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College Resources for High School Freshmen

written by: Destiny Keller•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 8/28/2010

There are a few very important steps to take in preparing for College, even when you are a high school freshman. This article helps you figure out what you should do to be prepared, and even ahead of the game. Are YOU ready?

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    As a freshman in high school, resources for college may be the last thing on your mind. After all, you have all the time in the world right?

    Although you have a few years before you need to start applying to colleges, there are a few things you can start doing as soon as you come to high school, so you can best prepare for college. This will help keep you on track and keep you ahead of the game.

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    Career Counseling

    It is a good idea to know what you want to do in your future career. This can have a major impact on what college you choose to attend. Most high schools have some form of career counseling programs. Sometimes they have career centers where there is a center specifically designed for students to figure out what career paths they might be interested in. They usually offer career tests, information sheets and can set up job shadowing.

    If you do not have a center like this or available resources, do not fret. There are plenty of free resources available online. At Quest Career, they offer free career testing. These tests offer suggestions on possible careers you might be good at depending on your likes and interests.

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    Selecting Colleges

    By no means do you have to select a college right away, especially your first year of high school. However, it is a good idea to know a few places you might want to get into. Make a list of 5 colleges you might want to attend. It is important to keep your options open in case you change your mind or your grades slip. This is important because each college has different entrance requirements you want to be aware of. Good things to keep in mind are minimum GPA's, required classes, SAT's, and entrance essays.

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    Funding

    This is a huge topic to start thinking about now. Often students are forced to take out student loans due to lack of funding or planning. The first thing you want to do is get a ball park figure of how much your college(s) might cost. You should be able to look up costs per credit or get a general idea from looking online. Once you have this in mind. Start using your resources.

    Be sure to ask family or close friends if they are going to contribute to your college. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is much better than assuming and being wrong.

    You can start applying for scholarships even as a freshman! Granted, there will be less of them available until your senior year, so prepare to fill out tons of applications that year. As for now, research web sites to get you started. There are free sites that will search scholarships for you based on the profile information you give. The more details you fill out on your profile, the better your chances of being eligible.

    Don't forget to save for college yourself if you plan to get a job in high school. Put away 10-15% of your income into a high interest account.

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    Looking Good

    One of the best things you can do to prepare for college is to build your resume or portfolio. You want to make yourself look good for your college applications, scholarship applications and even career applications. It all starts here. Be sure to do things that stand out. Things that look great on these documents are:

    Volunteering

    Getting involved in a club

    Getting involved in a sport

    Leadership (president of a club for example)

    A high GPA

    Special Recognition (such as an honors diploma or a letter in sports)

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    Any high school freshman can use this college resources guide to prepare for their future. Start your preparations now!

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    References

    www.scholarships.com

    www.fastweb.com

    http://www.questcareer.com/career_assessment_resources.html