1. Research Early
Sophomore year in high school is not too early to start researching possible institutions. Early investigation and understanding of admissions requirements can lead to a better college "fit". Create a checklist of admission requirements for each institution of interest and make sure to follow through on these. Your application cannot be processed unless all supporting documentation is received.
2. ACT/SAT Testing
Take the ACT or SAT at least once in your junior year of high school to gauge your strengths and see where you need to increase your score. Universities set minimum ACT/SAT scores for admission and by taking these tests early you will give yourself time to improve your score. A higher test score equals a better chance for admission and more scholarship potential.
3. Make the Most of Your High School Time
Stay active in high school and participate in social, civic and academic groups that will diversify your experiences and background. These activities will not only add support to your application for admission, but will also give you the experience required to join some campus organizations.
4. Visit Campus
Make an appointment with the admissions office of the universities and colleges that interest you. Nothing can take the place of experiencing a campus to see for yourself the faculty, administrators and student body.
5. Attend Recruiting Events
Check college websites to see what recruiting events are available and if there are events that are geared towards your specific interests. If registration is required for the event, be sure to sign up.
6. Determine Your Future Career
Seriously consider what career you want to follow when you have completed college. Check out the websites for those academic departments and meet with faculty advisors who can guide your class selections and college experiences to provide the background that will help you succeed. Don't be afraid to explore several departments ‐ this is one way to choose a future major.
7. Don't Know Your Future Career Choice?
Let the campus career centers work for you. Career centers are there to assist and counsel you and to help you determine your strengths and potential career paths. Don't hesitate to call on the trained staff in these centers they have testing tools and can begin working with you as soon as you have been accepted to the institution.
8. Consider Living on Campus
Most colleges and universities offer on‐campus housing and research shows that students who live on campus are more likely to make better grades. Living on‐campus is convenient, affordable and part of the full college experience. Living in a residence hall puts you at the center of campus activity.
9. Double Check
Make sure all transcripts, ACT/SAT test scores, application fees, housing deposits, applications and resumes have been received by the admission office prior to their deadlines.
10. Attend Orientation
Orientation is a valuable experience that can be replaced by no other. At orientation you will have the chance to connect with current and future students, faculty and administrators, as well as schedule classes and check out your room assignment. Make every effort to participate in this event ‐ and take your parents!