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Preparing for College Success

Checking In: Your College Readiness Checklist

Preparing for College SuccessChecking In: Your College Readiness Checklist

Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Getting into College
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 What Are the Benefits of College?
    3. 1.2 Your Academic Journey and Personal Story
    4. 1.3 Finding the Right "Fit"
    5. 1.4 Applying for College and Making Your Decision
    6. Family & Friends Matter
    7. Summary
  3. 2 Transitioning to College
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Why College?
    3. 2.2 The First Year of College Will Be an Experience
    4. 2.3 College Culture and Expectations
    5. 2.4 It’s All in the Mindset
    6. Family & Friends Matter
    7. Summary
    8. Checking In: Your College Readiness Checklist
  4. 3 Managing Your Time and Priorities
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Time Management in College
    3. 3.2 Procrastination: The Enemy Within
    4. 3.3 How to Manage Time
    5. 3.4 Prioritization
    6. 3.5 Enhanced Strategies for Time and Task Management
    7. Family & Friends Matter
    8. Summary
  5. 4 Reading and Note-Taking
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 The Learning Process
    3. 4.2 The Nature and Types of Reading
    4. 4.3 Effective Reading Strategies
    5. 4.4 Helpful Note-Taking Strategies
    6. Family & Friends Matter
    7. Summary
    8. Checking In: Your College Readiness Checklist
  6. 5 Studying, Memory, and Test Taking
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Deepening Your Learning
    3. 5.2 Memory
    4. 5.3 Studying
    5. 5.4 Test Taking
    6. 5.5 Developing Metacognition
    7. Family & Friends Matter
    8. Summary
  7. 6 Building Relationships
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Benefits of Healthy Relationships
    3. 6.2 Building Relationships in College
    4. 6.3 Working in Groups
    5. Family & Friends Matter
    6. Summary
    7. Checking In: Your College Readiness Checklist
  8. 7 Maintaining Your Mental Health and Managing Stress
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Creating Your Best Self
    3. 7.2 Your Overall Well-Being
    4. 7.3 The Mind-Body Connection
    5. 7.4 Mental Health Basics
    6. 7.5 The Role of Social Media on Mental Health
    7. 7.6 Physical Health Basics
    8. Family & Friends Matter
    9. Summary
  9. 8 Understanding Financial Literacy
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Personal Financial Planning
    3. 8.2 Savings, Expenses, and Budgeting
    4. 8.3 Credit Cards
    5. 8.4 Paying for College
    6. Family & Friends Matter
    7. Summary
    8. Checking In: Your College Readiness Checklist
  10. 9 Planning Your Future
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Setting Goals and Staying Motivated
    3. 9.2 Planning Your Degree Path
    4. 9.3 Making a Plan
    5. 9.4 Using the Career Planning Cycle
    6. Family & Friends Matter
    7. Summary
  11. Index

Spring

9th Grade
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a calendar. Maximize spring break trips. Pop by a college campus (or two) along the way or at your destination. Even if you can’t take a formal tour (or if students are on break and the campus is quiet), you can still get a feel for the environment and what college life might look like there.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a pencil. Create a resume. Not only will your resume be useful for completing college applications, but it’ll also help your teachers write you great letters of recommendation. Take some time each semester to update it.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of an open book. Think about next year’s schedule. Look through your school’s course catalog for class options and talk with your school counselor about how to challenge yourself the next three years while also exploring your interests.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a graduation cap. Talk with your parents about paying for college. College isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. Talk with your parents about how much college might cost, the financial resources available to you, and how you might contribute to your education.
Table 6.3
10th Grade
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a calendar. Sign up to take the ACT and SAT. Register early for the SAT and ACT, if you’re thinking about taking them this spring/summer. Not only will you be able to map out your study plan early, but you also have a better shot at getting a close testing location.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a pencil. Sign up for college mailing lists. You may get inundated with college mail, but take some time to read through the emails and brochures you receive. Some colleges use demonstrated interest when making admission decisions, so reading their emails and clicking the links could give your application a slight boost.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of an open book. Prep for AP exams. If you’re in an AP class and you want to try to earn college credit for it, AP exams are usually in early May. Visit the College Board’s website for links to free study resources.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a graduation cap. Think about leadership positions for next year. Colleges love to see students show continued, deepening involvement in an activity. Consider taking on a leadership role in one of your extracurricular activities or at your school next year.
Table 6.4
11th Grade
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a calendar. Look for personal statement prompts to be released. The Common App and University of California system usually release their essay prompts in March (the Coalition App and ApplyTexas are often a little later in the spring). Consider writing down potential story ideas for each prompt — one might turn into your essay!
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a pencil. Create a Common App account. Chances are, you’ll apply to some schools via the Common App. Create an account now and become familiar with the site — you can even use it to do college research.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of an open book. Understand the difference between Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular and Rolling Decisions. Applying Early Action or Early Decision means you get a college’s decision earlier than if you apply through Regular/Rolling Decision, but there are other implications. Learn what these terms mean so you can decide what strategy makes the most sense for you.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a graduation cap. Ask teachers for letters of recommendation. Consider asking two current teachers in core classes and one teacher in an elective class to write you a letter of recommendation. If you participate in extracurricular activities, you may also ask leaders in those organizations (e.g., Scouts, Boys & Girls Club). When you ask them, give them your resume and a letter listing the schools/majors you’re considering and anything else your recommender should know.
Table 6.5
12th Grade
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a calendar. Update your calendar with important dates. Once you’ve accepted an offer of admission, put new important dates in your calendar, like college registration, housing selection, orientation, move-in, and the academic calendar.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a pencil. Keep applying for scholarships. Every scholarship dollar helps when it comes to paying for college, so keep applying. Many scholarships are available to enrolled high school and college students.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of an open book. Be prepared to respond to a request for FAFSA verification. An estimated 30% of FAFSA applications are randomly selected for verification. You’ll need to gather related paperwork — like child support documentation and tax returns — to complete the FAFSA Verification Worksheet.
An icon depicting a minimalistic shape of a graduation cap. Attend admitted student events. Colleges you’ve been accepted to will often hold admitted student events on campus or as part of a “traveling roadshow.” If you haven’t toured a campus or want to learn more about a school, attend one of these events.
Table 6.6
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