When is it time to start thinking about college applications?
These days, it seems, the college application process is starting earlier and earlier. Freshman year of high school starts with an academic planning meeting, and classes are directed towards college requirements from the very beginning, but when is the best time for high school students to get really serious about the selection and application process? Is junior year too late? I can't help feeling like starting with a college counselor any earlier seems like pushing things, but I also know I felt rushed and unprepared writing out application after application even months before school deadlines. What do you think?
High school students need to begin the process of exploring colleges as early as their freshman year. The process begins by understanding your interests, talents and what type of institution will meet your needs. During your junior year of high school, student should plan to visit campuses and finalize their choices by the fall. Letters of recommendation and a resume including community service learning and leadership experiences are recommended. By the fall of your senior year, you should be well-prepared to finalize your applications and other needs. If you plan to go to a very competive school, you will need to begin as soon as possible and have a back-up plan. Understand the process for that institution: what are the expectations? You may want to make an appointment with their admissions office and discuss what criteria is used for admittance.
I agree. It seems that you need to plan earlier then every before. I've used EducationPlanner.org to help parents and students. They have a good timeline of everything that should be done at each grade level here:
Even more helpful is their collegeCalendar, an interactive calendar for the senior year that you and your child can use to stay on track with all the steps that need to be taken. You can add to the calendar, adjust dates, and even get text and email alerts for approaching and missed deadlines:
I like to recommend that parents and students start planning in the 8th grade. This begins with planning their high school courses and getting together a college plan to follow. If you begin early, you won't feel rushed. I think the focused year (when you begin to visit colleges and get your final list together) is the spring semester of your junior year. If you've done all the planning and have all your ducks in a row, then it won't be so stressful when the deadlines arrive.
For more tips on how to prepare for college, you can stop by my website below. I'd be happy to help!
I disagree slightly with the other comments. I think an undue amount of stress is inflicted when kids start looking at colleges before they're in high school. Freshman year should be a time to focus on adjusting to the changes between high school and middle school. Although this is a fine time to start paying more attention to schools, college isn't something a freshman should stress about - the stress should be saved for maintaining good grades and taking rigorous courses. I started my college search halfway through junior year, and didn't have a finalized list until October of my senior year (which was pushing it - I don't recommend waiting that long), but I found a school that was the perfect fit for me and made the Early Decision deadline without a breakdown.
College tutors help ENORMOUSLY; they know all the tricks of the application process. Instead of pulling your hair out as a freshman or sophomore, I'd suggest focusing on grades, enjoying yourself, and starting to get serious at the start of junior year.
Well I don't think it hurts any to be looking at possible colleges you are interested in attending while being a freshman in high school but putting applications already would pressure me too big time. In my opinion junior year would be perfect. In my instance, I wanted to know what major I wanted before enrolling so I wouldn't waste any time trying to "Figure out what I wanted" and keep changing majors and oweing more money back in the long run. That's just me. Application right now? no no
Yes its right that the college applications starts before the time required. Its always good to enquire first what is required by an individual for its career feeds. As it is also true that there has also emerging of vocational courses. Like if someone wants to join merchant navy can directly apply for maritimecourses after passing 10th or 12th standard. So before deciding the right time it is always better to enquire according to individual needs.