Halstrom Blog Post
Making a Plan to Get Into Your College of Choice
Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." This is a fundamental school of thought when it comes to higher education. You must start planning for your college career at the beginning of your freshman year of high school. With a plan in place, you can achieve your goal of attending your college of choice.
Pick your school of choice.
Of course, you can't plan for how to get into your school of choice if you haven't picked one yet. Start by requesting information from schools that interest you. Go online to the school's websites and browse their academic, social, and athletic programs. There are hundreds of colleges across the country. Narrowing that list down to 4 or 5 schools may feel overwhelming. While what you want to go to college for may change, having a general idea of what schools are looking for in applicants is vital. Once you have chosen a few schools that you feel fit your needs best, it is time to lay out a plan to get yourself in the door.
Review basic requirements.
Each college has basic requirements that all applicants must possess before being considered for acceptance. Make note of requirements that overlap between the schools you have chosen. Almost all colleges will require a minimum of four English and math classes, three history and science classes, and an SAT or ACT score. These required classes become the backbone of your high school plan. Remember your high school graduation requirements may not match the requirements of your college of choice. Plan for the school that requires the most so you have your bases covered.
Set a flexible four-year high school plan.
Now that you know where you want to go to school and what those schools require, you should write out a four-year high school plan. Be flexible when planning as things can and often do change over the course of time. If you know your college of choice wants all students to have completed calculus and you are going into algebra in 9th grade you must plan to take two math classes during one school year. Make sure you have planned to complete all the required courses of the college you wish to attend. Finding out you forgot to take that extra year of science or foreign language as you are filling out applications will add both stress and frustration.
Prep for SAT and ACT tests.
Many schools place heavy emphasis on your SAT or ACT test scores. Do not go into testing day unprepared. Take advantage of any extra tutoring available to you before your testing date. Remember if you do not get the scores you are hoping for you can and should test again. If SAT II tests are required at your schools of choice do not forget to prepare for them in the same manner. Remember, high scores on SAT II tests can result in college credit.
Do not wait until the spring of your senior year to submit your application. Your school of choice will also be other students’ school of choice. Getting your application in early can pay off with a conditional acceptance dependent on the outcome of your senior year of high school.
Your plan for getting into your college of choice should and will change and grow as you work through your high school career. Keeping a flexible plan at your fingertips will help keep you on track. The reward for your diligent planning will be the acceptance letter to the school of your dreams. Let Halstrom Academy help you get there.