When people think of college applicants, they most often just think of high school seniors who are getting ready to graduate. While this is the common connection because this is when the student will be close to the next level, the college application process should begin long before the senior year begins. Here is a timeline that students can utilize to best prepare for the process.
During Freshman & Sophomore Years
During the early years of high school, there are a few specific things that a student can do to ensure they are properly preparing and appealing to colleges. First, make sure that you are taking the correct classes. These include college prep, AP, and honor classes. Some colleges will also look at the duration you have taken the core subject such as math, science, history, English, and any foreign languages.
During this time, it may also be beneficial to begin studying for the ACT or the SAT. There are plenty of resources to help prepare properly. Students in their freshman and sophomore years are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities which look great on college applications.
Heading into the junior year, your student should be prepared to take the ACT test or the SAT. This gives them ample time to study to get a satisfactory score, and if not, to retake the exam. In Oklahoma, the state pays for juniors in public schools to take the ACT exam. If your student needs help with preparation, our Tulsa tutors can help them get ready.
The junior year is also the perfect time for students to target specific colleges, try and set up visits, and search for scholarships for which they may be eligible. As the year progresses, the student can also take AP exams, begin drafting their college essays, plan for financial aid, and begin applying to colleges. If the student feels he or she can achieve a better exam score, they can retake the ACT or SAT.
As the student enters their senior year of high school, they should have their list of colleges narrowed down and finalized. During the fall semester, the student should ensure their exam scores are where they want them to be, begin revising college application essays and request letters of recommendations. In some situations, the student may submit early decision or action applications. Early decision applications allow the student to be accepted early and require a binding commitment.
Just before the spring semester, submit the regular decision applications. Make sure everything is taken care of regarding Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The spring semester is a good time to seek financial aid, loans, or appeal a decision made previously.
All of these steps can be extremely beneficial in helping a student achieve their goals. At Tutor Doctor of Tulsa, we are experts on all things college preparation. We understand the importance of taking the proper steps for college applications and we’re here to help you.
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