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Student working on a laptop learning how to stay on track to college.

Get ready for an informative ride through the world of college preparation! In this blog, we’ll dive into a conversation featuring Sydney Burdick and the college planning whiz, Alex Jurgens, both from EducationQuest. Together, we explore when to kickstart your college prep, what high schoolers can do to pave their way to higher education, and where to find a helping hand on your college prep journey. So, let’s dive in!

When should students start preparing for college?

Alex advises that while the groundwork can begin as early as kindergarten, students should seriously start building the foundation their freshman year of high school. During this time, they can explore their interests, identify their skills, and start thinking about potential careers that align with both. However, the critical phase for college prep begins the junior year when students should research colleges, make campus visits, and engage with admissions reps. For guidance on staying on track, check out EducationQuest’s Junior/Senior Timeline.

What are top tips for students preparing for college?

  • Focus on earning good grades,attending classes regularly, and maintaining a strong GPA. This not only opens doors for scholarships but also enhances your chances of getting into college.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities, community service, and leadership roles. These experiences will help you stand out on college applications and can lead to scholarships.
  • Attend college fairs, connect with college reps who visit your school, and make campus visits: This will allow you to get your college questions answered and get a feel for campus life.
  • Start preparing for college admissions during your senior year. Understand the requirements for each college, such as application fees, essays, and letters of recommendation.
  • Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid programs. Attend financial aid programs to gain insights into how to finance your college education.

How can students focus on choosing a career path?

Alex emphasizes the importance of exploring interests, identifying skills, and considering potential careers that align with both. Students can also job shadow in fields of interest, connect with mentors, and even take classes at a local community college to explore subjects further.

How important is GPA for college admissions and scholarships?

Students often worry that a less-than-perfect GPA can hinder their college prospects. However, it’s crucial to reach out to colleges directly, as they may offer alternative options or placement exams for students with lower GPAs. Similarly, scholarship opportunities extend beyond academic achievements, encompassing community involvement, leadership, and various talents. It’s essential to comprehensively research scholarships.

Where can students go for help and guidance?

Students should never hesitate to seek guidance and assistance during their college preparation journey. Key resources include:

  • High School Counselors: Your high school counselor should be your first point of contact for college-related questions.
    • Teachers: Teachers can offer valuable insights and advice based on their own experiences.
    • Family and Friends: Talk to family members, siblings, and friends who have gone through the college application process.
    • EducationQuest: Reach out to EducationQuest for expert guidance, resources, and assistance. Our free programs are designed to support students on their path to higher education.

Navigating the path to college can be challenging, but with the right guidance and resources, you can confidently pursue your higher education dreams. Start early, stay organized, and remember that there are numerous paths to success. Embrace the journey, and don’t hesitate to seek help along the way. Your college dreams are within reach, and EducationQuest is here to support you every step of the way.

Watch the interivew between Sydney and Alex.

By Sydney Burdick