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.
_____ Build strong academic skills by taking challenging classes in English, mathematics, science history, geography, and a foreign language.
_____ The classes might be getting harder, but you can do it! Get extra help from a teacher or a tutor if you need it. Don't be shy.
_____ Talk to adults in a variety of professions to determine what they like and dislike about their jobs, what skills or characteristics are needed, and what academic backgrounds are required.
_____ How about trying some new extracurricular or enrichment activities? Maybe you should do more with the activities you are already involved in or run for office, or take charge of a project.
_____ Meet with your career counselor or guidance counselor to discuss colleges and their requirements.
_____ Take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). You must register early.
_____ Maintain your college file, and put in items such as the following:
- copies of your report card
- a list of all awards and honors you have received
- a list of school and community organizations and clubs you join, including dates of service and offices held
- a list of paid and volunteer jobs you have held
_____ Visit nearby colleges and universities with your family and friends. Take tours of the campuses. Request catalogs from all of the colleges that interest you.
_____ Save for college.