How to Get into a Good College – Here’s your Complete Guide
Planning for college must begin as early in high school as possible. It is not unusual for lots of students and their parents to already know what the admissions requirements are for those schools they really want. By planning this far in advance, kids can do the following:
Take the courses that will be most impressive for the admissions committees
Understand the target GPA they need and make sure that they are on-track for that
Get involved in clubs and organizations that are going to make them look “well-rounded” and responsible
If you have not begun your planning this early, you can still increase your chances for getting into a good college if you begin your planning and strategies by the beginning of your junior year. You may have to fill up a couple of semesters with some really challenging courses, which means you will be working a lot harder; you will also have to join some clubs and organizations if you have not already; and you will have to very mindful of the GPA you currently carry and what grades you need to bring it up to meet the requirements of your school choices.
What Schools Can I Get Into?
Fortunately, technology has made this search so much easier now. There are sites that allow you to plug in all of your academic information, including your ACT or SAT scores, and that will then generate a list of colleges all over the country whose requirements you meet. This is a great start because you can then eliminate the ones that are just out of the question.
What are my Chances of Getting into College if my Academic Record for 9th and 10th Grade is Bad?
Here’s the thing. A lot of admissions committees lace more weight on your grades during your last two years than they do on your early years of high school. The reason for this is that they understand that kids mature at very different ages. If you have made a great turnaround your junior year, go ahead and apply for that school you really want. It is possible that they will see you as one of those “late bloomers” they want to take a chance on.
Your other option is to start at a community college and set your sights on a 4.0 GPA. Students who do this have a great chance of getting into the best schools for their sophomore years. There are usually a good number of openings, because lot of students change schools or flunk out at the end of their freshman years.
When I Find out What Colleges I Can Get Into, How Do I Narrow the Choices
You really have several considerations, and you and your parents will have to look at this together:
What are the costs? Does your family have the resources to send you or will you be able to qualify for enough financial aid and loans for your top choices?
Where are the colleges located? How far away from home do you want to be?
What size school is your preference? Do you want a large school (10,000+ students) or would you prefer a medium or small campus where there is more chance for relationships with and help from your instructors?
What are you considering for your major? Schools vary widely in their program offerings and some are better than others in specific fields. Make sure your selection meets you career goals.
Don’t be discouraged if you do not meet the full requirements for a college you want to attend. If you are close, go ahead and apply. If you are not close, make another selection and plan to transfer later on.