1. Start Early: In general, starting research in the spring of junior year is desirable so that families have the summer months to visit campuses.
2. Outside The Box: Perhaps following the pack or taking the easiest path is not the best plan. The college that’s nearby or popular with friends might not be the best fit.
3. Know Yourself: Parents, cousins, friends and siblings are wonderful sources of information but they have their own goals, personal styles and life experiences. They are not YOU.
4. Explore Thoroughly: The Internet is your most valuable resource. You can research academic profiles, majors and requirements. College sites offer virtual tours and opportunities to connect with faculty and students.
5. Stop in: College tours help you understand what’s important at each institution and what to ask before applying. If you can’t visit, use virtual tools online and ask to speak with local alumni.
6. Grades Matter: College officials will be considering your transcript during senior year, so they want to see strong or improving performance through the end of junior year.
7. Exam Time: Taking tests more than once usually improves scores. Timed practice tests help, too. Set aside enough time to prepare and to retest if necessary.
8. Explore Opportunities: Summer academic programs, volunteer service opportunities and career experiences are valuable in preparing a college plan.
9. Write On: Think before writing, be genuine, plan your story and proofread your work. Most important, answer the question asked.
10. Application Strategy: Make certain the application process works for your success. Be organized and meet all deadlines. If you need help, consider hiring a qualified college consultant.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
› Juan-Camilo Tamayo is a Higher Education Consultant, MBA, with JCT4Education. Throughout his 18 years in higher education, he’s assisted thousands of students in reaching their educational goals. For more tips and a list of educational counseling and planning services, visit JCT4Education.com.