How to Prepare for College in High School — A Monthly Guide to Your Senior Year
If you’re a senior, there are a few things you need to know about how to prepare for college in high school. To help you along, we have created a month-by-month college preparation checklist. Take a look to see where you stand!
Get ready for your last first day of high school! It may seem daunting, but this is your year. You are on top… you made it to senior year! This is also the time for some preliminary research about colleges. Are you wondering how to prepare for college in high school? It all starts with some simple google searching. Now is the time to look up majors, locations and specific colleges you are interested in. You’ll be amazed at how far you get…and for those of you who love spreadsheets, this is a practical way to keep track of all of your findings.
Now that you have a list of colleges that you’re interested in, submit an application to your top contenders! Most people apply to anywhere between five and ten different schools. Be sure to research the different benefits of each school of interest, and don’t forget to look carefully at the scholarship and financial aid options.
At Grace, we offer free tuition to low income students. We also host several Presidential Scholarship Days every year where those who attend automatically receive a $1,000 scholarship and have a chance at a full-tuition scholarship!
Schedule your campus visits! When the leaves start falling, start planning your trips to college campuses because autumn is one of the most beautiful times to go on a college visit. Start by visiting the places you applied to. This is an essential step in narrowing down your options and choosing the school that’s right for you! Most schools will have a calendar on their website to help you decide when to come. While it takes some planning, when it comes to how to prepare for college in high school, this might be one of the most important steps.
If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to file for your FAFSA. Remember, the sooner you get it done the better. While we’re on the subject of financial aid, now is also a great time to start applying to scholarships that are specific to your interests! Talk to your high school guidance counselor about local scholarship opportunities, or ask him/her to help you look for additional scholarships online. Also, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to schedule a date to take your SAT and ACT too!
Make your enrollment deposit to your top school in December, and then enjoy your Christmas break! At many schools, like Grace, making an early deposit means getting a first pick on the dorms! Grace does not separate freshmen from upperclassmen, so new students can choose from even the best dorms. With this model, there are numerous opportunities to connect with upperclassmen who have been down the same road you are on right now.
If you don’t yet know what you want to major in, that’s ok! This is a great time to research the majors you are interested in and choose the perfect fit for you. When it comes to how to prepare for college in high school, having a clear idea of your path ahead will help you dive into the classes that are most interesting and applicable to you. But if you’re still not sure what major to study, that’s ok too! If you come to Grace undecided, you won’t be the first one! We will pair you with an advisor who has your best interests at heart and helps to guide you in a direction that aligns with your gifts, passions, and experiences. This is also a great time to enroll in some dual credit to get an idea of what direction to go in with your major.
Our next suggestion on how to prepare for college in high school is to schedule an overnight visit to learn more about your top college and to spend a day in the life of a college student. Attend a basketball game. Go to a campus event. Eat dinner in the dining hall. Overnight tours certainly have their benefits, and one of the most prominent is getting an inside-feel of the campus community! High school to college is a big leap. After an overnight experience on a college campus, you’ll be more prepared to take that leap.
With only a few months left in school, now is a great time to start thinking about what you will need at college. Take a look at our packing list or check out our college life hacks packing list. Once you have made a list of your own, send it out to friends and family members to give them some time to find a graduation gift that fits your needs. Most importantly, take a break from preparing for college and have a blast at your senior prom!
Senior skip day. This is the only year you have to set aside a day to make some awesome plans with your friends instead of going to school with the other students! Winona Lake is a great destination for your skip day with your friends, or any other day for that matter!
You did it! You made it through commencement! No more high school for you, so say “sayonara” to your old school and start looking forward to meeting people at your new college! Celebrate with a graduation party! It’s time to start crossing off items on your packing list. Now that your friends and relatives have had the chance to gift some items to you, you know what you need to look for. Right now, personal items are the best ones to shop for. Leave the shareable items for after you start talking to your roommate.
Leaving friends is hard. And making new ones can be even harder. That is why we have an annual Pre-Union for the incoming class at Grace College! Come on out to Winona Lake to have some fun and make new friends. While you still have a few months before you’re off to college, make sure to set aside time to have an awesome summer with your friends. A summer job where you can save up for college adventures never hurts either!
This is when the bulk of your packing list can be crossed off. Sometime soon you will receive an email telling you who your roommate(s) will be and giving you their contact information. Reach out and get to know them a little. Coordinate what each of you will bring so you don’t overpack or over-buy.
August is move-in time at GC, and we have a special program just for you. Have a blast at your going away party and then turn around for a blast at our welcome party, complete with a comedic show we call “Freshman Follies.” Take a glance at our Welcome Weekend Schedule to get an idea of what the weekend entails!
So what are you waiting for? You have a full year ahead of you. Now that you know how to prepare for college in high school, you can get a head start on your college preparation checklist by applying to Grace College today!