There is a lot to do to get ready for college, and it can be overwhelming. The first thing to do is get organized.
Admissions and school scholarship deadlines can be very early your senior year and you need to know both. School scholarship deadlines can come before admission deadlines. For example, an admissions deadline might be Feb 1, but the priority scholarship deadline is Dec 1. You may meet the admissions deadline but then have missed the scholarship deadline! It is often necessary to complete an admissions application before you can apply for school scholarships. Admissions applications often need to be done a month before scholarship deadlines to be safe. Oct 31 is a good goal to set to have admissions applications completed.
After being accepted you will need to meet deadlines for FAFSA, housing, registration, orientation, payment, etc. Also there are various scholarships you will want to apply for. Know those deadlines and plan!
All schools have an admissions application to fill out that may be 5-15 pages of information. All schools will need your current transcript (and later a final transcript). Most all universities need an ACT or SAT score. Some admissions applications require letters of recommendation, essays, and resumes. All this can take considerable time to prepare so look into what you will need. College reps and admissions offices can tell you exactly.
After you apply they will communicate, usually through your new school’s email, what else you need like proof of meningitis vaccination, school profile, FAFSA application, housing choice and deposits, etc. Keep checking that email and keep organized.
Scholarship applications may require essays or detailed financial information. Look over the application early so you will know how much time you need to prepare in order to meet the deadline.
If you’re going to Amarillo College or another community college you won’t need an admissions exam, but most all four-year universities require one for admissions and/or scholarsips. Some scholarships also require it. If you haven’t taken one, or your score is too low and you are planning a retest, go ahead and submit college applications anyway. That way your admissions information will be all set when your score comes in. See ACT / SAT info on our website.
Texas public colleges require college-ready TSI scores or students have to take extra developmental classes. See the TSI page for more information.
We will have college rep visits, military recruiter visits, career presentations, college field trips, and college fairs. Don’t miss out on opportunities to connect with people in your areas of interest. Follow the college and career twitter @CanyonHS_CC to stay informed about events.
You will have to fill out the same information over and over again on applications about your activities in and out of school, your academic achievements, accomplishments, awards, honors, etc. You need to put all this info together in one place.
We can give you an info sheet to fill out. This will be helpful to anyone you need to ask for a letter of recommendation. Go a step further and type your info into a nice resume. Here is an example. Some applications will directly ask for your resume. Sometimes you can respond to many questions with “see resume” and attach your resume to the application. It’s a great time saver.
We have a college search tool in Xello that can you help you find schools that meet your interests and goals. See college research sites like Big Future. Visit with college reps and ask questions. Find out which schools have good programs for what you want to study.
Consider your academic abilities. One way to do this is to compare a college’s average SAT student score and GPA’s to your scores. You probably do not want to go to a school where you at the bottom of the class. You will likely do better in an environment where you are average or above average. Also, apply to at least 3 colleges; you might not get in to your first choice school. You might also be admitted to your university but not accepted into your major.
After you’ve narrowed down your list, go on school visits. Note that colleges have special high school days that are great to go to, but they will welcome your visit any time. Just contact the admissions office and schedule a tour or register on the college’s website.
Cost is usually a big cons ideration and may be the final deciding factor. The larger the school generally the more the cost, and private and out of state colleges can be much more expensive than Texas public colleges. However, you really don’t know how much you will have to pay until you get your financial aid package back from the colleges you’ve applied to (make sure to complete your FAFSA and scholarship applications). Some schools that have higher expenses can be cheaper for you if they offer you a better financial aid package.
We have resources to help you with that, and so will your college. Check out the tools in Xello.
The ASVAB Career Exploration Program is also available in the Fall. This involves taking the ASVAB skills test followed up by taking the FYI interest profiler. The results link to possible career matches in both the civilian and military world. Students then have access to a very useful career research website with scholarship info as well. This program is offered through the military, but no military interest is required.
AC has a good tool to identify your skills, interests, personality and work-related values called MyPlan.
Finally, don’t think you have to have it all figured out before you get to college. Most colleges have career counselors and quality resources to help you make decisions that fit your interests, values, and skills.