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Preparing For College? Important Early Steps

Preparing For College? You may already be too late! Most students and parents have no idea, as to when to start this process. If you are in the middle of your student’s Senior year, it’s possible you could be late! You should really start at a during the middle part of your student’s 11th grade year at a minimum, in order to accomplish everything required… some start as early as their sophomore year.  First, the school you are attending should have a Guidance Counselor… use them if possible, and pick the Guidance Counselor’s mind for the latest information. Most schools have a Guidance Counselor available in some form or another, even online virtual high schools provide this type of service. Bottom Line: If anyone in the school system knows about what your student needs, it would be the Counselor. Below, you will find an excellent video to watch regarding this subject!

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Scholarships Needed? If you plan to apply for any scholarships, you will need to keep in mind, that scholarships need to be applied for, and in a timely manor. Most scholarships have cut off dates to apply by,  Example, The state of Tennessee has a program, where if your student qualifies, they could get the first two years of college for free, using lottery money for approved two-year community colleges. The only problem is that you have to apply by the deadline or you will miss out.  Most Scholarship deadlines arrive in most cases, September through May. From what we understand, is that the best Scholarships go the fastest.

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Involvement: Colleges prefer a student to be involved in extracurricular activities, other than just maintaining good grades. For instance, if you are part of a student group like “Student Government”, for example, a college admittance office will look at this as a plus! If you can do anything extra, community service work is one good idea, it really looks attractive to colleges when you apply. Anything that you just do because it is helpful to the community in some way is great! Not only does it look great to the college, it never hurts to just help.

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Classes: Of course, most colleges want the students that not only have good grades, but also went out of their way to do “extras” such as College Prep classes, AP classes, Honors classes. Sometimes, online and brick and mortar schools offer Dual Enrollment classes, that allows you to get college credits while in high school. Colleges are thrilled to see students with the drive and compassion to take on extras! How great would it be to start college and already have credits in the bag?

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Direction: What are you going to be? You need to know what direction in life you want to go, in order to get the best career. More than likely if you plan to go to college 4 to 8 years, and you probably should like the job! You can do some research, talk to friends that are grades ahead of you, watch Youtube videos, check out the pay scales, and find out where the best job opportunities are located in the country.  You can find career fairs to attend and there are other avenues, such as, reading reviews from those in the industry you choose.

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ACT Testing and Prep: From what we understand, the average ACT score is around 20. If your student is over the 21 range, they are above average. Your student can take the ACT test more than once, however, they should take as many practice tests until they are ready for the real test. There are plenty of study guides or books out there to choose from if the student wants to raise their score. Taking the ACT Test the first time with no up front prep, or practice test, is a big mistake people make. The video below has some good information you may want to take into account.

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Picking A College: Are you going to live at college or travel from home? If you choose an out of state college, is it okay to live in that area possibly depending on such issues like new job location or pay scale. More than likely, the college has ties to businesses in that area where you may be needed once you graduate. Housing prices should be on your list to check out ahead of time, Below are two videos that can help you to ask the right questions for your specific situation, wants and needs.

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