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Calling All Seniors! How College Readiness 101 Can Help You This Year

You have made it to your last year of high school! That's the good news. The even better news is that you are only a year away from starting your life at the college of your choice, assuming that you have made your choice already. If not, there is still some time to get on top of things so that you can end your senior year and enter college successfully.

For those seniors who aren't entirely organized in their approach to college prep, there's no need to panic. I have designed a curriculum to help you prepare for college called College Readiness 101. To help you get started, here are a few things that you will need to do to make your college admissions transition as seamless as possible.

Prepare to Take (or Retake) Standardized Tests

Many students may have already taken their standardized test by their senior year. However, this fall will be a great time to take your standardized tests if you haven't taken them. Also, if you have already taken them and are not happy with the score you received, you can retake the tests in the fall to try to improve your score.

Visit the Colleges of Your Choice

By now, you have probably decided on a handful of colleges you want to attend. It would help to narrow that list down further by visiting these colleges. You can visit them now while it's summertime. However, the drawback of visiting now is that you will only get to see the campus itself but not the social interactions between students. It may be best to narrow down your list to your top three and plan to visit them in the fall so that you can get a feel for what life is like on campus by talking to other students. Some colleges have opportunities for you to stay overnight to get a feel for what campus life is like.

Start to Narrow Down What Major You Want to Pursue

As a child, the question you were asked by your teacher, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" starts to matter now more than ever in your senior year. You may change your major throughout your college career. So, you don't have to feel obligated to pursue your first option throughout your college career. However, now is an excellent time to determine what you want your career to be once you graduate from college. This will also help you narrow down your major.

Get Involved in the Community

Have you been so focused on academics and extracurricular activities that you haven't taken the time to volunteer? Now would be a great time to start donating your time to making a difference in your local community. This is an excellent activity for a few reasons. The best reason to volunteer is that it is rewarding to do something for someone else to help improve your community. Volunteering can also help you decide on a career. Perhaps, you've volunteered at a foster home, and you decide that social work is the career path you want to pursue. Another phenomenal reason to volunteer is that even though it is an activity that doesn't pay you, it could lead to money in the form of scholarships to help you pay for college.

Start Seeking Funding

Another important thing you will need to do in your senior year is to start getting college funding. One of the most important forms you will need to complete with your parents this year is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Completing this form will allow you to have access to various federal financial options such as the Pell grant and other state-based grants and loans. Now is also an excellent time to start learning about the many scholarships available. Since deadlines for scholarships vary, it's best to learn what you can about the qualifications so that you can meet these obligations at the right time.

These topics above are just a sample of what I cover in the College Readiness 101 - A College and Career Workbook for the High School Senior. This book allows you to plan for your future and includes worksheets that you can fill out to help you get organized. To get your copy of this workbook, click the link below:

Image courtesy of 37038816 / Graduation © Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) |


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