Thinking About College? | Mount St. Joseph University

Making the Most of Your Time in High School Can Help You Get Into the COLLEGE OF YOUR CHOICE.

Your high school years are a time of growth and discovery – a time to learn more about yourself
and the world around you. From academics to extracurricular activities, you can learn from
everything you do.

Everything starts to count
  • Develop a four-year academic plan for high school. 
  • Ask your guidance counselor for help.
  • Focus on taking challenging courses and getting good grades.
  • Become involved in a wide variety of activities.
  • This will allow you to develop your leadership and social skills.
  • Keep a list of your activities and accomplishments.
  • Plan summer activities that keep your brain active.
Identify your abilities, aptitude and interests
  • Stay involved with activities that help develop leadership skills.
  • Review your four-year academic plan with your guidance counselor and your parents. Make changes to stay on track.
  • Plan classes for your junior year. Talk with your guidance counselor.
  • Consider taking college-prep courses.
  • Update your list of activities and accomplishments.
  • Sign up to take the PSAT early.

Time to get serious about your plans and options.

  • Be aware of your academic progress – GPA, class rank, etc.
  • Register to take the ACT and/or SAT during the spring.
  • Use college specific search engines to explore your college options.
  • Decide what is important to you in a college: academic reputation, size, location, activities, cost, etc.
  • Begin visiting colleges and universities.
  • Start checking into scholarships and financial aid.
  • Carefully select courses for your senior year.
  • Check to see if any prerequisite courses are needed for your major.

Everything comes together. You see the rewards of your hard work.

  • Focus on doing well in school.
  • Know college deadlines, if any.
  • If necessary, take the ACT and/or SAT again.
  • Narrow your list of colleges and visit your top choices.
  • In the fall, complete applications to the colleges of your choice.
  • Apply for financial aid and scholarships.
  • Make your college decision!

For more information on making high school count, visit:
Check your local library or book store for these resources which offer objective data and information:
   College Handbook 2011/College Board
   Peterson’s Four-Year Colleges: 2011/Peterson’s
   Book of Majors 2011/College Board
   Guide to collegeMajors/Princeton Review

PLAN - a practice test for the ACT. Some high schools make the PLAN available to sophomores.

PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) - a practice test for theSAT Reasoning Test. The PSAT/NMSQT is given in October, primarily to juniors. This test is also used to determine National Merit semifinalists.

ACT - a college entrance examination that students generally take during their junior and/or senior year. Students receive scores in English, reading, math, and science, as well as a composite score. There is also an optional writing test.

SAT Reasoning Test - a college entrance examination that students generally take during their junior and/or senior year. The SAT has three sections: critical reading, math and writing.

SAT Subject Tests - one-hour tests that measure a student’s knowledge in specific subject areas. SAT Subject Tests are required by some of the more competitive colleges.

Source: “Preparing for College: A guide For Parents,” Woodburn
Press 2010



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