Preparing For College

Preparing for college starts well before the fall of senior year in high school, especially if you aspire to attend one of the nation's top ranked schools. 

The following resources provide a framework for how a college-bound student can use his or her high school years to build a strong college application. There are many ways to excel in high school. These suggestions are intended as a foundation to help you get organized.

Grade-Specific Advice

To successfully prepare for a top college, there are a variety of tasks you should complete beginning from your first year of high school. We’ve complied these tasks into a simple checklist for each year of high school. Save, print, and use the checklists to stay on course!

If you are a high school junior or seniors just getting started in your preparation, it is not too late. Read through the earlier checklists to see what you have missed. Then determine a reasonable plan to catch up as best you can. 

9th Grade Checklist >>
10th Grade Checklist >>
11th Grade Checklist >>
12th Grade Checklist >>

Choosing Classes 

Your grades and your classes are among the most important factors for determining your eligibility at a top college. Admissions officers want you to challenge yourself with what’s immediately available, and look favorably on any initiative you take beyond your high school. 

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Standardized Tests

Tests like the SAT and ACT remain critical components of the college application process. Learn more about the tests and map out a strategy. 

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How to Use your Summers

Admissions officers also want to know what you’re doing outside of high school. Using your summer wisely is a great way to set yourself apart from other applicants.

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