Begin researching colleges online. Visit websites and start following social media channels to begin getting an idea of what types of colleges and universities there are out there and to learn more about the “college world.”
Take the ACT (or SAT) at least once to get a feel for the test. Knowing what to expect will help you as you take the test your junior and senior years.
Think about what you want to be when you grow up and research those majors/professions. Talk to family friends or professionals in your community about their careers. You may even want to shadow someone for a few days.
Make a list of colleges and universities you are interested in and select the top 3 or 4 to visit. Either schedule a private campus tour or attend a Preview Day to get a better idea of what campus feels like.
Sign up to take the ACT (or SAT) once in the fall and once again in the spring. If you are not pleased with your score, begin studying for the test or consider tutoring or test prep classes.
Work with your HS counselor to make sure you are prepped for senior year. Things will be busy your senior year and you want to be sure you are ahead of the game!
Continue to think about what you want to major in. Research the academic departments of the universities you are interested in. When considering a specific major, ask yourself – what is the reputation of the program at X university? What kinds of jobs are graduates getting? Is graduate school required after a bachelor’s degree?
Discuss financial plans with your family. Talk to your parents about how college will be paid for. Are you aware of what kinds of scholarships you will be eligible for from the university? From outside sources? Are loans an option to help you fund your college degree? Know that your MC Admissions Counselor is happy to walk with you and your family through all of these questions to help you make wise financial decisions.
Narrow your list down to your top two or three schools. Visit these schools one more time to see what feels right. Ask the Admissions Office to see if you can stay overnight with a current student to get the full-fledged campus life experience!
Ensure the university you are considering can help you attain your professional and personal goals. Meet with faculty within the department you are interested in to know more about what is expected and the success of its graduates.
Continue to stay connected via social media. You can learn a lot about the personality of a school through its social postings.
Apply to your top universities to determine your options and scholarship packages. Submit all required items to the final university of your choice to gain official acceptance.
You’ll eventually narrow it down to one school and your final college decision will be made! It is a big decision, and one that will affect the trajectory of the rest of your life. We know that can create a lot of pressure, but know that the MC Office of Admissions is here to help you navigate you through the process and is eager to assist you in this very unique and special time in your life!