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Please note: The information presented is meant to serve as a general guide to students and parents. Since each student has different needs, he or she should always consult with his/her counselor before going ahead with any particular step.
For those who wish, preparation for college may begin as soon as a student enters their freshman year in high school. Students' coursework should be planned each year to provide a solid college preparatory foundation, and meetings with counselors help ensure that students stay on track with regard to their long-term goals.
As freshmen, students are exposed to various post high school educational options. These help introduce the concept of combining aptitudes and abilities along with interests (likes/dislikes) when exploring careers. Students are encouraged to keep their future plans in mind as they develop a four-year academic plan, which delineates the courses they will take in high school.
As sophomores, students can take the PSAT, a preliminary SAT test. They compare their predicted SAT scores and class ranks to the class rank and SAT score necessary for admission to various colleges. Under the direction of their counselor, they should be able to complete a career report that combines their interests with their abilities and attend a Career Fair.
In their junior year, students should seek out their counselors for career development and college search preparation. It is also time to develop criteria for choosing colleges and then use the internet based College Board college sort program to select colleges on the basis of individual criteria. Juniors are also encouraged to attend college fairs and begin visiting colleges to look at admission requirements and available programs. Students should also become familiar with college application processes and researching private scholarships.
Seniors should start filling out applications and scholarship materials from the college and private scholarships. Senior should also begin to write their essays and have their official transcripts and test scores ready to send to the schools they are applying to. Students should schedule individual appointments with their counselors as often as necessary for assistance in preparation for college. Begin the financial aid process by reviewing the FAFSA form.
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