10 Ways to Prepare for College

Whether you’re getting ready for college within your home state or gearing up for an out-of-state university, there are a few things you could do to prepare, like taking certain courses, studying hard, and determining how you’ll afford your education. Then, you’ll be all set once you step foot onto campus.

1. Take the Required Courses

Consult with your high school guidance counselor about what classes you should take for college preparation.

2. Enroll in AP, IB, and College Courses

Your high school may offer you the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, which are college-level and will allow you to earn college credit. Then, you can skip these courses when you get to college and ensure you have a head start. 

3. Do Test Prep

When it comes to how to prepare for college, don’t neglect studying for your SATs. The SATs are required for the majority of college applications in the U.S. You can study by forming study groups with friends, taking the PSATs and practice tests, getting an SAT tutor, and enrolling in SAT practice classes.

4. Hone Your Study Skills

In college, you’re going to take a rigorous set of courses. Your academics are likely to be a lot more challenging than they were in high school. This means you should hone your study skills now to prepare for college.

5. Go to College Fairs

Whenever there is a local college fair happening, try to attend it. That way, you can learn about different colleges you may want to apply to.

6. Take College Tours

Before applying to a school, go on a campus tour to see what it’s all about. A college that has a great website or looks good on paper may not end up being the right fit once you actually visit it.

7. Meet With Your High School Guidance Counselor

Your high school guidance counselor can help you with preparing for college in a number of different ways. They can advise you on what classes to take and extracurricular activities you can enroll in to ensure you have a competitive college application when the time comes.

8. Fill Out a FAFSA Form

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)  is the form you need to fill out to apply for federal financial aid. This includes federal grants, scholarships, work-study, and federal student loans.

9. Look Into Student Loans Filling out the FAFSA isn’t the only thing on your financial to-do list when you’re prepping for college. You could also weigh your student loan options. As mentioned, the FAFSA puts you in contention for federal student loans — among other tuition subsidies like work-study or grants.

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