Organizing Your High-School Career for a Successful College Experience

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  • Teenagers as young as 14 years old are quickly planning for their college years as high-school freshmen.

    They’re touring local universities and narrowing down their choices.

    With college acceptance becoming more competitive each year, it’s critical to plan your high-school curriculum with as much precision as possible.

    See your college dreams come true by organizing your high-school classes today.

    Be Discerning About Your High School

    Although your chosen high school is usually based on geography, there are some charter and private schools that are perfect for strong students. A quality high school will allow you to blossom into a deep thinker, which is what most universities want in their student body. You might choose a private school, such as Landon School, because of the college-preparatory classes involved at each grade level. Ideally, pick a school that challenges you while making you feel comfortable with some relaxing activities, such as sports or drama. A well-rounded teenager will be successful at the college level.

    Compare Graduation Requirements

    As you start your classes in high school, compare the graduation requirements with the acceptance guidelines at your dream college. In many cases, your high school and college will have similar requirements. These classes are nonnegotiable so be sure to take and pass all of them. If you’re missing any requirements when you graduate high school, you’ll need to make them up at a community college. This situation may push your college career back by a year as you complete all of the necessary classes.

    Stay Focused

    It’s easy to look at high-school classes that aren’t part of the college requirements and wonder about the fun. Don’t lose your focus, however. Make a four-year plan that lists all of your intended classes. In most cases, the requirements won’t fill every available class slot. Add in a few fun classes, such as art or philosophy, to expand your mind. Exploring different subjects while maintaining your college-bound pathway means that you’ll have an open-minded perspective as you walk onto campus.

    Ask for Recommendations

    Colleges need more than straight as on your transcript. As you complete each high-school year, ask for recommendations from your favorite teachers. These recommendations will usually come with the school’s letterhead and a signed note from the teacher. From the college’s perspective, these letters offer an insight into the student that grades cannot provide. Strengths, weaknesses and project highlights written into the letters will paint a positive picture of the student as they move into adulthood.

    Fill Out Multiple Scholarship Forms

    It’s very rare when a person has enough funds to pay for college outright. Be on the lookout for scholarships that are offered throughout high school. A $500 amount may not seem like much when you win it, but it could pay for your books during freshman year. Be appreciative of any scholarship that helps you move toward your degree goal.

    Whether you attend Landon or another school, the effort that you put into your classes must be genuine. If you find yourself struggling with concepts, contact your teacher and define the issues at hand. You may simply need some tutoring to smooth out the ideas in your mind. With careful studying and great test-taking, you can be accepted to that coveted university for freshman year.

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