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THIS GUIDE IS TO HELP YOU PREPARE YOUR OWN CHECKLIST. YOURS MAY VARY BECAUSE THE NEEDS AND GOALS OF INVIDIUALS VARY. NONETHELESS, THERE ARE FOUR BASIC POINTERS THAT ARE PROBABLY UNIVERSAL AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FROM THE NINTH GRADE ON. THEY ARE:
There is no substitute for personal effort in the learning process.
Even a dollar a week over a few years can add up.
Be sure that the courses you take are the ones needed to meet admissions requirements.
Start studying now for the PSAT. It's not too early.
Use your checklist to plan and time the actions you need to take to ensure a smooth transition to the college or other postsecondary school of your choice. Plans of action include target dates, so, wherever possible, include a specific date by which you want or need to complete a particular item. Where appropriate, indicate the dates on which you actually accomplished steps on your checklist.
_____ Check with your counseling office for materials or tests of aptitude or skills assessment.
_____ Investigate career information in areas that interest you and match your abilities.
_____ Analyze the courses you should be taking throughout high school to prepare for those careers.
_____ Discuss career interests and postsecondary education possibilities with your parents.
_____ Build strong academic skills by taking challenging classes in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, and a foreign language.
_____ Get involved at school. Participating in sports, clubs, and community service makes high school more fun and will help you develop leadership and teamwork skills that colleges value.
_____ Pay closer attention to people and the jobs they do and give some thought to possible career choices for yourself. Talk to adults in a variety of professions to determine what they like and dislike about their jobs and what skills, characteristics, and academic backgrounds are required.
_____ Start a list of activities, awards, community service, and other unique educational experiences to add to your list throughout high school. This will serve as the beginning of a resume that you can use when writing college and scholarship applications.
_____ Ask your parents about how much they think they can help with paying for your future education. Work together to establish a savings plan that you can participate in. Learn about financial aid.
_____ Talk to older siblings or your friends' siblings who are attending college or vocational school; consider how you would feel about attending that kind of school.
_____ Whenever you can, visit a college campus. Even just driving through will give you a feel for different campus settings.