20 Things High School Seniors Should Be Doing Now
Today, however, I want to share some advice with high school juniors, who also need to be preparing for college:
1. Focus on your grades.In an annual survey of colleges conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, nearly 87% of colleges characterized grades in college prep classes as considerably important.
2. Take challenging classes.No one is suggesting that you need to overdose on Advanced Placement classes, but you should take some rigorous courses. What's considered rigorous? Besides AP classes, International Baccalaureate and community college courses fit the bill.
In that NACAC survey, 71% of schools said that the strength of a student's curriculum was considerably important - far more than test scores (58%).
3. Take a practice ACT and SAT.Some teens fare better on the ACT and others on the SAT and taking a practice run can help you decide which to select. Learn the differences between the two tests so you can take the one that plays to your strengths.
4. Have a financial talk.Don't wait until you're a senior to talk to your parents about who is going to pay what for college. How much can you and your parents afford? If necessary, how much are you and your parents willing to borrow?
5. Determine how much a college will cost.Colleges are priced like airline tickets; everybody pays a different price. That means what you pay could be vastly different from what the parents of your best friend pays. You can get a personalized estimate of what a particular college will cost you by using any institution's net price calculator.
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High school junior image by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget. CC 2.0.