1. Start building up your resume - Look for some volunteer opportunities in the field you want to go. This will help you get some exposure to that profession.
2. Create a LinkedIn - Even if you do not have a lot of information to share, start building it now and continue to maintain it for the upcoming years. This will start your online presence. You can also start to use LinkedIn to connect to those in the profession you wish to pursue. You can reach out, ask if they are able to take the time to answer some questions about their work, and set up some time to talk to them. This way, you will learn more about the field while making a connection. If possible, you may even ask them to be your mentor or shadow them.
3. Study for the SAT/ACT - Make sure to carve out some time each week dedicated to studying. It may help to schedule the test then to work backwards to create a plan. I recommend 3 to 6 months out in advance. It depends on your comfort level and how much time you plan to dedicate each week.
4. For choosing a school, I recommend creating a list of items you desire from the college. Some things to consider would be: location, costs, type of program, etc. Then, you'll be able to research that criteria and create a list of schools to apply to. Take a look at their application process and make a note of some things they want to see along with the deadlines for the applications. Do not wait until the last minute t submit an application. Some may offer rolling admission which means once your application is submitted, they will look at it as soon as possible compared to other schools that will wait until after the deadline to view all of the applications. Some items that colleges may ask for would be SAT/ACT scores, personal statement, transcript, and resume.
These are some items to help you get started on your journey. Best of luck to you!
Great question - and totally understand it can be daunting where to start when thinking about college!
A place to start is by writing down your why. Why do you want to go to college? What are you hoping to achieve?
Then write down what interests you. Find the colleges that offer that path! See where the colleges are located, how much it costs, etc.
Figure out the requirements for their programs and make sure to look at when applications are due.
If you have questions about what is required - make sure to ask for help and clarification, especially on the application process.
Set goals that can help you chip away at that requirement list.
Get involved in the community, join engineering or science clubs in school, or online.
For example, here is a great article about studying engineering in college: https://www.collegetransitions.com/blog/so-you-want-to-be-an-engineer/
Study and focus in school now - create good habits that you will carry with you!
Incorporate your story in your application - storytelling is so important and will help you differentiate from other candidates.
Best of luck!!!
Colleges want to know that you are academically competent, as well as a driven individual with a diverse skill set. When applying and writing entry essays, accentuate the characteristics that make you unique. What are your extracurriculars? Do you play any instruments? Do you have interests you perdue pursue outside your area of study? Ask yourself these questions and answers in your applications and essays.
How do you volunteer? How are a team player? How do you best serve others? All these things, you bring to the table.
College admission officers carefully assess your high school grades, courses, activities.
• Get the best possible grades you can during all four years of high school. Grades are extremely important
• Take academically rigorous classes all four years. You should carry as many challenging courses as you can handle
• Spend sufficient time developing your college essays. Think and reflect before you write. Write, edit, rewrite. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Convey who you are in your writing: energetic, exciting, passionate, and intellectually curious. How can you make the real “you” stand out from the rest of the crowd? Get feedback on the essays from your teachers and/or other school personnel
• Become involved in your school and/or community during all four years and summer vacations. You need to keep track of your involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, sports, and/or volunteer activities in your community. Move up to leadership positions. Demonstrate growth. Develop a deep interest or talent in one or more areas.
• Ask your school counselor and teachers who know you well for recommendations. At least a month in advance of college deadlines for recommendations, jog their memories by providing them with a “personal data” or “brag sheet” highlighting your academic accomplishments, athletics, activities, and community service and leadership positions. Also, highlight anything special you did during the summer (for example, volunteer work, projects).
• Prepare for on-campus interviews, if required by colleges. Re-read your essays and any information you have acquired on specific colleges. Be friendly and articulate. Dress professionally, not casually. After the interviews, send thank you notes or e-mails expressing your continued interest in their institution.
• Decrease your stress by starting your search for colleges early—no later than the start of your junior year. This gives you adequate time for researching colleges, completing applications, writing essays, and taking necessary exams.
• Get organized and stay focused. Make a file folder for each college that interests you and put relevant information inside of it. Keep focused on your ultimate goal, that is getting into the college of your choice.
• Get on-going assistance from your school counselor and teachers. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions no matter how simple your questions may seem.
One additional comment that I would offer up, however, is that colleges also love to identify applicants who will offer something unique to their student population. They appreciate having a diverse student body full of talented individuals who can bring their respective passions to campus for the benefit of everyone around them. What does that mean for you as an individual applicant? It means that if there is something that you're really passionate about - and have demonstrated success in - then be sure that that interest shines through in your application (particularly in your essays). It can help set you apart in a really positive way. Good luck!
1. Recommendations: Most colleges will ask for references so think about which teachers, club sponsors, or coaches you would want to ask. Their perspective will help colleges get to know you from a different angle.
2. Do what you love and share it: Colleges want to get to know their applicants. Highlight the clubs and volunteer work you've done - even if some of them are outside of what you want to pursue career-wise, it's good to show passion for the things you care about so they can get to know the full you.
College is an awesome educational experience! If you have no idea "what you want to be when you grow up" - start with general educational credits; find out what peeks your interest, what aligns with your passion, and explore that! Don't hesitate to join in on the extracurricular activities, join in on clubs or groups that spark your curiosity - these all contribute to the overall learning! And most importantly - have some fun!!
I would advise you to get as much involved in the area of study you are embarking on - get to know the professors, research, other students and try to find common ground but also be vulnerable and listen to your peers as well as find a mentor or two from faculty or others around you.
College can be an immersive experience, so don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, approach those from different backgrounds and above all be a listener!
Good luck to you!
1. Research the schools that peek your interests
2. Find different activities to make yourself involved
3. Over Prepare for SAT & ACT because those scores will remain valid for years
All the answers that I've read here are super relevant. I'll just add couple of my learnings that helped me get into a good college.
1. Recommendation: Jessica did mention this in her answer and I want to double down on it and give it some extra weight. The recommendation from peers, teachers, or anyone you might have worked with is very important. It showcases your personality, work ethic, attitude, skills etc. from the eyes of a different person. Universities are trying to vet your application against others and recommendations go a long way in making your case.
2. Statement of Purpose: Some colleges might ask you why you want to pursue a particular major in their university. If they do, this is one of the most important essays to write. It should showcase your journey, lessons, and what you intend to do in the future if you do get in to the college. Highlight some of the important lessons that inspired you to pick up a particular major(or a group of minors) and most importantly get it reviewed from your teachers, peers, or someone who has already successfully gone through the application process.
All the best!
There's a lot of great advice here about getting into your college of choice, and it's all excellent.
One alternative is that you can always attend a local community college (many offer 2 year programs), and then transfer to a school of your choice. There's a few advantages to this such as saving money, and SAT/ACT scores not being required. Transfer students have a high rate of acceptance, and (in my experience) accept any credits as long as your grade was above a threshold. The exception is that top-tier schools such as MIT are not easy to transfer into, as they accept <5%, but other such as RIT or RPI accept 50% or more.
There are disadvantages, especially if all your friends are attending the same school, but if you want to attend college, there's always a way to make it happen.
I hope this helps and best of luck!
I would recommend building a sound resume with a wide variety of experiences. Joining teams and social clubs, volunteering, and keeping up your grades.
Networking and receiving letters of recommendations to submit with your applications would also be a great place to start.
It's great to be thinking about getting into college! I would recommend building meaningful relationships with your teachers so when it's time to ask for recommendations, you can count on some great ones. Also start prepping for the SAT and ACT and workshopping some of your reach schools, target schools, and safeties so you get an idea of what scores you would need to make. I would also recommend getting involved in activities you really care about, not what you think would look good on an application. That way, when you talk about your activities in supplements and interviews they can tell you're really passionate! I would also highly recommend trying to integrate the field you hope to go into with something you are about or are involved in. It shows that your interests fit with your aspirations and makes you really stand out to admissions counselors. Lastly, be genuine and creative! You want to stand out and be memorable while showing off your skills and abilities. Don't misrepresent yourself and try to put your personality into your application. Best of luck on your college search!!