Students and Parents

Planning for College

Most students and parents, especially those dealing with college planning for the first time, have lots of questions about what to do.

What about grades?

Hopefully you've been making the best grades you can. If you haven't, start now to show a college admissions officer you've begun to take education seriously.

What about a career?

Many seniors have already decided on a career. If you haven't, that's fine. Many people go to college thinking they'll go into one career but decide on another. You can always use your first two years at college to get your general education requirements out of the way and find out what you'd really like to do with your life.

Where should I go?

You and your parents will decide that based on how much it costs, how good an education it offers, etc. Find out everything you can about a school that interests you. Check websites first, then go for a visit, preferably while classes are in session.

What if the school's expensive?

Schools that cost more often provide more financial aid. Find out what the school has to offer in student aid.

How do I get ready for college?

Make sure you're taking the right courses. You'll generally need a diploma or a GED, although two-year schools and trade schools may waive that requirement. Many states require high school students to take a college prep curriculum in order to attend public colleges and universities.

What tests do I have to take?

Four-year colleges and universities generally require the ACT or SAT. Two-year colleges may require the ACT or COMPASS, ASSET or other placement test. Trade schools may require some other placement test.

How safe will I be on campus?

Ask for a campus security report, which has data on campus crimes and security policies. The school must give you a copy. Many schools have this on their websites.

When should I apply?

Now, if you're a senior and know where you want to go.