Preparing for college requires understanding your goals and planning. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to getting ready for college such as where to go, what to study, how to apply, how to pay for it all, and more.
It’s never too early—or too late—to learn about your options for college or career school. We’re sure you have a ton of questions and the information is daunting. To help you prepare, this article will sort out the massive amounts of info to help you get to the answers to your questions.
Why Go to College?
Here’s a simple equation: a college or career school education = more money, more job options, and more freedom.
There are arguments on one side that college education isn’t necessary, but data from research by the Federal Reserve of New York shows those with a college education earn more money. The findings discovered college-educated workers earn on average $30,000 more.
As you get more education, you’ll make more money and have more job opportunities. A college education is a long-term investment. With careful planning, you can find the school and funding options that work best for your situation and put you on the path to success.
Now, what can you to do prepare for college?
High School Year
Use the high school preparation checklists:
- Freshman – 9th Grade Checklist
- Sophomore – 10th Grade Checklist
- Junior – 11th Grade Checklist
- Senior – 12th Grade Checklist
Taking Required Standardized Tests
Many U.S. colleges require that undergraduate and graduate students submit standardized test scores as part of their application packages. Standardized tests provide a consistent way for a college to evaluate you and sometimes even help you choose the right courses.
For information about which tests you should take, talk to your high school or college academic counselor, or to the admissions offices at the colleges you are interested in attending. In the meantime, here’s a summary of most standardized tests.
Some standardized tests for undergraduate admissions include SAT, ACT, AP Exams, CLEP. In addition, for graduate admissions required tests include GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT.
Find a College
- College Navigator by US Department of Education or Big Future by the CollegeBoard. Search for schools by location, degree programs, tuition and fees, and much more.
Find a Career
The US Department of Labor provides a career search tool to find potential careers using keywords. Use the tool to help you uncover potential careers based on your interest.
- StudentAid.gov – A comprehensive resource for financial aid, student loans, and college planning.
- Ultimate Guide to Financial Aid – Everything you needed to know about the different types of aid for college.
- FAFSA for Beginners – Learn the basics fo complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Find Scholarships – Start searching for scholarships early and frequently.