It’s never too early to prepare for college, and if you’re a still in high school or even just starting, you can make entering college easier by preparing in advance. More than just studying hard and keeping your grades, there are strategic moves that you can take right now that will make your college years legitimately easier to complete. Here are four things that you can do now that will save you a lot of headache in the future.
Browse Scholarship Opportunities
Scholarships can cover much of your college tuition, and you may even qualify for a scholarship that lets you attend school for free. There are plenty of websites online that list updated information on scholarships that are available to students like you. According to Clark.com, you may also qualify for a scholarship from an ethnicity-based organization. Talking to a high school counselor is another good way to learn about scholarships that can cover part or all of your tuition. While your freshman year may seem a little early to be looking at scholarships that you can’t even apply for yet, knowing the requirements for various academic scholarships will help you take the right classes and get the right grades now so that you can qualify for them later.
Take AP Courses
Also known as advanced placement, AP courses can give you a jumpstart on your college education. You’ll be studying more advanced subjects that are at the college level in these classes, and the knowledge attained can open the door to more college acceptances. Not only that, but taking these classes can actually help you opt out of general education courses in college later on. AP classes are often offered in subjects like math, science and English. Your high school may also have history, art and foreign language AP courses. To qualify for these classes, you much demonstrate academic excellence and a willingness to advance your studies. Once you pass them, however, there is an AP test offered at the end that, once you pass, will count as credit toward your college education.
Attend a College Prep High School
If you want to take college-level classes in all your subjects, attending a college prep high school may be your best option. When you apply to enter one of these schools, you’ll want to make sure that your current school releases your transcript so that your grades can be reviewed to determine if you qualify. Attending high schools like these not only give you a higher quality education, but they also can give you college credit so that you can graduate with an associate’s degree at the same time you graduate from high school. That knocks off two years of college, and they often partner up with local colleges so that you can easily get into them to complete your chosen higher degree. You may be placed on a waiting list if the college prep school that you wish to attend is currently full, but you should stick to your goal of attending one of these schools if you’re academically proficient and serious about your education.
Know Your Desired Major’s Requirements
Whether you want to major in medicine, technology, or another subject that can lead to a promising career, it will be a good idea for you to learn what the requirements are in the given major. Learning the requirements will help you prepare now by taking the appropriate AP courses to meet certain requirements, or else at least let you know what courses you can take now, like chemistry or Latin, will make your college-level courses easier. Taking a high school physics class, AP or otherwise, will prepare you for a college physics class, and so on. Knowing the material beforehand in this way will save you a lot of study time and make concepts stick a lot easier, making your educational experience much less stressful.
Preparing yourself for college life while you’re still in high school can greatly reduce the difficulty of college education. Being both academically and financially prepared ahead of time will save you a lot of stress, and can actually help you avoid some of the more tedious work in your college experience. You’ll have an easier time pursuing a higher education when you put in the additional effort as early as possible.
|Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.