• College Planning Tips for Underclassmen

    By taking steps to plan for college during your freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school, you should be well prepared to apply to the college/university of your choice by your senior year. 

     

    Freshmen

     
    • Keep your grades up 
    While grades are not the only factor that colleges look at when admitting students, it is still a very important factor of college admissions. Be sure to study hard throughout your four years of high school.

    • Register for appropriate classes  
    There are certain classes you have to take in order to be accepted into college, such as math, science, English, etc. Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss classes you should take in order to stay on the college-bound track throughout high school. Try to take as many challenging classes as possible, such as Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Not only will this look good on your college applications, but you may even gain college credit for taking AP courses.
     
    • Get involved in extracurricular activities  
    By being involved in extracurricular activities, colleges will see that you are a well-rounded student. During your freshman year, find a few activities that you have a genuine interest in and stick with those activities throughout high school. Try to be fully involved in a few activities rather than slightly involved in a lot of activities.
     

    Take the PSAT in October  

    When you score report arrives in December, spend time reviewing your test booklet and the questions you missed.  Visit the College Board website to register for My Road to learn more about college and career planning.  Details about registering were included with your PSAT score report.    

     

    Sophomores

     

    • Keep doing the activities you started in your freshman year to prepare for college --- maintaining good grades, taking challenging classes, and participating in extracurricular activities.

    If you did not begin doing those things during your freshman year, it’s not too late to start.  See your counselor if you need help in figuring out which activities and classes are right for you.
     

    • Research colleges and careers.

    Start researching career options, colleges and universities as early as possible so you will have some ideas for a major. 
     

     Take the PSAT in October. 

    When your PSAT score report arrives in December, spend time reviewing your test booklet and the questions you missed.  Visit the College Board website to register for My Road.  Details about registering were included with your PSAT score report.  If you practice taking college entrance exams, such as the PSAT, ACT, etc., during your sophomore year, then you will know what to expect and be better prepared for the real tests when you have to take them during your junior year. 

     

    Juniors


    • Keep doing the activities you started in your freshman year to prepare for college --- maintaining good grades, taking challenging classes, and participating in extracurricular activities. 
    Try to add a position of leadership to your resume if you have not done so already.  If you did not begin doing those things during your freshman year, it’s not too late to start.  
     

     Attend college fairs.

    By attending college fairs, you will have the opportunity to meet with a variety of college recruiters to discuss campus atmosphere, admissions process, etc.
     
    • Take college entrance exams.
    In the fall of your junior year, take the PSAT to establish eligibility for scholarships. When your PSAT score report arrives in December, spend time reviewing your test booklet and the questions you missed.  Visit the College Board website to register for My Road.  Details about registering were included with your PSAT score report. In the spring of your junior year, take the SAT and/or ACT. Check with your intended college(s) about which test they prefer. For dates of the SAT/ACT in Loudoun, click here.  Consider taking Advanced Placement Exams or the CLEP tests, if applicable. This may save you time and money by testing out of college courses.
     
    • Visit college campuses.
    Once you have narrowed down your choices for post-secondary schools, you should begin scheduling campus visits for the final schools on your list.  Many colleges also schedule “Open House” events on their campuses throughout the spring to allow high school students to visit.
     
     
    • Research/apply for scholarships.
    Throughout your junior year, focus on researching scholarships. Many scholarships have deadlines in the fall of your Senior year, some in your junior year. Loudoun County scholarships can be found at this link. 
     
     
     • If you are interested in participating in college-level athletics, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse during the spring of your junior year.  For more information, click here.

     

Last Modified on September 15, 2020