Getting Ready For College

Tips to be college ready


  • Get involved! Find a club, sport, or class where you can shine! Sample different organizations to find the best fit for you.
  • Take challenging courses. Each year a student should have four college preparatory classes which will lead to an Advanced Diploma.
  • Create a file of important documents and notes. Include awards, report as, hours received, and activities in which you participated. Include paid and volunteer work.
  • Go to summer camps and academic enrichment programs when possible.
  • Talk to your school counselor about your plans to attend college.


  • Take the PSAT at your school.
  • Meet with your School Counselor to determine a college-readiness path. Plan to take Dual Enrollment or AP classes.
  • Create a list of colleges that interest you.
  • Prepare for standardized tests by taking free prep tests on the internet or sign up for an ACT or SAT prep class at a school near you.
  • Update your file of important documents.


  • Take your SAT/ACT test.
  • Research and visit prospective colleges. Visit college fairs and open houses. Talk with Admissions representatives who visit your school. Create a list of questions to ask when you visit.
  • Find out the application deadlines for your top three to five colleges.
  • Find out if your top colleges accept the Common Application.
  • Create an account on
  • Find a summer job or internship.
  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers and coaches before leaving for summer break.
  • Make an appointment with your School Counselor to evaluate your schedule and transcript to make sure you meet the requirements for applying to college. Take summer courses if needed to beef up your transcript or fill in gaps.


  • Use your summer vacation to start writing essays for your college applications. Visit to see if your schools accept the Common App and to review the essay questions.
  • Have a trusted adult read and edit your essay. Revise it and have it edited again.
  • Take the SAT/ACT again, if needed.
  • Create a checklist and calendar to track application and financial aid status.
  • Request transcripts as needed. Every college application will require one.
  • Start your scholarship search. Download Scholly on your phone or do a Google search for scholarships. Visit the Guidance Office at your school for local scholarship information.
  • Find FAFSA and CSS Profile due dates for the schools you have been accepted by. Complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile prior to the deadline.
  • Don’t slack off in the classroom. Last semester grades are still very important. Finish strong.
  • Evaluate your financial aid offers with a School Counselor or trusted adult. It’s important to make a good financial decision.
  • Respond to all the college who accept you by May 1.
  • Get a summer job or internship.
  • Prepare for your first semester at college by attending registration, meeting your roommate, and organizing your dorm room necessities.