also take college courses with certain professors. These programs can help motivate students and improve their confidence. This not only makes an excellent addition to college applications but could earn you credit as well.
  • Take standardized tests – Senior year in high school should be spent preparing for standardized tests. Register and take the tests as required and be sure to prepare for them. Ask that your test scores be forwarded online or by mail to the schools of your choice.
  • Send scholarship applications – By your senior year, you should be applying for scholarships and grants for financial aid. Ideally, this is done after submitting college applications. Explore your options and compare aid packages before making a final decision.
  • Follow up on applications – Both college and financial aid applications take time to be decided on. Nevertheless, you should follow up and verify all the requirements were sent. Additionally, make sure they’ve received your applications.

The road to college is long and difficult. Follow these first steps in starting college and make things easier for yourself. Stick to this plan and you’ll find yourself enrolling and taking your first class in college without a hitch.